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Best Bear Viewing

Mexico City
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48 posts
558 reviews
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Best Bear Viewing

Hi,

I'm planning a family bear viewing tour from Homer next mid-July. While some tours are going to Brooks Falls others goes to some beaches also in Katmai NP. Can somebody tell me where the best place to see bears is?

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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1. Re: Best Bear Viewing

There is no "best" since "best" is a relative term.

When you say "next July do you mean July 2012 or July 2013?

July is prime season for Brooks. The coastal area has a longer season. Brooks has the classic "salmon jumping into the bear's mouth" scene. Brooks has some options for overnight trips. The coast has smaller groups visiting and generally set up for day trips.

For me, since I can use frequent flyer miles to get me to King Salmon, it is WAY cheaper for me to get to Brooks than to the coast. So that is what I have done twice. Some say it is staged or touristy but the bears are power feeding on salmon and you get to see that. The key at Brooks is time - take the time and if possible stay at least for one night. You get at least 3 times the bear viewing with an overnight vs. a day trip.

Mexico City
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48 posts
558 reviews
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2. Re: Best Bear Viewing

Hi,

I mean July 2012. This will be a one day trip from Homer and the price is more or less the same to either places.

Copenhagen, Denmark
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3. Re: Best Bear Viewing

I agree with fti – “there is no best” – it really depends on a lot of factors and your expectations. If you’ll be disappointed NOT seeing bears fishing salmon you should go to Brooks since mid-July is probably too early for the salmon run in Katmai coastal areas, where bear viewing daytrips often go to. If your preference is a small group and more personal experience and salmon fishing bears are less important, you have more choices.

I have been on bear viewing daytrips to Hallo Bay at the Katmai NP coast several times with my family in early and mid-July, and our trips (with AK Adventures) were incredible. The small group experience (6-7 people) appealed to us over the more touristy Brooks (at least for a day trip). The scenery at Hallo Bay is unbelievable beautiful – we saw a lot of bears (playing, digging clamps, grazing, mating, little cubs) some very close within 15-20 feet of our group while walking among them through the coastal wetlands. An unforgettable experience.

4. Re: Best Bear Viewing

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