Archive for September 7th, 2010

Coyotes and Bears Seen Near Mount Roberts Tramway

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

A coyote makes off with its food (Brandon Hauser Photo).

Wildlife sightings on Mount Roberts are common, but recent sightings of a bear family and coyotes during daylight hours rank as more unusual.

On an overcast August evening about three miles from the Mount Roberts Tramway Mountain House, photographer Brandon Hauser saw a lone coyote come out of the brush. “It sniffed out a piece of meat and began to consume its supper in a playful manner,” Hauser said.  “After about 10 minutes of working its grub, the coyote abruptly rose to its feet and sniffed the air, and then a mother black bear appeared out of the forest with three cubs following close behind. The coyote grabbed its meal and wasted no time fleeing the scene. The bears sniffed around where the coyote was and playfully wandered the area before disappearing themselves.” 

Then the bears follow his scent (Brandon Hauser Photo).

Then the bears follow his scent (Brandon Hauser Photo).

More of Hauser’s images of Juneau, its animals and scenery can be found at

Bob Armstrong, an Alaskan writer who has published several nature books, has also noted the increased coyote activity around Juneau. “In the 1960s and 1970s, coyotes were quite common in the Juneau area,” he says, “but then they were infrequently seen until recently. The six coyotes that have frequented Bear Valley over the last month or so are probably a family group. Coyotes typically roam in groups of around six. They may consist of related adults, yearlings and young of the year.”

Parent and youngster coyotes (Bob Armstrong Photo).

Parent and youngster coyotes frolic in a meadow (Bob Armstrong Photo).

The Mount Roberts Tramway offers a well-marked trail system with hikes suitable for every ability level. Trail features include bear viewing platforms, interpretive signage, scultptures and carved trees and a trail that is handicap‑accessible. There is also the Juneau Raptor Center Bald Eagle Display and the Mount Roberts Nature Center, where naturalists offer deck talks and narrated slide presentations about nature and the natural history of Southeast Alaska and a gift shop that specializes in nature-oriented gifts, books and maps.