Alaska

Alaska wildlife holidays with Wildlife Trails to see bears catching salmon. While organised bear viewing is in its infancy elsewhere in North America, more than 3 decades of careful development in Alaska has produced spectacular results, with bears have becoming accustomed to small groups of human observers such that they no longer see them as a threat, and continue with their natural behaviour as if they weren’t even there. Seeing bears in Alaska is a very natural and wild experience. On our Alaska wildlife safaris, it is possible to sit quietly while giant Coastal Brown Bears catch salmon or graze on estuarine sedge grasses only yards away, and nowhere else in the world can you safely come face to face with more and bigger bears than you can in Alaska.

Our Grizzly bear tours in Alaska encompass an incredible diversity of habitat, from temperate rainforest and taiga forest, to alpine and arctic tundra, and this diversity is reflected in its terrestrial wildlifeBears in Alaska are the largest on the continent (if not the planet), as well as its inland/alpine cousin the Grizzly Bear, the resourceful Black Bear, Wolves, Wolverines, Red & Arctic Foxes, Lynx, Moose, Caribou, and Mountain Goats. Surrounded on 3 sides by the Pacific Ocean and Bering, Chukchi & Beaufort Seas, Alaska’s coastal waters are also incredibly rich and are home to Sea Otters, Seals, Sea Lions, Walrus, Minke Whales, and Orcas. They also play host to visiting giants including Fin, Bowhead & Humpback Whales – which can sometimes be seen bubble netting on our specialist small boat safaris in Juneau.

If you’re looking to book an Alaska wildlife tour and unsure when to go, check out our dedicated blog post, about the best time to visit Alaska here.

Popular Itineraries

Bubble Netting Humpbacks & Grizzly Bears Alaska Tour

Amazing opportunity to see Grizzly Bears, and Humpbacks bubble netting off the coast of south east Alaska. Wildlife Trails has partnered up with small, expert local companies to offer multiple days of small group boat safaris, as we search for Humpbacks, Orcas and other amazing marine wildlife. As part of this Alaska wildlife holiday we also include a fly-in bear viewing tour from Juneau to Pack Creek; which annually hosts one of the largest concentrations of Grizzly Bears in the region; who come to feast on the huge numbers of returning salmon.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 7
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2500
Just Brooks Falls and Bears

Brooks Lodge and the iconic Brooks Falls, where giant brown bears are photographed plucking salmon out of the air, is one of the most iconic bear viewing locations in Alaska and indeed the world. Many peoples first experience of a Brooks lodge bear safari is one a fly-in tour from Anchorage or Homer; where you time is strictly limited to 3-4 hours with the bears and you arrive during the peak bear viewing time of the day. By applying for accommodation at Brooks Lodge through the annual lottery, Wildlife Trails has secured 3 rooms at the optimum time of year for observing the bears at the falls. Despite its fame amongst wildlife photographers, the actual rates are Brooks lodge are very reasonable and that is in part due to the rustic, but authentic nature of the accommodation.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 5
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
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  • Aug
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Price (Excl. flights)
£2390
Ultimate Alaska Bear Photography Tour with Trai Anfield

The real jewel in Alaska’s wildlife crown is Katmai National Park, which lies across Shelikof Strait from Kodiak at the base of the Alaska Peninsula. Katmai is home to the largest protected population of Brown Bears in the world, and for the past two decades it has been the subject of a hugely successful and innovative approach to organised bear viewing involving small groups of bear watchers (maximum 6 people) encountering the bears on foot in the company of an expert guide. This has produced a unique situation whereby something akin to a mutually observed, inter-species truce exists between humans and bears. Accessible by floatplane or wheeled bushplane from Kodiak or the Kenai Peninsula, the Katmai Coast is every aspiring bear watcher’s dream ticket where giant Coastal Brown Bears can be observed grazing on estuarine sedge grasses or digging for clams at low tide in spring (May & June) or catching salmon where river meets ocean in summer (July thru September). Nowhere else on the planet will you see more and bigger bears, up close and personal, than you will in Katmai where the bear viewing experience is all about being on the ground with these magnificent animals, with very few people around.

