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Georgia (State)


Where to see the grizzly bears

I'm a big Timothy Treadwell fan and I want to see the beautiful bears...  Where is the best place to see grizzlies in Alaska?

4 Answers

top answer by
Ross from Fort Collins

been to Alaska a couple times and spent many months there. every one is missing the obvious, if you want to see bear and bald eagles, go to the local small town dump! you WILL, see them both lol

3 thanks

answered first by
Tony from Seattle

Your best option is Katmai National Park and Preserve, specifically, you should find your way to Brooks Camp there.  Here's a shot:

This generally requires flying in, so it isn't cheap.

Denali National Park Wonder Lake

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Katmai National Park and Preserve (attraction)
  2. Denali National Park (park)
  3. Wonder Lake (attraction)
3 thanks

answered by
Ernst from Long Island (New York)

I agree that Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park is a great place to see the coastal brown bears, but the time of year matters.  If you want to see them fishing off the falls, then go in July.  September is also a great time to go, but the bears won't be at the falls. If you go in August, the probability of seeing bears at this location is low.  July is much busier than September and if you plan to stay overnight, you will need to book far ahead. Lodging is either very expensive at Brooks River Lodge, or you can camp at Brooks Camp.   The round-trip airfare to Brooks Camp from Anchorage with KatmaiLand is $734 in 2015.  If you opt to go here on a budget, you can camp for a couple of days.  I camped twice for 6 or 7 days each time. It made the cost of the flight seem more worthwhile than just a day trip out.  You can bring your own food or eat the buffet style meals at the lodge.  If you stay for a few days, you'd also have time for the bus trip out to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.  You can also hike or rent a kayak or canoe from the lodge.

Another option to see bears in Katmai or Lake Clark is to take a day trip out of Homer. There are several companies doing tours from there including I haven't gone with them, but they have excellent reviews and guarantee bear sightings.  They aren't limited to the salmon spawning times at Brooks Camp and will fly to where the bears are.  Homer is closer to the parks than Anchorage, so the cost will also be less.

Denali National Park is generally the best place to see the inland grizzly bears.  You'd need to take a trip into the park with a shuttle bus or tour.  With a few exceptions, you can only drive in the first 14 miles of the park road with a private vehicle.  I've never seen a grizzly on that first portion of the road where you can drive yourself, but sightings do happen there. I've gone into the park on the shuttle buses at least 30 times and have always been lucky enough to see grizzlies. The problem for me with these buses, is that your time to view/photograph wildlife is limited, as they are on a schedule. The wilderness tours probably allow more time, but I don't have personal experience to confirm that.

You may have luck seeing brown bears or black bears at, or along the road to the The Solomon Gulch Hatchery in Valdez when the salmon return to spawn between late June and August. I'm not exactly sure on the timing, but I did see a brown bear there last summer at the end of June, when the salmon were just starting to arrive.  I saw another brown bear there a couple of weeks later when I returned in July.  It's not a sure bet here though as it is in Katmai.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brooks Camp (attraction)
  2. Anchorage (city)
  3. KatmaiLand (attraction)
  4. Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes (attraction)
  5. Lake Clark (attraction)
  6. Homer (city)
  7. Denali National Park (park)
  8. The Solomon Gulch Hatchery (restaurant)
  9. Valdez (attraction)

answered by
Robert Glenn from Manhattan Beach

See Werner Herzog's movie abt Tim and don't be too big of a fan, BUT most accessible viewing and historically safe is Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park and Preserve. Admiralty Island has many bear also but going there requires more planning because there are no services and you would be camping in the wild amongst them. Encounters might be different.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Brooks Camp (attraction)
  2. Katmai National Park and Preserve (attraction)
  3. Admiralty Island (attraction)

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