Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

“What does my lodging price include?”

Pricing is per person and includes all meals from our gourmet kitchen (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), ground transportation to and from the airport, as well as transportation to and from all activities booked through us. Itineraries can be customized to include flights both to and from Juneau to Gustavus. We can also plan your flight to or from Sitka, Skagway, Haines, and Hoonah. Pricing does not include taxes or fuel surcharges, which will be added to the reservation. Prices are per person, per double occupancy. Give us a call for more details.

“How do I get to Gustavus?”

There are a few ways to get here, but only by boat or plane. There are no roads to Gustavus. Harris Air offers select flights throughout the day on small commuter planes that can seat up to eight. Alaska Airline routes into Gustavus once a day during select summer months as well. A ferry is also available on select days throughout the week, and is a four hour voyage through the Icy Straits from Juneau. We encourage you to contact us to discuss the best options for your Alaskan adventure.

“What activities should I plan?”

The wonderful thing about booking with us is that you customize your itinerary. With twenty years of experience, we are here to guide you. Check out our activities page for more information, or read our blog for unique stories as told by both guests and staff of the Bear Track Inn.

“Tipping Guidelines”

It is customary to tip for services received, though it is not a requirement. Tips for fishing Captains or private tours are typically $35-$50 per person in your party. Tips for whale watching are typically $10 per person; half day guided kayaking $20 per person, and full day kayaking about $35 per person.

As far as lodging services are concerned, gratuity ranges from how you felt the service was. Our employees are here to insure your trip is memorable and goes smoothly. All tips are pooled and divided among the staff. As a guide, we suggest $25 per guest per night for good service, $35 per guest per night for great service, and $45 per guest per night for outstanding service. Again, the choice is yours.

“What is the Altitude?”

The Bear Track Inn sits near the beaches of the Icy Strait, so, we are at sea level.

“When does it get dark?”

The days in SE Alaska are infamous for being longer in the summer time. Typically, the sun rises around 3am, and sets around 10pm or later. After the solstice in mid-June, the amount of day light decreases steadily, and by mid-August, the sun sets around 8pm.

“Is there an ATM or bank is Gustavus?”

No, there are not banks here in Gustavus. The only ATM is in a locally owned market, and it does not always have cash available. Our Inn also accepts Visa and MasterCard as payment, as do most facilities in Gustavus.

Fishing Questions

“What Types of Fish Are There to Catch?”

Salt water fishing in the Icy Strait offers a unique experience for fishermen. Please keep in mind that the season can vary year to year due to weather, water temperatures, and spawning cycles.

o Halibut is available year round, and can grow up to 9 feet and weight up to 500lbs. Halibut is prized for their delicate white flesh, as well as their tremendous size.

o King Salmon is available May 15 – June 15. It is the largest of the salmon, with trophy sizes of 40 and 50 pounds. Catching them requires a one hour boat ride to the outer coast. They are available early in the season, and again late in the season. The spring run is the most consistent and abundant.

o Silver Salmon (Coho) is available July 15 – October 1. Cohos average 8 to 12 pounds and attain weights in excess of 20 pounds during the summer.

o Sockeye Salmon is available June 1 – August 5, and is almost impossible to catch in salt water. However, they can provide explosive action when they enter their spawning grounds. Averaging 5 to 8 pounds, they will take your fly rod down to its backing before you can turn them around.

o Chum Salmon is available June 15 – September 15. They are the ugliest of all salmon and show up with Pinks in early June. These can provide the fight of a lifetime on a fly rod.

o Pink Salmon is available July 1 – September 1. This is Alaska’s most abundant salmon. They begin to show during June and stick around through July and August.


Fresh water (Catch-and-Release)

o Dolly Varden is available year round.

o Sockeye Salmon is available July 4 – August 15.

o Steelhead is available April 15 – May 20.

o Cutthroat Trout and Rainbow Trout are available year round.

o King Salmon are not available.

Unguided walking trips are an option as well. Our Inn offers rod and reel, and fly rod rentals. Options for self-guided trip locations are the Bartlett River for sockeye or coho, and the Salmon River for coho.

“Is there a limit?”

Stream fishing is catch-and-release only. Salt water fishing does have limits. Please be aware that the limit regulations can change. Contact us for details on these regulations.

“How Many Fisherman per Boat?”

Chartered boats fit up to four or six people. All boats feature an enclosed cabin and head. Contact us for options for larger groups.

“Am I allowed to keep what I catch?”

Fresh water fishing is catch-and-release only.