Style - Small Group Photographer
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 12
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
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  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£8000
Visiting Brooks Falls, Alaska

This is one of our most exciting 10 day bear viewing tours in Alaska, as it combines the world famous Brooks Falls for those most iconic of ‘bears catching salmon’ photos, with the much less visited Wolverine Creek on the west coast of the spectacular Kenai Peninsula. One is a fly-in option that lets you photograph brown bears fishing for salmon from dusk to dawn – so you can avoid the fly-in clients who arrive for the afternoon. The other is an independent self-drive of the peninmsula; combining a glacier and wildlife tour from Seward with a superbly organised and intimate grizzly bear safari out of Nikiski.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 10
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£4950
Walking with the Grizzly Bears of Katmai National Park

After connecting with a flight from Anchorage to Kodiak you will stay two nights in this frontier town and take a half-day floatplane bear viewing tour at Frazer Lake on Kodiak Island – known as an excellent place to see female brown bears and their cubs. You will then head west on a spectacular floatplane journey to Katmai national park (sometimes Fin Whales are visible from the air!), where you will stay at the amazing Katmai Wilderness Lodge for 4 nights. As well as enjoying superb hospitality and great food you will spend ‘full days’ out in the field with packed lunches, as you search for the brown bears – giving you a once in a lifetime opportunity to ‘walk with the brown bears of Katmai’. Extend your time in Alaska with a relaxing self-drive along the beautiful Kenai Peninsula, with the chance to see bears fishing at Brooks Falls, Sea Otters, Orcas and stunning glaciers!

Katmai national park in Alaska has the highest density of brown bears in the world and Katmai Wilderness Lodge is the only permanent tourist lodge permitted to run inside the park. The real jewel in Alaska’s wildlife is Katmai National Park which lies across Shelikof Strait from Kodiak, at the base of the Alaska Peninsula. Katmai is home to the largest protected population of Brown Bears in the world, and for the past 2 decades it has been the subject of a hugely successful and innovative approach to organised bear viewing involving small groups of bear watchers (maximum 6 people) encountering the bears on foot in the company of an expert guide. This has produced a unique situation whereby something akin to a mutually observed, inter-species truce exists between humans and bears.

As well as a 4 night stay at Katmai Wilderness Lodge in August – absolutely peak time for bear viewing – we also include a spectacular fly-in tour to Kodiak Island. A legendary bear destination in its own right, genetically isolated for at least 10,000 years Kodiak’s Brown Bears have evolved into the largest subspecies of the Great Northern Bear found anywhere on the planet. Much coveted by trophy hunters for more than two centuries, the Kodiak bears are understandably more wary of humans than their mainland cousins, but the chance to come face to face with this near mythical creature is a powerful draw. we visit Fraser Lake, which is often a good location to see mothers and cubs.

Client Feedback

‘So we did make it out to Katmai on time and I can only tell you that it was the most fantastic, amazing experience which we will treasure to our dying day. Perry and Angela were great hosts and gave us some wonderful days bear watching, but they also gave us the ultimate experience with bears! We went kayaking to the waterfalls in Kaflia bay. He only goes there if conditions are right, about twice a year, and some years he doesn’t go at all. He can only take five people. So, we felt very honoured to be chosen to go and not only that we went twice! The bears were everywhere all around us! Feeding on the salmon, sows with cubs, bears swimming, snorkelling and we sat right next to them, Perry kept us safe and it was awesome. I can’t believe what we saw, it really is a once in a lifetime experience. I feel very privileged and humbled by it all.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 9
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£5000

Check Out our other Destinations

Related Articles

Why Alaska is the Holy Grail for Grizzly Bear Viewing

When wildlife photographers think about booking a photography tour which focuses on taking pictures of grizzly bears in their natural habitat, one of the first locations that comes to mind is Alaska. But why is Alaska one of the best places in the world to see and photograph bears and what specifically makes the perfect Alaska wildlife photography tour for bears.

How do I Photograph Bears on Kodiak Island

Wildlife photographers have been fascinated with the giant bears of Kodiak Island for generations. An abundance of food and genetic isolation from the other brown bears found in nearby Katmai national park, has produced gigantic brown bears which have no equal around the world. Sadly, some of these magnificent animals have become trophies for American and European hunters.

Best Places to See Bears in Alaska. Brooks Falls.

Every other client enquiry for an Alaska bear safari mentions the ‘fabled’ Brooks Falls Lodge and wants to know if it is either available to book, or when is the best time to visit Brooks for the best grizzly bear viewing? However, let’s just step back for a moment from those eye catching images of brown bears fishing for salmon and consider the ‘real’ merits (or not) of a visit to Brooks Falls Lodge on your Alaska wildlife holiday and the many different ways of organising a visit here.

Top 5 Alaska Bear Tours

Which bear viewing locations in Alaska get your heart beating and your hands shaking, as you come face to face with some of the most powerful land mammals on this planet? An Alaska bear safari is more than just a chance to take the perfect photo; it is an opportunity to walk in their BIG footsteps, learn a little about their daily life and habitat and head home with a richer understanding about the magnificent grizzly bears of Alaska.

What

Our Clients Say About Us

★★★★★
Brilliant!

