PRIVATE & SMALL GROUP TOURS TO THE WORLD'S BEST DESTINATIONS
Three Amazing Alaskan Vacations To Choose From!
Epic Homer Alaska Bear Tours For Everyone
If your bucket list of Alaska vacation activities includes a bear tour, one of the best places to get started is in Homer, Alaska! Why Homer? Homer is easy to get to from other cities – especially Anchorage and Seward – and it’s a gateway to both Katmai National Park and Lake Clark National Park. These two parks are home to a high concentration of Alaskan brown bears and are much easier (and less costly) to reach than some of Alaska’s more remote wilderness areas. Homer Alaska tours offer visitors the opportunity to (safely) get close to a grizzly bear. For more information on the types of Homer Alaska bear tours that are available, read on!
Why Take A Bear Viewing Trip From Homer?
Homer, also known as “the halibut fishing capital of the world,” is located where the Kenai Peninsula meets Kachemak Bay and the broader Cook Inlet. This coastal town is a great jumping-off point for day trips into Bear Country. Its many tour operators offer visitors access to areas where large populations of these magnificent creatures tend to gather. The town is within flying range of Katmai National Park and Lake Clark National Park, which means you can easily take a memorable day trip to the coastal areas that these bears call home.
One of the most popular ways to get to bear country from Homer is to fly. When you book a trip on a small bushcraft or float plane, you’ll fly from Homer across Cook Inlet to either Katmai National Park or Lake Clark National Park. En route, you’ll see active volcanoes, scenic wilderness, and majestic glaciers. Some visitors think the flight itself is worth the price of admission for one of these Homer Alaska Bear tours!
Bear Viewing At Katmai National Park and Preserve
Katmai National Park was established in 1918 to protect the region after a devastating volcanic eruption. Today, the park’s Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes also serves as an important habitat for salmon and thousands of brown bears. Homer is just a short flight from Katmai National Park, and experienced air taxi services can fly visitors into remote bear-viewing areas where bears can be observed in their natural habitat. Two of the most popular viewing areas in the park include for Homer Alaska tours include:
- The Katmai Coast – The 497 miles of the Katmai coastline extends from the mouth of the Kamishak River to Cape Kubugakli in Shelikof Strait. During the summer months, Katmai’s bears spend much of their time foraging for food along the coastal sedge flats at Cape Chiniak and Swikshak, Hallo, and Kukak Bays. The plentiful variety of food sources and vast terrain means the bears are highly solitary, but experienced floatplane pilots can land visitors in locations where it is not uncommon to see 30 bears digging for clams or fishing for salmon!
- Brooks Falls - In addition to the Katmai Coast, operators who run Homer Alaska bear tours can fly guests to Brooks Camp, where visitors can view bears at Brooks Falls. Brooks Falls is famous for bears fishing for salmon as they make their way upstream during the summer salmon run. The brown bears visit Brooks Falls every summer for the salmon run and some of the highest densities of foraging brown bear populations can be found here. The falls also provide accessible viewing opportunities for all visitors and include bear-viewing platforms and wheelchair-friendly trails to accommodate all guests. This makes it easy for everyone to view bears at Brooks Falls, no matter their fitness level or experience in the backcountry. Brooks Falls also includes amenities such as a shelter, a picnic area, a food storage cache, restrooms, a gift shop, and a visitor center, which makes the trip more family-friendly than a backwoods adventure.
Bear Viewing At Lake Clark National Park
More than 98 percent of this country’s brown bear population lives in Alaska with a large number of them in the wilds on the West side of Cook Inlet, which is home to Lake Clark National Park. Many Homer Alaska bear tours are available to fly guests into the park, which is home to as many as 1,000 brown bears. The park offers visitors the opportunity to see bears in the natural environment of Chinitna Bay, Silver Salmon Creek, or Crescent Lake.
- Chinitna Bay - Chinitna Bay offers visitors world-class brown bear viewing. Visitors may be able to see as many as 20 coastal brown bears from a single location. The bears gather in high numbers in the estuaries where rivers flowing out of the mountains meet the sea. Food is plentiful here for the bears from early spring until the late fall. If you visit the Bay in late spring through mid-summer, you can see the bears feeding on sedge grasses and other edible plants which grow in the salt marshes. You might also spot a bear digging for clams in the tidal flats just a few yards away!
- Silver Salmon Creek - the brown bears that call Silver Salmon Creek home can be seen grazing in the sedge meadows in late spring to mid-summer and digging for clams throughout the summer season. Once the salmon run begins in late summer, visitors can watch the bears display their fishing skills in the creek.
- Crescent Lake - Brown bears frequent the shoreline in search of fish during the late-summer salmon runs, giving guests the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat. However, because the coastline is overgrown, most Homer Alaska bear tours only offer bear viewing from boats at Crescent Lake.
Homer Alaska Bear Tours By Boat
Because of Homer’s location, it is possible to take a trip to Lake Clark National Park by boat! Homer Alaska tours to the park offer guests a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a scenic trip across Cook Inlet to the park. Along the way, guests can see orca, mink, gray and humpback whales, sea otters, and puffins. Many of the boat trips end at Chinitna Bay, which is surrounded by a chain of volcanoes called the “Ring of Fire.” Tourists then have the opportunity to trek into the backcountry with a guide to observe bears before a return trip that is just as spectacular as the ride to the Bay!
Alaskan Bear Viewing Trips
The growing popularity of bear viewing trips in Alaska is most likely on the rise due to the many tour operators who can guide visitors on a trip to see these wild animals up close in relative safety and comfort. And, with so many different kinds of bear viewing experiences available, visitors can pick and choose from the Homer Alaska Tours that stay within their comfort zone. Whether you have booked one of the Homer Alaska Bear Tours to view bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park or have planned a trip to Lake Clark National Park, there's something for everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Homer Alaska bear tours are a great way to view bears at the popular Brooks Falls or have a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the wilderness of Lake Clark National Park!