Bear Viewing: Face-to-Face Encounters In The Wild
Strong, unbridled, and nomadic, bears are perhaps the ultimate symbol of the Alaskan wild. And seeing a Bear, if even for a fleeting moment, is a rare and magical experience. You may see bears in Denali National Park or elsewhere. But going bear viewing at Brooks River Falls, Wolverine Creek or Katmai National Park is an entirely different experience.
Go with one of our picks and you’ll get a virtually guaranteed viewing of anywhere between 4 and 20 bears at once, much closer up than you would in Denali, and usually for hours at a time. And instead of just eating berries, bears on these trips will likely be fishing or splashing in the water. A fly-in trip is not cheap, but if seeing bears in Alaska is a must on your agenda, then one of these tours should be as well.
Skilled hunters and wild roamers, these creatures command our admiration, even as their sheer size and strength also evoke and stir our primal fear. More than 50,000 black bears and 35,000 brown bears range the state’s untamed wilderness, lumbering through berry-covered hillsides and slapping at salmon-choked rivers. Unlike moose, you probably won’t casually encounter bears on the road – you really have to go searching. One option is to visit Denali National Park, where your chances of seeing them, at least from a distance, improve. To see throngs of bears up close – belly – flopping into rivers, jaw-sparring for the best fishing grounds, or just napping in the sun – air – taxi operators can fly you to places with excellent viewing odds.
A 5- to 10-hour bear-viewing tour offers a unique insight into the creatures’ culture – in fact, you may end up witnessing behaviors that even bear-viewing experts have never seen. Many bears have become so accustomed to human presence they tend to ignore visitors and carry on with their normal routines. And usually, getting to a bear-viewing spot is an experience in itself. You’ll fly over glassy backcountry lakes, cragged mountain peaks, massive ice fields, pebble beaches, golden tundra, and a wealth of rugged wilderness.
Learn more about how to book your bear viewing trip.
Alaska Sea Kayaking & Alaska Adventure Vacations
Have you ever imagined a place of turquoise blue waters, tidewater and hanging glaciers, islands of protected coves and rugged cliffs teaming with whales and puffins under glorious skies? These visions become reality in Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay. The waters abound with marine life. Sea otters casually watch you as they feed on sea urchins and mollusks; adolescent seals follow you curiously as you kayak in silence; pods of orcas glide through the waters as they search for salmon…it’s all here waiting for you.
Kenai Area White Water Rafting
The Upper Kenai River is a very popular rafting destination for private boaters and guided raft trip participants. Within the available 17 river miles between Kenai and Skilak Lakes, mainly class 2 and some class 3. This section of the river requires some planning: once at Skilak Lake, rafters must either boat the seven miles to a take out point at Upper Skilak Lake Campground, or deflate their rafts and pack them up the Hidden Creek Trail to the Skilak Lake Loop Road, a distance of 2 miles, uphill. Rafters should always wear their personal floatation devices on this river due to the fast and cold waters.
The Six Mile Creek is one of the most challenging rafting rivers on The Kenai, the excitement and thrill of running this river with an expert is an experience unlike others on The Kenai. Towering rocky cliffs looming over the huge waves provide a stunning setting for this thrilling run. Mainly class 4 or 5 sections, it should only be attempted by experienced rafters or with a reputable company.
Kenai Peninsula Flightseeing
Flightseeing takes many forms on The Kenai, it can be enjoyed from airplanes, seaplanes, ski-planes, and helicopters. You can enjoy the spectacular scenery from the air as you fly over Kenai Fjords National Park, Lake Clark National Park, the Chugach National Forest or even Kachemak Bay State Park. Or you can land for an up close and personal look at a glacier, a volcano, or bears and other wildlife. It can also be your ticket to accessing remote fishing areas and hiking trails.
Fish, Fish, fish! And why, why, why? Because location, location, location!
The Kenai is world renowned for its wide-ranging fishing opportunities. Four species of salmon by the hundreds of thousands—find their way into the Peninsula’s bays, rivers, and lakes to return to where their lives began. Virtually any time of the summer is salmon fishing season on The Kenai. The largest King Salmon of all, weighing close to 100 pounds, are sought on the famed lower Kenai River. Salmon is only part of the draw. Most seacoast towns on The Kenai offer charter fishing for halibut and other saltwater species.
The Russian River and the confluence with the Russian and Kenai Rivers is one of the most popular bank fishing sites, providing red salmon fishing access to many anglers. The fishery is accessed either by a road into the US Forest Service’s Russian River Campground, or a ferry currently operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, that provides Kenai-Russian River access.