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Alaska Grizzly Bear Adventure

Mid June-Mid July

11 Days / 10 Nights

 NEXT TRIP 2021 

Alaska is truly our last frontier. Despite being twice the size of Texas, Alaska has the lowest population by density, but more wildlife than any other state.  Our Alaskan Adventure focuses on the immense Grizzly Bears as we venture into Katmai National Park which has the largest concentration of Grizzlies in North America.  Once a year, the grizzlies congregate at Brooks Bridge to feast on thousands of Sockeye Salmon swimming upstream to span their eggs.  It is no wonder professional photographers come from all over the world to capture the photos you will experience.

Our adventure gives you what no cruise ship or cookie cutter tour can offer.  We fly into Fairbanks, take the scenic Alaska Railroad into Denali for a land and air adventure, enjoy Anchorage before we fly into Katmai for the grizzlies, and finish with a relaxing scenic day in the beautiful seaside village of Whittier. 

This adventure will rival African Safaris and blow away any Alaska cruise!

Day 1

Arrivals into Fairbanks

Your Alaskan Adventure begins upon landing into Fairbanks, Alaska where you will experience your first day with 21 hours and 48 minutes of sunlight!  In reality, it will never get dark your first night.  We will check into the Rivers Edge Resort, a modest 4-Star locally owned property of quaint cottages along the banks of the Chena River.  The rest of the day can be spent relaxing from your travels in your room, a stroll along the Chena River, or explore downtown Fairbanks, only 120 miles from the Arctic Circle.

Day 2

Riverboat Discovery Tour

We will cruise the Chena and Tanana Rivers on a paddleboat stopping off to take a guided walking tour of an authentic Athabascan Indian village. Next stop is to visit the late four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher Dog Kennels.  We will learn firsthand about kennel life and the challenges that go into making a champion dogsled team.  Finally, we will step into a specially designed chamber to experience what 40 degrees below zero feels like.

Day 3

Fairbanks to Denali National Park via the Alaska Railroad

Board the Alaska Railroad GoldStar First Class which provides glass-dome ceilings, upper-level outdoor viewing platforms, and first class inclusive meals with two free drinks in the private bar.  The train is an adventure in itself with incredible views of the Alaska frontier.

Glass Dome ceilings

Check into our cottages and then take the shuttle into Denali Village Visitor Center to watch the park film, check out a variety of exhibits about the natural and cultural history of the Denali area, or join a variety of ranger walks or talks.  There are also a few shops to bop around looking for souvenirs.

Alaska Rail Road
Private Viewing Platform

Day 4

Denali Back Country Adventure

Denali National Park from our bus

Only private tours are allowed into Denali National Park and we will be part of it to experience 92 miles of breathtaking Alaskan beauty and adventure. This fully narrated park tour travels the entire length of Denali National Park with a knowledgeable Guide who shares the biology, geology, and history of the region with you.  The landscape is absolutely beautiful!

Grizzley from our coach

Chances are usually good to see bears, caribou, fox, moose, wolves, Dall sheep and birds in their natural habitat.

At the end of road, we will spend a couple of hours to enjoy lunch at an exclusive resort in Kantishna, just past Wonder Lake, the jewel of Denali. There you will discover a piece of Alaska's gold rush history, and the warm hospitality of the staff as you enjoy a tasty meal served in the dining area. After lunch you'll be invited to try your luck at panning for gold in Moose Creek, or if you prefer, you can stretch your legs on the nature hike, or just relax on the deck of the lodge and immerse yourself in the scenery.
 

Denali National Park by air


For OUR return segment, while the others board a bus for back home, WE will board a private Cessna 206  aircraft for an exhilarating 55 minute flight to see Denali from the air back to base camp.

Kantishna Resort

Day 5

Denali to Anchorage

View of Denali from the train

Back on board the Alaska Railroad for the most scenic part of our railroad journey to Anchorage.  Hopefully the skies will grant us views of “The Great One”, Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America.

One o hundreds of lakes and rivers

Along the way we will see wildlife, lakes, rivers, locals, all from the comfort of your reclining seat while sipping a cocktails from the  First Class private platform.

Day 6

A Day in Anchorage

You have several options in Anchorage.  You can relax and visit downtown for souvenir shopping and enjoying the local cuisine from several excellent restaurants.  My favorite is a Reindeer Hot Dog!

Views of Kincaid Park

An other option is to join me on my quest to find a moose in Kincaid Park!  Kincaid Park is a beautiful place to take a leisurely bike ride in search of a moose that everyone swears they encounter all the time.  The path is fully paved with beautiful views of the Cook Inlet and lush green foliage.  It is a relatively flat ride with only a few mild hills to contend with.

Nothing better than a Reindeer Dog!

Day 7 - 9

Katmai Grizzly Adventure begins!

