There is no experience comparable to being close to the great brown bear in its natural environment. That's the goal of our bear viewing tours: to allow you to get an up close and personal view of the bear while not disturbing its normal routine. In areas like Katmai National Park, on the mainland of Alaska, hunting of bears is prohibited, thus making it possible to observe them at close quarters without affecting their behavior. On Kodiak Island, bear viewing is a little more challenging, as bears are hunted during two seasons each year.
“Their tracks cross ours, entwining our footprints through time in the lavish dimensions of this land. Our timid hearts and twentieth century lives become irreversibly woven into this earthy tapestry of Katmai, whether or not we feel it. Whether or not we accept it. Perhaps Katmai means this: a chance to sense the threads that tie our world to the brown bears binding us together before we arrive in Katmai, and even after we leave.” Katmai National Park and Preserve by Jean Bodeau
To find our more about the different trips we offer, please continue to the page below
Katmai National Park Bear View *call for details on pricing on half day and full day excursions
When to book: Mid May through mid September
Katmai National Park is exceptional not only for its preponderance of brown bears but also for its amazing scenery. Photographs of bears often include a backdrop of snowcapped mountains, glaciers, and vast green fields of sedges. Indeed, the scenery alone is reason to visit. Your experienced guide will ensure that your bear viewing experience is exceptional and safe.
Each bear view involves up to 2 hours of flight time. The half day bear view is 5.5 hours long, and involves 3.5 hours of walking time. The 8 hour bear view involves up to 6 hours of time in the field with the possibility of moving locations. For either bear view, we will walk up to 5 miles in the bear's habitat, crossing rivers and intertidal areas. All guests will be outfitted with hip waders for the duration of trip.
* Difficulty rating of 3 to 5 (with five being most difficult), depending on the location of the bear view. Travelers must be able to hike 5 miles or more over moderately difficult terrain. Children under the age of 10 are not advised.
Bear View includes flight and a meal.
Kodiak Island Bear View *call for pricing
When to book: Late May trough early June and late July through early August
Kodiak Island has the densest population of brown bears in the world due to its food-rich habitat and millions of acres of undeveloped wilderness. As the salmon begin their journeys into the local streams and rivers, bears come out of the thick vegetation and congregate in open, riverine areas where it is possible to view them. Let us take you to some of these chosen spots to walk in the footsteps of the Kodiak bear.
* Difficulty rating of 3 to 5 (with five being most difficult), depending on the location of the bear view. Travelers must be able to hike 2 miles or more over moderately difficult terrain. Children under the age of 10 are not advised.
All Bear View pricing includes flight and a meal
During the 3-4 hour round trip flight to Brooks Camp from Kodiak you will fly over some of the most spectacular scenery in Alaska. From the emerald mountains of Kodiak Island to the glaciated volcanoes and the Valley of 10,000 smokes within Katmai National Park, there are an amazing array of ecosystems and geographic features. Designated a National Monument in 1918 due to its unique geology, the Valley of 10,000 Smokes later became what is now Katmai National Park. One hundred years later, the land continues to amaze and inspire visitors.
Brooks Camp Bear View $900 per person
When to book: July and September
During the peak of the red, or Sockeye salmon run, around mid July, as many as 12-15 bears may congregate at Brooks Falls and along the Brooks River. This area is closely monitored by the National Park Service to provide a safe environment for bear viewing. There is a half hour safety orientation at the ranger station prior to setting out on the trail.
Let us help you plan your trip to take advantage of the best time for bear viewing. Our knowledgeable pilot will make the most of the scenic flight and answer any questions you might have.
Backcountry Wilderness Hike *call for pricing
Take a hike on the wild side! See some of the most remote parts of Kodiak Island and Katmai National Park, from alpine lakes to untouched beaches. This is a great opportunity for birding, photographing wildlife, or just immersing yourself in pristine wilderness. Your guide will make sure that you travel safely through bear country while pointing out wildlife and other interesting sights.
Backcountry Wilderness hikes are up to 4 hours on the ground, include a scenic flight to and from the chosen area and healthy snacks to keep you going.
*These hikes have a difficulty rating of 4 to 5 (5 being most difficult). Travelers must be able to hike 5 miles or more over moderately difficult terrain while carrying a pack weighing 15lbs or more.
Kodiak Road System Hikes $200 per person
The Kodiak road system is a great way to explore Kodiak’s history, sight wildlife and get into the backcountry. There are a variety of ways to hike into the wilds from the road system; from groomed park paths to “rough” wildlife trails, you choose the adventure. If you’re interested in a historical tour, we can walk downtown Kodiak to explore its Alaskan Native, Russian and American history. Your knowledgeable guide will interpret the natural and historical sights of Kodiak while making sure you travel safely through bear country
Road System hikes are 4 hours. If you would like to spend more time exploring with your guide, the price per added hour is $100, but no more than $500 per day.
*All tours involve substantial walking, and can range in difficulty depending on what the group or party would like to experience. The tours are meant to be outside of a vehicle and interested parties will need to find transportation to the rendezvous spot.
Katmai National Park is renowned for its unique geology. There are 15 active volcanoes within the park, many of which are tall enough to be covered by glaciers. The largest volcanic eruption in North America, Novarupta, took place in 1912, garnering the attention of the National Geographic Society. After surveying the area around the eruption site, it was determined that "...the Katmai district must be made a great national park accessible to all people.." Robert Griggs, NGS botanist, 1915.
We will fly over some of this amazing scenery on our way to our hike. The flight alone, is worth the trip!
On this tour we land inside the caldera of an extinct volcano and hike out along the rim, following a centuries old bear trail. There are many opportunities to see bears and other wildlife during the hike.
Volcanoes scenic overflight and hike $830 per person
*difficulty rating of 4 (5 being most difficult)
Extinct Katmai volcano caldera
Self-Guided Fishing, Scenic Flight and Guided Bear Viewing Combo
8 hours *call for pricing
Spend part of a day fishing on a remote lake or river and then cap it off with trip to the Frazer Lake fish pass to view bears feeding on salmon at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game weir and fish ladder. Fishermen must bring their own fishing gear and equipment. We provide the fly-in transportation, a guide for bear viewing, hip waders, lunch and drinks. This is a great way to get away from the crowded roadside rivers, view wildlife and get a scenic overflight of Kodiak.
Fishing on Kodiak
Kodiak weather is notoriously changeable. It is best to be prepared for rain and wind, even if it means having light raingear stashed in a backpack never to be used. At the other end of the weather spectrum are hot, sunny days where it would be advisable to have sunblock and sunglasses. If you plan on staying in Kodiak (or anywhere in Alaska, for that matter) for more than a day or two, then come prepared for cold rain, hot sun, extreme winds and everything in between. Here is a suggested list of what to bring on our hikes:
Looking for bears