Alaska Gears Up for Bear and Wildlife Season

alaska brown bearWith DisneyNature's "Bears" hitting theaters this Earth Day, April 18, Alaska tourism officials are expecting a surge of interest in bear-viewing in the sate. 

The movie follows the journey of a family of Alaska brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve. The national park is home to an estimated 2,200 bears within its 3.6 million acres. Visitors can view bears throughout the state with a variety of tour operators:


Hallo Bay Bear Camp 
Along with an experienced guide and no more than 8-12 guests, Hallo Bay Bear Camp tours depart out of the port town of Homer for a day trip to the Pacific coast of Katmai or Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, depending on the time of year. Guests are treated to breathtaking surroundings while getting the unique opportunity to walk amongst Alaska’s brown bears in their natural habitat during the 5-6 hour day tour. Visitors on overnight trips stay at a small camp in Katmai National Park in private, eco-friendly cabins. Overnight itineraries range from one-night stays to weeklong excursions at the camp.
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Located just 50 miles south of Anchorage, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is gearing up for the summer with the continued development of Bear Education Awareness Research Sanctuary (BEARS), consisting of a boardwalk spanning the 30-acre black and brown bear enclosures. The sanctuary aims at educating guests about Alaska’s three bear species as well as the state’s unique habitats. The BEARS boardwalk provides guests an opportunity to conveniently and safely view bear activity in the enclosures at the wildlife center.


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Interior/Far North:

Northern Alaska Tour Company
Based in Fairbanks, Northern Alaska Tour Company offers one of the most unique opportunities in the state: viewing polar bears in their natural habitat. On this day trip out of Fairbanks, the small group tour departs on a flight north to the village of Kaktovik, located on the coast of Barter Island in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Upon landing, the tour makes a quick stop at a local inn for lunch and proceeds to a boating excursion with a Coast Guard licensed captain to safely view and photograph polar bears.

Inside Passage:

Above and Beyond Alaska
Above and Beyond Alaska operates guided day trips to the Pack Creek or Windfall Harbor area the Inside Passage’s Admiralty Island, boasting one of the highest concentrations of brown bears not just in Alaska but in the world. The adventure begins with a short flight from Juneau, followed by sea kayaking to view the brown bears in a highly protected, isolated area where general visitation is limited. Groups experience up-close wildlife viewing from the water or at a nearby observation tower.


Kodiak Brown Bear Center
The Kodiak Brown Bear Center is a premier destination to observe Kodiak brown bears in their undisturbed natural habitat. Located on Kodiak Island, visitors travel via float plane for exclusive access to 112,000 privately-owned acres in the heart of Karluk Lake in the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge, an area renowned for one of the largest bear gatherings in the world. Small, guided groups take advantage of the minimum three-night stay itineraries, immersing themselves in the surrounding bear viewing habitat, including resort-style guest accommodations.