What Is The Best Time To See Grizzly Bears In Alaska?

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Alaska Bear Viewing Locations By Month

Most of us have seen bears in a zoo or at a circus, but if you are lucky enough to view them in their natural habitat you will have an experience that is like no other! The magnificent creatures that live in the wild are strong, fast, smart, and extraordinarily beautiful. Grizzly bears, also known as the Alaska Penninsula Brown Bear, are most active in the summer, from June through August.

The bears play and hunt during the warm months, in preparation for their winter's denning. Although you can find bears almost everywhere in Alaska, the best Alaska bear viewing locations for grizzly bears is along Alaska's coast - in Kenai National Park, Brooks River Falls, or Wolverine Creek.

The Best Times And Places To See Grizzly Bears In Alaska

Grizzly bears are an iconic part of the Alaskan landscape and are often the focus of Alaskan safaris. The best time to see these magnificent creatures is during the summer months, when the bears forage for food and fish from rivers. However, the best time to see grizzly bears in Alaska really depends on the month and the Alaska bear viewing locations you visit!

June in Katmai National Park and Preserve

In June, Katmai's grizzly bears socialize, mate, and fish in the Brooks River and at Brooks Falls. The bears gather in this location to feast on protein-rich sedges and plants that are brought inland during high tide, and to await the salmon run that will start later in the month. During this time, play behavior among sows, cubs, and sub-adults is prominent and visitors can enjoy observing these casual interactions among the animals.

July in Katmai National Park and Preserve

Katmai is still one of the best Alaska bear viewing locations during the month of July, mainly because the salmon run in the Brooks River has peaked. Visitors can still find bears grazing in the coastal sedge meadows and digging for razor, butter, and steamer clams at low tides, but the main attraction at the viewing platforms this month is the spectacle of the bears fishing for salmon. Plus, July is a great time to book Alaska bear camp overnight adventures at Brooks Lodge!

August in Geographic Harbor and Kinak Bay

During the late summer, bears converge at the shallow tidal estuaries of Geographic Harbor and Kinak Bay to feast on salmon. The fish, which are rich in protein and fat, help the bears prepare for their winter hibernation. Another bonus to visiting these locations in August is that the bears are so intent on the hunt that they are often oblivious to people - which means these two areas are some of the best Alaska bear viewing locations in late summer!

Late Summer at Lake Clark National Forest

Lake Clark National Park is a solid bet for late summer. From the end of July through September, Crescent Lake is one of the best Alaska bear viewing locations in the huge park, guaranteeing visitors plenty of opportunities for bear watching.

September at Chinitna Bay

Photographers will tell you that the best time to see grizzly bears in Alaska is the month of September. The turning leaves create an impressive backdrop for the bears, who continue to graze on vegetation, browse for berries, and fish before the winter months arrive. Since the bears have been eating all summer, they have gained a lot of weight, appear in top physical form, and are very mellow. This means that a visit to the Cook Inlet will result in some amazing photographs for lucky visitors!

Alaska Bear Camp Overnight Adventures

If you love bears and have the time, you may want to book one of the Alaska bear camp overnight adventures that are available to the more adventurous visitor. There are plenty of day trips for casual visitors, but if you want an in-depth experience that allows you to observe the bears in their natural habitat for several days, a multi-day tour package is advised.

But what are some of the best Alaska Bear Camp Overnight Adventures? Where can you find them? Read on for more information!

Alaska Bear Camp 5-Day Adventure at Lake Clark National Forest

Alaska Bear Camp offers a five-day stay in their lodge on the shore of Chinitna Bay. The lodge is located on the side of a historic homestead where the original cabin still stands and the camp occupies a remote parcel of private land that is surrounded by Lake Clark National Park. If you want to get to this location, you must fly in by bush plane over the summit of two volcanoes! The camp sits on a coastal plain in view of the Aleutian Mountain range, and visitors often spot bears right outside of camp.

Brooks Fall Lodge in Katmai National Park and Preserve

For easy access to bear viewing, Brooks Fall Lodge in Katmai National Park and Preserve is hands down one of the best Alaska bear viewing locations in the state! The lodge is a modern recreation of the fishing camp that was established on the same site more than 60 years ago and is the only full-service lodge in the park. Lodging is available for visitors from June 1 to September 17. One of the big draws of this location is that the lodge is located within walking distance of the Brooks Falls bear viewing platform. As many as 50 bears live along the mile and a half long Brooks River during the salmon run, which means visitors will have ample opportunity to watch these creatures as they fish in the falls.

No matter if you book a day trip to one of the famous Alaska bear viewing locations or prefer an Alaska bear camp overnight adventure, the Last Frontier is big on bear viewing locations. Just remember, both the season and location you choose to visit matter. Consult with local guides before planning your trip, to ensure that you have plenty of opportunities to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

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