Alaska By Air: Bear Viewing

When it comes to bear-viewing in Alaska, pictures definitely do not do it justice. Watching one of these majestic creatures standing in a rushing river swiping for salmon is truly a bucket-list experience—and one you can easily make happen with Alaska By Air.

Scenic Flight to the Bears

Your tour begins at the Alaska By Air cabin on Lake Hood, with floatplanes out front. You’ll get a safety briefing and learn about the some of the highlights on the flightseeing portion of the tour as well as details of the bear-viewing itself. You’ll then take off for a spectacular flight, looking down on the vast Alaskan tundra as you make your way to one of three bear-viewing spots, depending on where you’ll see the most bears. Whichever you go to, you’ll have plenty of time to witness these iconic creatures playing or fishing as you take pictures and learn more about their habits and habitat. You’ll then board your floatplane for another beautiful flight back to Lake Hood.

Along the way, you’ll be with an experienced pilot who’s well-versed in all things Alaska—from the terrain to the history and wildlife—and one who loves to entertain guests. You’ll get plenty of narration, with fascinating facts that deepen your understanding of the area and increase your appreciation for the beauty around you.

Location Options

Alaska By Air will spirit you off to a bear viewing spot, depending on the time of year and where you’ll find the most bears. Each is special in its own way, both in terms of the bears’ habitat and what you’ll see during your flight. But wherever you go, rest assured that the trip has been designed to maximize the number of bears to watch. Here are the places you may go.

Katmai National Park

Once you land, you’ll kick off your 3-hour visit here at the ranger station, where you’ll get an official safety briefing. Then it’s off to see the bears, walking a short way (along with your pilot, who will be with you the whole time) to a raised platform, where you’ll watch the bears. A catered lunch is included (and can be customized for allergies or food sensitivities). After witnessing these majestic creatures, you’ll fly a different route back to see more gorgeous scenery.

Big River Lake or Crescent Lake

These destinations making for a more intimate experience because they’re more remote and off the beaten path—in fact, you’ll feel like it’s just you and the bears. Once you land here, you’ll taxi right up to where the bears are—likely just 100 yards away or so. Take as many pictures as you like, as you watch bears of all sizes romp in their natural habitat. Enjoy lunch, then head back out to see more bears.