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Across Cook Inlet from Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula lies a system of rivers and bays that swarm with salmon, drawing ravenous brown bears—sometimes by the dozens—at varying times each summer. The prime season is early May to end of September.
Air taxi operators know where these bears will appear and how to get you to the hot spots, so really all you need to worry about is showing up in your hotel lobby. But if you're interested in the different places or are offered a choice of locations, here are three of our favorites.
This scenic mountain lake system lies at the entrance to Lake Clark Pass. You'll often find two to six bears gathered to fish for salmon where Wolverine Creek empties into Big River Lakes. Because this is one of the newer bear gathering spots, it hasn't yet attracted the big males who jostle with one another. Instead, you'll enjoy more idyllic scenes of females and their cubs. Note that Wolverine Creek has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years and can sometimes be crowded.
Many of the most famous shots of bears pouncing for salmon swimming up waterfalls were taken at Brooks River Falls, in Katmai National Park. The world's largest salmon run floods this river and draws up to 15 bears at a time in early June. At the peak of the salmon run, you'll see many large males jaw spar and compete for the best fishing spots. After checking in with the rangers for a briefing on bear etiquette, it's about a mile walk to the viewing platform.
Precipitous mountains and glaciers serve as a backdrop to wide open tidal flats with 4-foot tall sedge grass meadows. This prime foraging and hunting location often attracts 2 to 3 times the number of bears found at other hot spots and has earned it the reputation as one of the world's best bear-watching locations. It's not uncommon to see 25 to 40 bears at a time clamming, eating sedge, and fishing for salmon.
Brooks Lodge offers their own bear viewing tours which are less expensive than most, and give you more time at Katmai National Park to watch bears feasting on sockeye salmon from several viewing platforms. A commercial flight from Anchorage takes you to King Salmon where you'll switch to a small float plane for a quick 20-minute flight to Brooks Camp. After a brief safety orientation, you can watch bears from several viewing platforms, join the Park Service for an interpretive program, or try your luck at rainbow trout fishing.
Brooks Lodge offers their own bear viewing tours which are less expensive than most, and…
Take off by seaplane for an all-day bear-viewing expedition. Fly past glaciers and volcanoes to the brown-bear country of southwest Alaska. Your Seaplane Bear Safari will take you to Brooks River Falls in Katmai National Park, home of the world ' s largest salmon run. You can also fly 70 miles southwest of Anchorage to Lake Clark Wilderness Preserve for amazing bear viewing and luxurious accommodations at the Redoubt Bay Lodge. Rust’s, which has been safely flying in Alaska since 1963, provides two-way headsets and window seats for every passenger.
Take off by seaplane for an all-day bear-viewing expedition. Fly past glaciers and volcanoes…
Hop aboard one of Regal Air’s planes departing from Anchorage and after a short, scenic flight you can be watching enormous brown bears swat salmon from Alaska’s rushing waters. Tours visit one of two destinations: Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark National Park or Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park.
Hop aboard one of Regal Air’s planes departing from Anchorage and after a short,…
Fly out of Soldotna with Natron’s owner and pilot, Tim. You’ll soar over the Cook Inlet towards Mt. Iliamna Volcano and land on a beach, right where the bears are. You’ll watch them playing and clamming and be close enough to take amazing photos.
Fly out of Soldotna with Natron’s owner and pilot, Tim. You’ll soar over the…
Watch brown bears go about their business, get a look at Ring of Fire volcanoes or kayak in pristine waters where marine mammals and seabirds live. Homer Air will take you air trekking anywhere you like, from Katmai National Park to the pilots’ favorite off-the-beaten-path places. They’ll get you where you need to go for remote camping, picnicking, day hiking, glacier viewing, kayaking, surfing, fossil hunting, beachcombing, fly-in fishing and exploring abandoned village sites. The pilots are up for most anything you are. You could go looking for Sasquatch, even, and you wouldn’t be the first.
Watch brown bears go about their business, get a look at Ring of Fire volcanoes or kayak in…
Phone: (907) 235-8591
The owners of Bald Mountain Air have a lifetime of experience in Alaska, and they guarantee that you'll see grizzlies in their undisturbed natural habitat—or you get your money back. It’s an amazing experience and a great photo opp. No matter the season, Bald Mountain Air can predictably access the key areas that will afford the best viewing opportunities. In the last 10 years, they've only had to refund two trips.
The owners of Bald Mountain Air have a lifetime of experience in Alaska, and they guarantee…
Hike among coastal brown bears in an undeveloped part of Alaska’s wilderness with the trained pilot guides of Alaska Bear Adventures. This family-owned company out of Homer puts your safety first. Experience the wonder and fascination of viewing bears close-up and in the wild with options ranging from 4-hours to multiple-day excursions.
Hike among coastal brown bears in an undeveloped part of Alaska’s wilderness with the…
Take off in a floatplane from Homer's Beluga Lake then fly either across Kachemak Bay on a flightseeing route or head across the Cook Inlet to Lake Clark or Brooks Falls, two of Alaska's premier brown bear habitats. It's possible to see up to 25 bears at one time as converge to fish.
Take off in a floatplane from Homer's Beluga Lake then fly either across Kachemak Bay on…
Phone: (907) 299-0284