Why Take This Tour?
Explore a wildlife rich slice of Alaska, set in the scenic wilderness settings of Lake Clark National Park, and the Chugach National Forest Wilderness of Prince William Sound. Get off the beaten path and experience unparalleled photographic and wildlife viewing opportunities, while part of a small group. Begin the journey with an exploration of the remote corners of Prince William Sound on a five-day voyage, observing wildlife such as black bear, sea otters, harbor seals, whales, sea lions and puffins, amidst a spectacular blend of mountain, forest, and glacial scenery. Next take a scenic bush flight to one of the most remote and road less national Parks in Alaska; Lake Clark. Stay in a comfortable lodge for 3 days of intimate bear viewing, where you are on the ground with coastal brown bears as they feed, nurse, mate and play in the lush green, flower filled meadows.
About Your Guides, Bill Mohrwinkle & Hugh Rose
Bill has lived and guided in Alaska for 25 years. He has extensive experience throughout Alaska including being part owner of a guiding business in the Arctic for 10 years, guiding sea kayaking trips in Prince William Sound for 5 summers, and guiding Polar and Brown Bear trips. He has a vast knowledge of birding, natural history, wildlife behavior, and cultural history. Though he is not a photographer, he has extensive experience guiding photo trips and documentary film crews. The June 17 departure is led by Bill Morhwinkle.
Hugh Rose is a Naturalist, Geologist, and Photographer, Hugh has over 25 years of professional guiding experience. The vast landscapes and incredible wildlife of Alaska and the Polar Regions are his subject and passion, evident in his inspired leadership and stunning professional photos. Hugh receives unending praise for his amazing knowledge, delightful and accommodating personality, and attention to every trip detail. The June 25 departure is led by photographer Hugh Rose.
Arrive in Anchorage
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Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska. Lodging on this night is included for you at Susitna Place Bed and Breakfast near downtown. We will have a welcome dinner at 7:00pm for a brief introduction and orientation to the trip.
Anchorage to Whittier
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You’ll travel to the small port town of Whittier on the western side of Prince William Sound to rendezvous with the Discovery and begin your five-day voyage through breathtaking glacial scenery, blue icebergs, and spectacular marine life in the Nellie-Juan College Fjord Wilderness of the Chugach National Forest in Prince William Sound.
Prince William Sound
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Continue the voyage of Prince William Sound. On land, lush vegetation drapes the hillsides in green, as streaming waterfalls cascade down the rocky cliffs, while in the water marine life abounds. Harbor seals hauled out on ice floes and bald eagles perched atop trees, watch as the Discovery navigates quietly past in turquoise waters.
Listen to the cracks, pops, and thunderous roars of calving glaciers while the Discovery drifts by these active rivers of ice and paddle your kayak through icebergs as curious harbor seals check you out!
Prince William Sound
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Continue the voyage of Prince William Sound. Search for marine mammals such as sea otters, often seen sunbathing on icebergs or carrying young on their bellies and humpback whales which frequent the Sound in summer to feed on juvenile salmon and herring.
Prince William Sound
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Continue the voayage of Prince William Sound. Listen to the cracks, pops, and thunderous roars of calving glaciers while the Discovery drifts by these active rivers of ice and paddle your kayak through icebergs as curious harbor seals check you out!
Prince William Sound is surrounded by the northern-most temperate rainforest in the world and many land mammals and birds can be found such as black bear, river otters and countless songbirds. You’ll spend time walking on shore among the wildflowers and magical moss draped old growth forest. Kayaking affords a water-level opportunity to view and photograph the wonders of the sound from seabirds to sea lions and no experience is necessary!
Prince William Sound to Anchorage
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The last morning on board the Discovery, you will wake to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery with sprawling glaciers and a panoramic skyline of mountain grandeur. After a morning adventure we will navigate back to Whittier for a late afternoon disembarkation and return van trip to Anchorage. You will overnight at the Susitna Place B&B and have an evening on your own to relax and explore the many fine restaurants within walking distance in downtown Anchorage.
Anchorage to Lake Clark National Park
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From Anchorage, you’ll take a one-hour scenic flight along the coast of Cook Inlet arriving at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge within Lake Clark National Park.
During the flight, photograph spectacular volcanoes towering to over 10,000 feet with verdant meadows and forest as a foreground. The flight will end with landing on the beach in front of the lodge. Silver Salmon Creek Lodge is on 40 acres of private land within the coastal region of the expansive park, offering views of the coast and towering volcanic peaks.
Lake Clark National Park
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Explore Lake Clark National Park. The opportunity to observe concentrations of coastal brown bears in their natural habitat is the primary attraction of this remote wilderness area. Due to their high-protein salmon diet, coastal brown bears are significantly larger than the interior grizzly bears (both are subspecies of brown bear, Ursus arctos). Most of the time spent here will be observing and photographing the phenomenal bear activity, sometimes even from the deck of your cabin. You’ll look for mothers with cubs as well as larger male bears as they dig for clams at low tide and forage for grass in the meadows.
Lake Clark National Park
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Continue your stay in Lake Clark National Park
Abundant wildflowers in early July, such as lupine, wild geranium, and wild celery (Angelica) will add a splash of color to your photos. As you move into the habitat of the bear, you may witness seldom-seen behaviors, such as courting, mating, and nursing. Keep your eye out for wolves and other wildlife that inhabit the park as well.
Birding around Silver Salmon Creek Lodge is excellent with an abundance of shorebirds, songbirds, and birds of prey such as peregrine falcons and northern harriers. Nearby, small islands, host nesting pelagic birds such as horned and tufted puffins, parakeet auklets, murres, and common eiders. If time and weather permits, you will make a half day boat voyage to “Bird Island,” a major nesting ground for horned and tufted puffins and common murres.
Lake Clark National Park to Anchorage
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You will have the morning for one last bear viewing opportunity and to take in the wildlife and scenery around Silver Salmon Creek before departing for the flight back to Anchorage. Tonight you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner together at a local restaurant.