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Alaska Grizzly Bear Adventure
June 14 - 21, 2023
8 Adventurous Days!
$3,900 p/person based on double occupancy
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 Alaska Adventure focuses on 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 or cookie cutter tour can offer. You will literally be surrounded by grizzlies and the up close beauty of Alaska.
Day 1 - Weds June 14th
Arrivals into Anchorage, Alaska
Your Alaska Adventure begins upon landing into Anchorage, Alaska where you will experience your first day with 19 hours and 17 minutes of sunlight! In reality, it will never get dark your first night. We will check into the Hyatt House with a king and sofa bed. The rest of the day can be spent relaxing from your travels in your room or stroll into downtown Anchorage.
Day 2 - Thurs June 15th
After a stroll through charming downtown Anchorage, we take e-bikes for a leisurely bike ride through Kincaid Park in search of a moose that everyone swears they encounter all the time. I have come across black bears, but never a moose. 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.
Biking in Kincaid Park
Day 3 - Fri June 16th
Whittier, Glacier Cruise, Wildlife Conservation Tour
Friday morning, we take our own private drive along the scenic Alaska Route 1 Highway with incredible views of the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet, through North America’s longest tunnel and into Whittier, Alaska. We actually share and drive on the railroad tracks through the tunnel!
Whittier is a beautiful seaside village at the head of the Prince William Sound. You can choose a nice local lunch at my favorite little dive restaurant, or a more elegant lunch at the Inn at Whittier, both overlooking the harbor.
The town of Whittier
One of several glaciers we pull up to on our cruise
Afterwards we board a 3.75 hour Glacier Cruise in the Prince William Sound to witness the incredible glaciers calving into the sea. We will visit Blackstone Bay, a dramatic deep-water fjord where two tidewater glaciers and several alpine glaciers await. The white spray of glistening waterfalls cascading down to the sea from glaciers perched on the mountain peaks catches the light creating a stunning contrast against the dark gray shale and graywacke rocks.
Keep an eye out for sea otters, Steller sea lions, bears, mountain goats, whales and more! Get an up-close view of a kittiwake bird rookery inhabited by more than 10,000 birds nesting on the rocky cliffs in Passage Canal.
Our next stop is to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, who takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides them with spacious enclosures and quality animal care.
The sanctuary maintains over 200 acres of spacious habitats for resident animals to feel at home displaying their natural wild behavior as education ambassadors for their species. It is common for visitors to see brown bears, moose, wood bison, muskox, wolves, porcupines, and more.
If time permits, we will take a moderate hike to Byron Glacier to see it firsthand.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Day 4 - June 17th
Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park
Depart Anchorage to King Salmon and then board 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.
Seaplane into Katmai National Park
Viewing platform at Brooks Falls
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. It is so exciting because you never know what will happen next.
Evenings are spent relaxing around the lodge's fire pit exchanging the day’s stories and meeting new friends from all over the world.
Cocktails at the Lodge's Fire Pit
Lodging is a rustic cabin with 2 sets of bunk beds, small bathroom, and a shower. Four typically share a cabin, but a private cabin can sometimes be accommodated. Since most of your day is spent exploring, the cabins are the perfect alternative to tenting in the campsite. For those who prefer a more affordable solution, I do have two campsite reservations.
Close Encounters of the Grizzly Kind
Cabin for four
Day 5 - June 18th
Valley of 10,000 Smoke Tour, Kayaking, or Fly Fishing adventures
Valley of 10,000 Smokes - Departing at 8am, we board a small bus and journey into the back country of Katmai. The 23-mile drive to Overlook Cabin is broken up with stops for scenic views wildlife viewing. At Overlook Cabin you'll have time for lunch and then hike down with our tour guide to examine the ash and pumice "Valley" floor. Those preferring to relax can look over displays and historic photos of the "Valley of 10,000 Smokes."
The June 1912 eruption of Novarupta Volcano altered the Katmai area dramatically. Severe earthquakes rocked the area for a week before Novarupta exploded with cataclysmic force. Enormous quantities of hot, glowing pumice and ash were ejected from Novarupta and nearby fissures. This material flowed over the terrain, destroying all life in its path. For several days, ash, pumice, and gas were ejected, and a haze darkened the sky over most of the Northern Hemisphere. At nearby Kodiak, for two days a person could not see a lantern held at arm's length. Acid rain caused clothes to disintegrate on clotheslines in distant Vancouver, Canada. The eruption was 10 times more forceful than the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens. Eventually Novarupta became dormant but left a fascinating landscape for us to enjoy.