There is a limit on the fish you catch during saltwater fishing. Please contact us for more details, as the regulations change each year.

Processing is not included in the price for fishing. PEP’s Packing is a local, family ran, small business that provides Gustavus with their fish packing needs. Through Peps you can pack, freeze, or even smoke your sport-caught fish.

Prices for fishing includes guide and tackle, however, licenses will need to be purchased. You can purchase one, as well as king stamps, during your stay at the Bear Track Inn.

Around the Lodge

“What are the rooms like?”

Our lodge features hand-crafted log construction with fourteen rooms, each with two queen-size beds, as well as a private bathroom. We also have two handicap accessible rooms. Rooms include down comforters and down pillows, and furnishings include a table, two chairs, an armoire, and a trestle bench. All bathrooms have an extra-large sink, acrylic bathtub and shower, bath robes, hairdryers, shampoos and soaps, and extra-large luxury bath towels.

Front facing view rooms are available at an additional charge. These rooms include a mattress topper on each bed, an equipped Keurig, luggage stand, and a beautiful view of the Icy Strait.

“Where is the lodge located?

We are nestled away on the eastern outskirts of Gustavus. From town, we are approximately six miles.

“What is there to do at the lodge?”

There is so much to explore at our Inn! Our lodge is nestled on 97 acres and surrounded by large growth forest, open meadows, and views of the Icy Strait. You can take a nice stroll to the beaches of the Icy Strait, hike up to the upper or lower waterfalls, or simply relax and read by our handcrafted fire place.

We also are equipped with a big screen TV and satellite, ping pong table, volley ball or badminton, horseshoes, workout equipment, darts, a library, card games, puzzles, board games… and much more!

“Is there wildlife?”

Being surrounded by wilderness does offer a variety of wildlife viewing, though it is unpredictable. Along with bear and moose, we often see eagles, porcupine, swallows, hummingbirds, geese, blue heron, ermine, and a variety of wildflowers.

We ask that our guests please help us keep these animals wild and healthy. We ask that you respect their space, do not disturb their natural behaviors, and stay at least 100 yards away while viewing.

“Is there Wi-Fi?”

Out here in the back country, Wi-Fi is hard to come by! Cell service and internet usage in and around the city of Gustavus is minimal. To combat that issue, we have a cellphone booster that allows your phone to achieve 4g and other data types. The booster will enhance the signal to your phone, allowing you to access email and other apps that you need while away from home. We are working on setting up a stable Wi-Fi connection for our guests.

"What kind of alcohol is available"

We offer a fine selection of wines for purchase that include sparkling, light, medium, and full bodied wines. We also have a selection of after-dinner port. For beer lovers, we offer locally brewed Alaskan Amber, White, and Summer.

“Are there bugs to be concerned with?”

So, you’ve heard that the mosquitoes in Alaska are as big as birds? We assure you- they aren’t! Typically, the only encounter we have with mosquitoes or nats (also called “No-see-ems), are when we mow the lawn, and they tend to disappear less than a day later. We have bug spray on site for guests to use, if needed.

“BTI Facts”

Built in 1996, construction time to create the Bear Track Inn took one year. Opening day was August 6th, 1997- and we opened to a full house!

There are about 250-275 logs used to handcraft our lodge, and each log ranges from 120-150 years old. All of the logs used were infected by Sitka Spruce Bark Beetle.

We are located on 97 acres. It is a half mile walk to the Icy Strait from our door step.

Payment and Cancellation Policies

When booking a reservation for a stay more than 90 days away, a 50% deposit is required within ten days to confirm your reservation; the remainder is due within 90 days of the check-in date. When booking a reservation for a stay within the next 90 days, a 100% deposit is required within ten days to confirm your reservation. All cancellations will be assessed a $50.00 per person per night cancellation fee. Reservations canceled less than 90 days forfeit 100% deposit unless room is rebooked or you can find a replacement. Weather in southeast Alaska can present an obstacle to flights and activities. The Bear Track Inn is not responsible for any costs incurred or activities missed due to weather related delays. Trip insurance is highly recommended.

“Trip Insurance”

Because of unpredictable outcomes during traveling, we highly suggest that you purchase trip insurance. Check with your credit card company, AAA, or online.

“Weather Commentary”

Weather in Southeast Alaska is unpredictable, and can present an obstacle to flights and activities. The Bear Track Inn is not responsible for any costs incurred or activities missed due to weather related delays. Again, we highly recommend trip insurance.