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Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

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Wisconsin
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Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

I'm trying to decide between the many companies that offer bear viewing trips out of Homer. Some of them show that they go to different locations different times of the summer (Hallo Bay, Brooks Falls, etc.). We're looking at going in June. My question is will all or most of the companies offering bear watching trips out of Homer go to the same place? I've seen some pictures where there's multiple planes on the beach, which made me think different companies go to the same location

. I'm leaning toward going with Homer Air since they offer an early booking discount, but I want to make sure we wouldn't be missing out on a better experience/location if we paid $100 or $200 more per person to go with a different company.

Chugiak, Alaska
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1. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

Depends- some companies go where the bears are. We were scheduled to go to Brooks Falls/Katmai on our trip, but there was more activity and better weather at Lake Clark National Park, so we went there instead. I'd want a company that went where the bears were, so I'd ask the folks you were working with if that's what they do or if it's a set location.

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

Several years ago my wife and went from Homer to Geographic Harbor and really enjoyed the trip. We used Bald Mountain Air and thought they did a real good job.

Before booking I made a list of all my questions and called several of the outfits that did these trips before making my selection.

Fritz Creek, Alaska
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3. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

All the guided trips go to where the bears are. The unguided trips all go to Brooks which is patrolled and organized by the National Park Service. For Day trips I would go with a guided tour. For guided tours I would choose from either Homer Air, Alaska Bear Adventures, or Bald Mountain Air.

Edited: 30 January 2014, 23:57
Wisconsin
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4. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

Thank you for the replies. I think we're going to take advantage of the early booking discount with Homer Air.

NYC
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5. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

Hi - I've been researching this same question. I also liked Homer Air because of the early booking discount $505/person, but I just found out from them the flight departs 8:00, returning by 1:30PM. I heard you should try to get the full day of bear viewing. What do you think?

New Braunfels, Texas
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6. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

If you haven't made a choice already, I would go with K-bay Air. My wife and i took a trip in 2011 and they were great. They took us somewhere very remote. Since there was about 9 going, they took two planes. We landed on the beach, and started hiking for a bit. We saw a bear salmon fishing in a river, and stopped and watched it for an hour at least. During that time, we saw another bear wonder by...and also saw a wolf come over to the river and it was also salmon fishing. We saw two others from a bit of a distance. The weather was cool and drizzly but not bad. We only saw one other group during the day and don't know where they came from. talk about being in a remote area! I never felt in danger and the pilots did a great job. Again, the weather was not the best, but it is alaska. They are used to it. My recommendation.

Good luck

Fritz Creek, Alaska
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7. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

I personally would go for a full day (7 hr.) trip. This gives you 4 - 5 hours on the ground. As mentioned above KBay is good. Another consideration is, what month are you coming? See Bald Mountain Air's Trip Facts (http://www.baldmountainair.com/trips.html) for information and the trips at different times of the year.

NYC
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8. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

OK, thanks, I'll discuss with my husband. I think you're right, even with the discount to $505 pp, they are offering half the viewing time but not half the price. I'm just wrestling with the cost difference with four of us still ends up being $400-600. Thanks for the response!

Lake Tahoe...
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9. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

Also, I would look into the flying experience. Bald Mountain and Emerald use float planes out of Beluga Lake, where the others fly out of the Homer airport (Kachemak Drive side). My personal choice is floatplane.

Huntsville, Alabama
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10. Re: Do all bear viewing trips out of Homer go to the same place?

Glad to hear positive things about K Bay Air. We have booked July 23rd for a full day trip, and due to tides that day, we were informed that we will be on the ground for 15 hours rather than the usual 10-11. Our cost is $1275 per person. Also, you should ask about their safety record. You assume all must have good records to be able to operate, but never hurts to inquire. June seems early for best viewing - I didn't think the salmon runs started that early, but I have heard the browns dig clams on the beach in June before the fish come in.