ALASKA – The Land of the Bears – See Brown Bears in their natural habitats whilst feeding on salmon and grazing on sedge.
The favourite bear viewing areas in Alaska are:
• Kodiak Island
• Katmai National Park
• Redoubt Bay – home to one of our favourite lodges
• Hallo Bay
• Admiralty Island – home to over 1600 bears
• Anan Creek
Typical Viewing Experiences are from:
Platforms – many lodges will have viewing platforms that provide unique and safe bear observations.
Boats – Some lodges have daily adventures by boat with local guides – you search the shorelines of the rivers and bays for bears and other wildlife.
Hides – Lodges with salmon runs may well have hides located on the river edge where you can view the bears.
Hiking – some lodges will have areas where you can go hiking to view bears.
Lodges: The lodges are typically quite remote and are located in prime bear habitats. Expect relatively rustic lodges – very comfortable, some with ensuite facilties, some shared. Most lodges are quite small and only cater to a few guests so expect to dine together. Many lodges are located around coastal or river areas so often they have salmon fishing on offer as well.
Tour Duration: Most bear viewing experiences are from 1 – 7 days. Some lodges can accommodate ‘day-trippers’ where you fly in and are then taken out to view bears before flying out again. You can have a 2 day/1 night experience although many lodges will have a minimum 2 night stay. During the salmon run season there may well be a minimum 3 night stay. If you want to combine bears and fishing you typically need a 3 or 4 night stay.
Getting there: Due to the remote locations most lodges are accessed with a floatplane trip from Anchorage or Homer (included in price for daily rate). This is usually a very scenic floatplane ride and a real highlight – a great way to view Alaska.
When to go: May or June through to September (depends on the lodge)
Pricing Guide: Typically prices are around $1,000 – $1,300 per person per day for lodge experiences with Bears and this usually includes your floatplane in/out, most meals and guided activities.
Other wildlife: you may also see Bald Eagles and marine mammals such as whales, otters and seals.
Mrs Grizzly says….
“In May I wake up very hungry from my long winter nap so you will find me grazing in the meadows. Of course if you come in Summer when the Salmon are running I will be very busy chasing down these tasty fish so I can feast before my next winter sleep.”