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Best Time For Wildlife in Alaska
Best time to see grizzly bears in Alaska on your wildlife tour
This is an even more key question when it comes to grizzly bear viewing in Alaska; especially when you are dealing with wildlife enthusiasts and photographers who are spending a lot of money to come and photograph a particular species or a certain type of animal behaviour. Just providing rough time frames is not enough for these clients and if your finger is 'not on the pulse' you will not be able to adapt your advice based on important factors such as weather patterns, returning salmon numbers, visitor numbers and lodge capacity at specific National Parks.
One general point we can make is that compared to Canada, the main salmon runs are much earlier in Alaska, so if your focus is bear feeding on salmon then July into early August is the fairly short window of opportunity for your trip at the main bear viewing lcoations, such as Katmai. This is even more specific for Brooks Falls, where most photographers would not consider travelling outside of July for fear of the salmon run tailing off and far fewer bears showing at the falls. This also means a lot of forward planning as people book out the space more than a year in advance.
For those with a more general objective to view a variety of wildlife, then the season can extend from June to September. We always have to have an 'eye on the weather' when it comes to our Alaska wildlife tours and the disruption it can have on any well thought out itinerary. Grizzly bear viewing is not just about catching salmon, watching these beautiful animals digging clams out of the beach in early summer or observing a female and her cubs in a more relaxed fashion as part of a unique Alaska wildlife tour is hugely rewarding.
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