Tongass National Park is one of the world’s great, unspoiled forests – and it’s home to more brown bears than anywhere else on earth
Through the droplets on the binoculars, some distance away, two unidentifiable creatures appear to be wading across the tidal creek. Deer? Wolf? Moose? A faraway brown bear and cub, in fact. We watch as the maple-brown carnivores lumber straight for our group, swallowing up the space between us. Their determined pace hints at a head-on meeting. The tone of our guide, Peter Robertson, suggests all we need to do is keep quiet and sit stock-still. I can’t help but fidget.
A bald eagle takes flight from a bushy pine and the sea grass trembles as two black-tail Sitka deer scamper past at a gallop. To our left runs a river, at our backs is a vast belt of ancient forest and dark mountains that hide the densest concentration of brown bears on earth. Knowing this sets my jaw a little tighter.