After short commercail flight to King Salmon, we take a sea plane for a scenic ride to Katmai Peninsula.  Upon arrival, you will take a short Grizzly awareness program, check into your rustic cabin, and we’re off on a short walk to Brooks Bridge to experience these magnificent bears feasting on hundreds of salmon flying through the air to spawn their eggs.  Primarily occurring between mid-June and mid-July, our timing will be perfect to capture this annual phenomenon at its peak season.

The sea plane is part of the adventure

At Brooks Bridge, there is a viewing platform overlooking the falls that gives you prime viewing of bears and leaping salmon.  You do not need a telephoto lens as we are incredibly close to the action and camera phones would give fantastic shots.  Wildlife is never predictable so every minute is unique.  Turn away for a second and you may miss a bear catching a salmon in midair.  Leave for lunch and you may miss two bears fighting for the best fishing spot or mating.  Every year I come here, something new always seen happens.  It is so exciting because your never know what will happen next.

Big Baloo. We are about 30 feet away!
Territorial fight!
 

Day 11

Day Trip to Whittier with Glacier Cruise

On our last day, we take a scenic drive along the to Whittier

Views of Kincaid Park

An other option is to join me on my quest to find a moose in Kincaid Park!  Kincaid Park is a beautiful place to take a leisurely bike ride in search of a moose that everyone swears they encounter all the time.  The path is fully paved with beautiful views of the Cook Inlet and lush green foliage.  It is a relatively flat ride with only a few mild hills to contend with.

 

- How great is this Fire Fall?  Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.  We think is it incredible given it is so rare and all my Mother Nature.  But remember, Yosemite is one of the most beautiful places on earth so conisder the Fire Fall as an added bonus.  Additionally, Yosemite in the winter is completely different than it's crowded summers.

- Is this going to be a good year?  With all the recent rain, this should be an EPIC year!  But of course we have no idea what the weather will be like at 5:25pm on each day.  If the skies are cloudy, there will be no Fire Fall, which is why we will be there several days.  Regardless, the rest of Yosemite is always beautiful.  The risk is up to you but it is very likely to be incredible!

 

Is this just for photographers? Absolutely not!  It is for anyone of any age who wants to experience the Fire Falls and those who appreciate the beauty of Yosemite.  We will be spending much more time at each spot for people to take photos and experiment with different camera settings, but anyone is free to move on if they get bored. You can stick with the group or go on your own.

- Do I have to stick with the group? The packages are just for lodging.  You can come and go with the group as you like. 

- What else is included?  Optional hikes, and optional photo sharing parties.  We will have a projector, screen, and room to host for anyone to share photos.

- What if I only have a camera phone and barely know how to use it?  Camera phones now days take incredible photos.  This is not just for serious photogrpahers.  Maybe this is a reason to learn how to play with your camera settings and learn from others who have a similar camera or app.  But you do not need to be taking photos.  

- Is the price per person or per room?  Each package is per room.  It is the same price whether you have 1 person or 4 people in the room.  

- Are kids allowed?  Anyone is welcome to join us.  There will not be daycare so you are responsible for your kids.  We do ask if you bring your kids that they behave and not ruin the experience for others by crying, whining, or running out of control with cameras and tripods nearby.  We reserve the right to prohibit unruly children with no refund.  This is common courtesy for the others.  Thank you for understanding.

- What about refunds?  We made sure we have a cancellation policy with the properties to be able to cancel up to 10 days prior for any reason.  If you cancel before 10 days prior to arrival, you will get a full refund minus a $15 processing fee.  We have limited rooms left so best to reserve now before they are sold out!

- What camera equipment is best?  For all around Yosemite, any camera will do.  For the Fire Falls, a lens of 300mm works best. Tripod is suggested.  I will share camera apps suggestions as we get closer.

- When does the actual Fire Fall occur?  Every day will set up in 3 different spots at 3pm to get the best spot.  The occurance happens around 5:25pm and last about 3 minutes.  

- What are the best spots?  Book with us and we will take you there.  There are only 3 spots and I prefer not to share with everyone to minimize crowds.  Another reason to book with Johnny G Adventures!

 

- Is transporation included?   There is public transportation throughout the Valley.  You are responisble for getting to Yosemite.

- What spots will be visit?  We will be hiking to all the prime icons of Yosemite Valley with the exception of Glacier Point as it is closed in ther winter.  

- What shape do I need to be in to hike?  None are difficult hikes.  There are hills to climb so you need to be in some sort of shape.  Some are wheel chair accessable but with possible snow on the ground, you may not want to chance it.

- Why book through Johnny G Adventures?  Why not?  Check out the current room rates if they are not sold out already.   Since we booked these rooms last year, we got the best rates.  More importantly, it is more fun to be with our group than on your own.  We will also be hosting nightly Photo Sharing Parties.  You can bring your own food and beverages to them. 

- What if I have more questions?  Contact us and we will answer as best we can. We love to talk.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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