PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
Summer Trips To Alaska
Grizzlies & Glaciers Tour
Winter Trips To Alaska
See The Northern Lights
Summer Trips To Alaska
Denali Discovery Adventure
An Adventure On The Emerald Island
Kodiak Island is Alaska’s largest island and the second-largest island in the United States. Nicknamed the Emerald Isle, the island’s lush landscape and plethora of outdoor activities make it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s also home to the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, where Kodiak bear watching tours are a popular activity!
Kodiak Island’s Unique History
The Kodiak area has been inhabited by the Altiiq and Sugpiaq people for more than 7,000 years. However, in the mid-1700s, the island was visited by a Russian explorer. Kodiak then became the first capital of Russian-controlled Alaska and was an important center of the fur trade. Today, a former fur pelt storehouse has been turned into the Kodiak History Museum, where visitors can learn about the region’s fascinating history before setting off on a Kodiak bear viewing tour.
How Do I Get To Kodiak Island?
The quickest way to get to Kodiak and Kodiak Island is via a connecting flight through Anchorage. Alaska Airlines operates multiple flights between Anchorage and Kodiak each day. The flight from Anchorage takes about an hour, depending on the weather. This easy connection makes Kodiak Bear tours from Anchorage one of the most popular activities for tourists looking for an out-of-the-ordinary bear-viewing excursion.
If you want to enjoy Alaska’s breathtaking landscape on the way to Kodiak for bear watching tours, take a trip on the state ferry along the Alaska Marine Highway System. You can board the ferry in Homer for this scenic route. However, be aware that this trip will take at least a full day – and sometimes even require you to travel overnight on the ferry!
Bear Watching on Kodiak Island
The 1.9-million-acre Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge covers two-thirds of Kodiak Island. It is home to approximately 3,000 bears, which are known as Kodiak Brown Bears. This refuge provides important habitat for wildlife, both large and small – as well as for the bears that call it home. The refuge has no roads, so Kodiak bear viewing tours are done as day tours with an air charter or flightseeing operator. Alternatively, visitors can plan a multi-day bear viewing excursion from one of the remote wilderness lodges on the island, like the Kodiak Brown Bear Center and Lodge.
The Best Way To See Bears On Kodiak Island
There are many ways to see the bears on Kodiak Island, but the following two Kodiak Island bear viewing tours are our favorite! Keep reading to learn more.
- Six-day photography tour: take a six-day bear viewing tour with professional photographers on Kodiak Island. Spend your days photographing brown bears, marine wildlife, and Kodiak’s incredible scenery. Your tour guides will review your work and offer suggestions for improving the images you capture. This specialized photography tour caters to small group experiences, with a maximum of 12 group members at a time. If you’re looking for hands-on photography instruction as well as incredible bear-watching opportunities, this is the tour for you!
- Kodiak Brown Bear Viewing Center and Lodge – this exquisite lodge, located in the backcountry, is owned by the Altiiq people. For a truly exceptional experience, book a multi-day stay at the lodge and enjoy two bear-viewing excursions a day to the island’s three primary bear-viewing locations. Hike on foot, search for bears via kayak, or travel in style aboard a heated catamaran vessel to marvel at these magnificent creatures in style. The lodge’s luxurious accommodations and experienced guides will make your stay truly exceptional.
Kodiak Bear Tours From Anchorage
If you aren’t planning to stay in Kodiak, you can always book a flightseeing trip to see the bears with an air charter company in Anchorage. The average flightseeing tour is a four-hour trip that includes two hours on the ground to view bears at popular viewing locations. The vast majority of visitors to Kodiak Island view bears this way. It’s also worth noting that the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge has nine public-use cabins available for rental, if you want to stay overnight and have a more primitive experience than a lodge would permit. Don’t forget to include a stop at the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in the city of Kodiak before you leave. The visitor center features exhibits that focus on the Kodiak brown bear, along with a film about the refuge, a bookstore, and a friendly staff that can assist with your trip planning.
When Is The Best Time To See Bears On Kodiak Island?
Kodiak Island bear viewing tours are one of the most popular activities in this area of Alaska! The best time to see the brown bears on the island is July, August, and September, when the salmon runs are at their peak. The summer months are the most popular time for flightseeing trips that fly into remote areas on Kodiak Island bear viewing tours or you can book a boat charter that specializes in bear and wildlife viewing to start your adventure! You can even extend your trip to include nearby Katmai National Park, which is just west of Kodiak Island on Alaska’s mainland.
A Bear-y Good Time In Alaska
If bear viewing is on your Alaska bucket list, don’t worry! Kodiak bear watching tours are the perfect way to see bears in their native habitat. Whether you spot them from the seat of a float plane, view them through the lens of your camera, or marvel at them from the heated cabin of a boat, one thing is certain – you won’t forget this once-in-a-lifetime experience.