PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
How To Get To Katmai National Park
Anchorage is the gateway to Alaska adventure. Located in Southcentral Alaska on Cook Inlet and lying at the base of the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage offers visitors urban comfort and amazing outdoor spaces. Enjoy the arts and culture of this cosmopolitan city or go glacier trekking and wildlife viewing outside the city limits. One of the most popular wildlife viewing adventurers for visitors to undertake is a Katmai day trip from Anchorage to see the Brooks Falls bears!
The Three Types of Alaska Bears
Visitors to Alaska will find three types of bears in different parts of the state: brown, black, and polar bears.
- Brown Bears - Brown bears are the most common bears in Alaska. In the Interior region of the state, they are called grizzly bears and are smaller and lighter brown. The brown bears found along Alaska’s coast are called Alaska Peninsula brown bears. These are the bears you will see on a Katmai day tour.
- Black Bears – Black bears are found in Alaska’s forested areas. They have curved claws and toes that are separated, while brown bears have straight claws and toes that are held closer together.
- Polar Bears – Polar bears only live along Alaska’s Arctic Coast. You won’t find them in other areas of the state – that is, not unless you are visiting the Alaska Zoo!
Getting To Katmai National Park From Anchorage
Many Katmai bear viewing tours leave from Anchorage. The city has a multitude of tour operators to choose from, as well as many different tour options to select. Throughout the operating season, most operators fly between Anchorage and Kind Salmon, where visitors board a floatplane for the trip to Brooks Falls. Once they touch down at Brooks Falls, the Katmai day tour begins! There are many types of tours to choose from. Some of our favorites are listed below.
- A half day at Brooks Falls – fly into Brooks Falls, where you can spend the day watching bears fish for salmon in the Brooks River from one of the four viewing platforms located along the river. This tour is a self-guided trip. When you arrive, your pilot will walk you to the ranger station where you will attend and graduate from “Bear School.” Then, you can walk along the secure walkways to the Falls for a bear-viewing adventure! When it is time to return to Anchorage, you will board your plane for a fly-over of the park, where you will fly through the mountains, over glaciers, and around a volcano before your tour ends.
- Day cruise to Katmai – for a truly unique Katmai day trip from Anchorage, consider taking a day cruise to the park. Cruise through the narrow fjords, island sea stacks, sandy beaches, and rocky headlands while keeping an eye open for Alaska wildlife. Enjoy seeing brown bears, red foxes, wolves, deer, river and sea otters, sea lions, bald eagles, seals, humpback whales, orcas, puffins, birds, and more along the way. Many of these day cruises only allow a limited number of people on board, so that each guest can have a truly personal experience along the way. On-board guides will narrate the action on land and sea, and help you get incredible photographs to remember the experience.
- Full-day plane ride with time at Brooks Falls – for a unique spin on a Katmai day tour, try a full-day plane ride from the Lake Hood Seaplane Base in Anchorage. Fly over the Cook Inlet, along the volcanoes of Lake Clark National Park, and across two mountain passes in the southernmost part of the Alaska Range. Enjoy narration from the pilot, who will point out landmarks and regale you with tales about local history. The flight end with a water landing on Lake Brooks, after which you will make your way to Brooks Falls to watch some of Alaska’s largest bears at the camp’s viewing platforms. Enjoy watching the Katmai bears stake out choice fishing spots and feast on salmon in the river. On the way back to Anchorage, enjoy a scenic route to take in more of Alaska’s spectacular beauty.
When Is The Best Time To See Bears At Katmai?
If you are planning a Katmai day trip from Anchorage to see bears, you will have to plan your trip when the bears are most active. The best bear viewing is from mid-May to mid-September when the bears are most active and move between the area’s food sources. During this time, you can see bears eating beach grasses and salmon, and even digging for clams on a Katmai bear viewing tour. The coastal areas of Katmai National Park, along with Brooks River, offer the bears an abundant food supply, making them some of the largest bears in the state.
The Best Bear Viewing In Alaska
If seeing bears is on your Alaska bucket list, consider a Katmai day trip from Anchorage. Katmai National Park and Preserve offers visitors some of the very best bear viewing opportunities in Alaska. There are many options to choose from when selecting a Katmai day tour – in fact, there is something for everyone. So get ready for adventure – Katmai and its bears are calling!