Frequently Asked Questions

Why should we go with Alaska Bear Adventures?

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Bears Are Our Passion! At Alaska Bear Adventures we focus all our considerable knowledge and experience exclusively on YOUR Alaska Bear Adventure. Others offer Bear Viewing as a sideline…. As an Alaskan family operated business, we “live” Bear Viewing 24 hours a day from mid May to early September. We fly bush planes to the best places in the world for Guided Wilderness Bear Viewing, the wild coastal beaches of Katmai and Lake Clark Parks. We are on these beaches every day and will get you to the BEST location for viewing and photography.

Safety – Our safety record for flying and guiding is flawless, we take care with you and your loved ones (and the bears of course). Experience -We have been flying safely in Alaska for over 20 years, and guiding Bear Viewing for over 12 years with an extensive (300 hours) training and mentoring program for new guides. Focus – We Specialize in Bear Viewing, there are no distractions from providing you with the best Bear Viewing and Photography trip available from Homer, Alaska.

When is the best time to view bears in Alaska?

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The bear viewing is great from June through early September.  This unusual reliability for bear viewing is due to the amazing abundance of food sources available along the Katmai/Lake Clark coast.  The bears have no reason to go elsewhere for food.  To observe grizzly bear mating behavior, June and early July are best.

To watch grizzly bears fishing for salmon, mid-July to the end of the season is best.  You will most likely see coastal grizzly bears digging for clams and mating during May.  Alaska Bear Adventures operates bear viewing tours in May for those visitors who desire the “We are the only ones here with the bears ” experience.

Is grizzly bear viewing safe?

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The short answer is YES grizzly bear viewing is safe.  Confrontations between bears and humans can be avoided when people have a clear understanding of bear behavior and show the bears respect.  We are very predictable in our bear viewing behavior and this allows the bears to be comfortable with our presence.

There has never been a documented case of a bear attack on a group of three or more humans. Guides on the Katmai coast carry marine flares to scare off bears should the need arise. At Alaska Bear Adventures our guides are put through a rigorous training program consisting of 200 to 300 hours in the field with the bears.

What should I bring with me while bear viewing?

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Dress for cool & wet weather, remove layers for warm weather. Wear layered clothing (windproof fleece), rain gear, jacket & pants (lightweight coated nylon). Bring a day pack and water bottle (you will carry all you bring).

Be sure to bring your camera & memory cards & batteries. Binoculars, bug dope (DEET), sunscreen, sunglasses and hat are all recommended. Bring a bag lunch (NO FISH). MEDICATION: if you use it, bring enough for 2 days just in case the weather delays us (weather has delayed our return twice in the last 500 trips). DO NOT bring any fish!

Are there any physical requirements for the bear viewing tours?

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Yes, we will walk from the beach through grassy meadow or tundra to a vantage point to observe the bears. The ground surface is very irregular in some places. You must be able to walk up to 3-4 miles without limitation or difficulty. If you are not able to walk this distance, we offer bear viewing trips for those less able. Please call us to inquire about our trips that accommodate people who experience special needs.

 What is a typical Classic day trip itinerary?

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Your trip begins at the Homer airport, where you are fit for hip waders, read and sign an acknowledgment of risk form and receive a safety briefing.  Next a fantastic .75 to 1.5 hour flight seeing* trip over mountains, glaciers and volcanoes. We land on the beach on the Katmai/Lake Clark coast usually right near the bears, then walk .5 to 2 miles from the beach through grassy meadow or tundra to a vantage point to observe the bears. After about three hours** at the viewing location we return to Homer, again enjoying .75 to 1.5 hours of some of the best flight seeing* Alaska has to offer.  The trip is complete about 4.5 to 6 hours after meeting for departure.

*Digital Photos and flightseeing are weather dependent, the quality of the photos and flightseeing may be reduced by weather
**Actual time with the bears is dependent on both weather and wildlife movement and may vary significantly from the time planned

What is the maximum party size?

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Five clients with one bear viewing guide is typical.  On occasion, to accommodate your group’s needs we may adjust this ratio up (to a maximum of 10) or down (to a minimum of  2).  We can accommodate larger groups with multiple guides, up to 15 clients, but we highly recommend smaller group sizes even when you go on the same day at the same time.  Smaller groups  have a lighter impact on the bears and their habitat.

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