Kenai/Soldotna/Sterling //2 hr drive from Anchorage • You’re closer to the hot spots, so the prices are lower
Alaska bear camp is magically hidden in a rare Critical Bear Habitat in the wilderness of Lake Clark National Park. Instead of hundreds, only 16 privileged guests observe the wonder of up to 50 brown Bears living out their daily drama. Due to the beauty of the location and the exceptional bear population, the deluxe camp, with en suite biffies, beds with mattresses and food flown in daily, was used as a base camp for the Disney movie Bears. Transfers available from Anchorage or Great Alaska Adventure Lodge in Sterling.
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.
Anchorage //An easy day trip; pick up and drop-off at your hotel in Anchorage
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.
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.
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.
Homer //More bears and fewer people, but an hour commuter flight or 5-hour drive from Anchorage
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.
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.
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.
Kodiak //Bear viewing on Kodiak Island & the Katmai Coast
From Kodiak Island to the Katmai coast, Kingfisher Aviation will customize each trip, making for an intensely personal experience. Their most popular excursion includes a flight to a bear-viewing hotspot, where you can see 8 to 10 bears swiping at salmon swimming upstream. Kingfisher also offers shorter scenic flightseeing tours without the bear-viewing stop.
Juneau //With just a short flight from Juneau, visitors are immersed in bear country
May - September
If you want to see bears in Southeast Alaska, Pack Creek Bear Tours can take you to Admiralty Island, which has a concentration of some 1,500 brown bears. After a beautiful, 25-minute floatplane ride over the islands of Southeast Alaska, you’ll land in a small ocean cove. From there it’s a short walk to the bear-viewing area, where you can watch these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. The tours are fully guided, so someone is with you all the way.