Valley of 10,000 Smokes
Valley of 10,000 Smokes hike
Fly Fishing, Canoeing, or Kayaking Option – As an alternative to the 10,000 Smokes tour, superb flyfishing is available adjacent to the lodge on the Brooks River and on the Brooks and Naknek Lakes. You have the option to rent your gear or hire a guide to take you upstream to not only fish in the river, but also get even closer to the bears.
Day 6 - June 19th
Last Day in Katmai
After 3 days in Katmai National Park, you wil have time for one last visit to Brooks Falls, we bid farewell to Katmai as we board our seaplanes back to Anchorage to reflect on the incredible experiences you just experienced.
Bad Salmon Day
No shortage of Grizzlies
The Bear Necessities
Day 7 - June 20th
Last Day in Anchorage
Best Reindeer Dogs EVER!
Last chance to check out the various must sees in Anchorage. If you need to cut your trip short, you can depart Tuesday, but most flights leave early in the morning, so most sleep in to catch up from the adrenaline of Katmai. I highly suggest relaxing and enjoy the many attractions in Anchorage.
New Local Friends at the Polar Bar
$3,900.00 p/p - Based on double occupancy in Anchorage hotel and quad occupancy at Brooks Lodge in Katmai
+$900.00 p/couple - Brooks Lodge for two option. (Based on availability)
+$420.00 - Private room for one in Anchorage 6/14-17
+280.00 - Private room for one in Anchorage 6/19-20
-$88.00 - Opting out of 10,000 Smokes Tour in Katmai
*Katmai lodging is extremely difficult to get as it is booked two years in advance, limited to a small lottery.
The cabins are rustic cabins with two single bunk beds designed for four people per cabin. (See photos on page 5)
For two people preferring to keep their cabin to themselves, please add $900 for the couple, per above price table.
Those traveling single but would like to share a cabin in Katmai, please contact me and we will see what we can work out with others.
Keep in mind, nearly all your time in Katmai will be outside the cabin on adventures or relaxing at the lodge. There is a private bathroom and shower in each cabin room but no privacy between bunk beds.
$3,900.00 Price includes:
All travel within Alaska.
All adventures and tours except for + activities listed in above table.
$3,900.00 Price does not include:
Airfare to and from Anchorage.
Meals or beverages.
+ Activities listed with a price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there weight limitations? There is a strict 40 lb weight limit from Anchorage to Katmai including carry on. This is not very much weight, but you only need clothes for 3 days. You can keep the rest of your clothes in your main luggage back at the hotel in Anchorage. Weigh your small duffle beforehand.
What luggage should I bring? We are not doing anything fancy so leave the formal clothes behind and pack light. Jeans and shorts for everything. There is a laundry mat in Anchorage. Bring a backpack or small duffle for 3 days clothes in Katmai plus a small day pack for during the day to keep that rain slicker handy. In summary: 1 main suit case, 1 small duffle for Katmai, and 1 day pack for every day hikes and adventures. Boots are not needed but handy in case walking shoes get wet.
What will the weather be like? Weather in Alaska changes daily so you cannot predict past 24 hours. Plan for rain at some point, but for the most part, it looks good based on 3 weather forecasts. Rain slicker or poncho highly recommended. Range lower 60’s to upper 70’s.
Accessories – Camera and memory cards. Sunglasses, hat (with mosquito netting even better), Light waterproof poncho or jacket. Sunscreen, maybe binoculars. And don’t forget your flask.
Are meals included? No.
Are the Grizzlies dangerous? Yes.
Will we be close to the Grizzlies? Extremely.
Are we in danger? There has only been one bear attacking humans and it was because Timothy Treadwell (The Grizzly Man who became a much-deserved Grizzly Meal) thought he could hang out with the bears. There has never been an attack in Katmai where we will be. Do not bring pepper spray as it will be confiscated at the airport and it only makes the bear angry. (The only thing worse than a hungry bear is an angry bear)
How bad are the mosquitos? I have been to Alaska five times and they were never as bad as I have heard from those who have never been to Alaska. Wear light-colored clothes and either Avon Skin-so-Soft or Picaridin spray, lotion, or towelettes. (I have had the best luck with Picaridin over any other repellent)