We went to Alaska, which Wildlife Trails sorted out for us. I chose Wildlife Trails because Allan was more knowledgeable than others I emailed, and more helpful. We went to Anchorage, Seward, er, Nikiski, Kodiak and Katmai. At Nikiski we stayed at Daniels Lake Lodge B&B in a log cabin by the lake. It was an amazing place and was the wildest and most remote of our journey. We saw a black bear and 3 coyote on the road. Had a great day out with Alaska West Air near there. We had bears right beside our boat at Big River Lakes near Wolverine Creek, saw bald eagles and plenty of salmon in the river. They gave us a scenic flight on the way back flying right over double glacier and its ice field - so close we almost landed on it. Really breath-taking. We booked up Juneau Mendenhall Glacier Ice Adventure Tour ourselves through Alaska Shore Excursions - local tour operator was Liquid Alaska Tours. This was excellent. We did canoeing, went in an ice cave under the glacier and used crampons to climb on top of it. A fantastic day out. Would recommend these. Also had a great day out at Brooks Falls watching the bears catching the salmon that were jumping up the waterfall. Well worth the trip. Wouldn't recommend Jayleen's Alaska whale watching trip. We didn't see anything but a lighthouse for most of the morning. Cost us a fortune for 6 hours when we saw more on the 2 hour cruise with Alaska Tales for a fraction of the cost. These are a new company. We didn't have many on the boat so didn't have to fight the crowds to see the whales and they took us straight to them so didn't waste any of our time. To see black bears close up we went to AnAn Bear observatory. A mother and cub came very close to where we were standing on a platform. At the other places we saw brown bears. A great trip all in all. As I stated above Wildlife Trails are very knowledgeable and helpful. They always replied quickly to any emails I sent asking them a lot of questions (some I should have been able to work out myself). When we had problems they were always contactable to help us sort them out. The ferry they booked for us went on strike but Wildlife Trails had sorted us out a flight in its place before we even knew there was a problem, so the holiday ran very smoothly. I would recommend Wildlife Trails to anyone and I have already booked another trip with them next year.

ByDawn and Steve
★★★★★
Walking with Bears

A 7 night stay at Katmai Wilderness Lodge which was amazing both for accommodation, food, very friendly and helpful staff and of course seeing bears in their natural habitat. A 4 night stay in eau which included a visit to Pack Creek where we had good sighting of bears and 2 Whale Watching tours where we saw Humpbacks and seals and Stellar Sealions. Wildlife Trails a small family concern run by Allan and Kirsty Blanchard. Very efficient and helpful. Listened to what we wanted and put together a good itinerary.

ByJanet and Audrey
★★★★★
Thoroughly bearable

Great itinerary Jeaunau, a good start to be introduced to the quirkiness of Alaska We self-added Barrow and glad we did as it was culturally exotic as well as seeing the ice of the Artic Ocean The iak area had ups and downs due to weather; Alaska needs a weather disclaimer! Highlights were Frazer Lake and Katmai Wildnerness Lodge (when the weather was good) Homer was a great last stop as loved the hippie vibe and the trip to brooks from there was fantastic The overall theme was bears and each bear experience grew on the previous Brooks was the icing on the cake. A last morning in Anchorage sealed the oddidity of this amazing sate. (really feels like a seperate country) Excellent for planning and knowing the best spots as had done the trip himself. He had booked out the katmai wilderness lodge for his clients which was great as we fall a small party for 4 days. The wether disruption caused a lot of stress and Kodiak should katmai Wilderness shpul;d be marked with a high risk stamp We particularly hadn't realised with Katmai Wilderness the limited transpot links and lack of flexibilty to try and pre-empt detriorating weather.

ByJonathan and David
★★★★★
An action packed wildlife tour of Alaska

We travelled in dependently using a car, flights and the Alaska Marine Highway. Everything went smoothly from start to finish. Car hire and all accommodation were excellent. The itinerary worked l considering it was so packed - but we did have some independent down time. Some outstanding bear viewing at Brooks Falls, Pack Creek and AnAn. Loved it. Can't wait to go back Allan and Wildlife Trails offer a really personal service. Never ending patience as we nailed down all the details with numerous emails and calls He knew the area and offered good advice. The price was also competitive and allowed us to do so much.

ByElaine
★★★★★
Wonderful time in Alaska and Canada

Had a great time on our Wildlife Trails-organised trip to Alaska and W Canada. It was our first trip to that part of the world and our itinerary was great. Saw whales breaching and bears fishing well as fabulous scenery and some great little towns. Wildlife Trails put together a customised itinerary to meet our objectives. It was excellent. They deliver a very helpful and personalised service, which we really appreciated.

ByChris and Tricia