Lake Clark National Park in Alaska is a remote, rugged, and stunning destination known for its abundant coastal brown bears. Situated along Cook Inlet, the park offers a pristine wilderness with crashing waves, lush meadows, and majestic peaks. Led by Alaska photography expert Michael DeYoung, this small group adventure offers the opportunity to capture these incredible omnivores in various backgrounds. The Alaska Homestead Lodge, a converted rustic homestead, provides an exclusive experience with a dedicated bear guide and lodge staff. Timing the visit during the lush green meadows of summer allows for the capture of vibrant wildflowers and adorable spring cubs, while an optional boat tour offers the chance to photograph puffins and other birds for a small additional fee.
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Arrive in Anchorage at meet at your Anchorage hotel at 4pm to meet your fellow photographers and guide. You'll learn the best techniques and settings for capturing the best of bear action and landscape photography. Following the orientation, there will be a group dinner and possibly an evening shoot around the local area.
Fly to Alaska Homestead Lodge
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Participants convene at 6:15 AM for a transfer to Lake Hood, where they embark on an exciting 1-1.5 hour bush plane flight to Alaska Homestead Lodge, landing on the beach. The flight offers scenic views, including the potential sighting of Mt. Denali, towering at 20,320 feet. Weather permitting, the pilots take a route showcasing the majestic volcanoes of the Alaska Range in Lake Clark National Park. Upon arrival, lodge staff welcome and assist with transferring participants to their rooms. After an orientation, the group embarks on their first bear search and photography session, with the lodge conveniently located for easy access. Meal breaks are taken for lunch and dinner.
Guided Bear Viewing & Photography
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While at Alaska Homestead Lodge, the daily schedule may vary based on weather and tidal conditions. Typically, days begin early with the beautiful sunrise lighting up the beach around 5 AM. This is an excellent time to capture stunning photographs, especially during low tide when bears are actively clamming. After the morning photography session, participants return to the lodge for breakfast. Throughout the day, continue to explore the local area on ATVs with towed trailers, searching for bears and capturing the surrounding landscapes. In case of unfavorable weather or a temporary absence of bears, participants can take a break at the lodge to rest or edit their images. At some point during the stay, there will be a group critique to ensure everyone is progressing in capturing the best possible bear images. Additionally, there is an evening photography session after dinner, with participants typically returning to the lodge between 9 and 10 PM
Return to Anchorage & Overnight
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After your final sunrise shoot and breakfast, lodge staff will transfer your luggage down to the beach where you'll await the arrival of planes that will take you back to Anchorage. Since the group will arrive earlier than normal check-in, there will be a group lunch and, if desired, bring people downtown for any shopping needs. You'll check back in your Anchorage hotel, say your goodbyes, and treasure the shared experience! (Note: Do not schedule your return flight for July 15)
2024 DeparturesJuly: 09