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Bear Viewing Tours in Alaska

Bear Viewing Tours in Alaska

From Sitka to Homer to the famous McNeil River, Alaska ranks among the world’s best places to observe bears in the wild. Here’s what you need to know for the best chance of spotting Alaska’s grizzly, brown, and black bears during your stay.

 

Where to Go

Alaska has dozens of bear-viewing hot spots, offering ample opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts across the state. From Anchorage, it’s possible to take a day trip by airplane to Lake Clark National Park to see bears, while a short flight from Ketchikan takes you to Prince of Wales Island, another excellent viewing spot. Chichagof Island, located outside Hoonah, is home to the largest concentration of bears on the planet. From Homer, take a day trip to either Lake Clark or Katmai National Park for the chance to spot grizzly bears in the wild.

 

Sitka’s Fortress of the Bear gives visitors the chance to observe rescued wild bears in their natural environment—an excellent option for families or cruise ship passengers with limited time in port.

 

When to Go

While you can’t control nature, you can control when to take your trip to optimize your chances of seeing bears. Generally, the best time to see bears is between June and September. During the early summer months, bears tend to converge on the coast, while the salmon run in August and September offers an opportunity for the animals to gorge in Alaska’s rivers.

 

How to Go

Many of Alaska’s best bear-viewing locations are in the state’s wild, remote places. Often, the best way to get there is by bush plane. Luckily, there are bear-viewing day tours from many Alaskan destinations, including Anchorage, Juneau, Sitka, Homer, Ketchikan, Hoonah, and Soldotna.

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8 Tours and Activities

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Chichagof Island Tour: Brown Bear Search

Chichagof Island Tour: Brown Bear Search

star-4
59
Spend three hours exploring the scenic and remote Chichagod Island on this small group tour that showcases life on the tiny island. Learn from your local guide about the Alaskan wilderness and wildlife while you explore this island that's home to the largest concentration of bears on earth. With just 750 residents, you'll feel far off the beaten path on this tour that's perfect for nature lovers.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$129.38
From
$129.38

Bear Viewing Excursion and Airplane Adventure Tour

Bear Viewing Excursion and Airplane Adventure Tour

star-4.5
24
Lake Clark National Park, with its immense rain forest, tundra, and volcanoes, is accessible only by boat or air taxi. With this tour, take a plane ride from Anchorage directly to the park’s best places to see bears. Land near the bears and spend several hours safely observing them. Then, hike through the wilderness for a picnic lunch on a secluded beach.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$990.00
From
$990.00

Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles

Sitka Sightseeing Tour including Fortress of the Bear and Totem Poles

star-4.5
47
Discover Alaska’s historic city of Sitka on this small-group tour limited to just 10 people. A comfortable van takes you across the O’Connell Bridge to Japonski Island. Pass Sheldon Jackson Museum, Alaska Pioneer Home, and St. Michael’s Cathedral, and listen to engaging commentary on the sites from informative guides. Enjoy up-close views of rescued bears at Fortress of the Bear, and take in the stunning scenery of Sitka National Historical Park and admire its towering totem poles.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$70.52
From
$70.52

Sitka Shore Excursion: Sitka Bears, Raptor Center, and Totem Park Tour

Sitka Shore Excursion: Sitka Bears, Raptor Center, and Totem Park Tour

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5
Explore Sitka without the hassle of navigating on your own on a half–day tour to the city’s top landmarks, including the Fortress of Bears, National Historic Park, and Raptor Center. No need to plan logistics: Entrance fees are included for all stops on the itinerary. In addition to round–trip transportation from the Sitka cruise port, your guide provides live commentary about landmarks passed along the way.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$129.32
From
$129.32

Icy Strait Small Group Shore Excursion: We're going on a bear hunt!

Icy Strait Small Group Shore Excursion: We're going on a bear hunt!

star-3.5
5
Take a 4-hour shore excursion from Hoonah to Icy Strait in search of bears. This area is known as ‘Bear Island’ because it has the highest concentration of brown bears per square mile in the world. Learn about the area’s other wildlife from your informative guide and about the native Tlingit population. Take in the beautiful Alaskan scenery and bring your camera to snap some photos of the wildlife.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$230.69
From
$230.69

Prince of Wales Island Bear-Viewing Tour By Air From Ketchikan

Prince of Wales Island Bear-Viewing Tour By Air From Ketchikan

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10
Observe bears in their natural habitat on a half-day tour by air from Ketchikan. Your pilot shares commentary via radio headset during the 40-minute scenic flight as you go over the Inside Passage to Prince of Wales Island. Land at Polk Inlet and visit the United States Forest Service bear-viewing platform, where your guide helps you get a close look at wild bears as they hunt for salmon along the creek. Includes scenic flight, guide, and pickup and drop-off from central Ketchikan.
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  • 3 hours
From
$409.24
From
$409.24

Juneau Shore Excursion: Exclusive Pack Creek Bear Viewing from Juneau

Juneau Shore Excursion: Exclusive Pack Creek Bear Viewing from Juneau

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3
While your ship is docked in Juneau, visit the Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area, a protected wildlife site with the highest concentration of brown bears in the world. This day trip includes a floatplane flight over Tongass National Forest and a kayaking journey through Windfall Harbor. A certified guide takes your small group of no more than 10 people into the Alaskan wilderness to watch brown bears frolicking in the meadows and catching salmon in rivers. The Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area issues a limited number of visitation permits, exclusively to tour operators. Avoid disappointment by booking this tour well in advance.
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  • 8 hours
From
$870.77
From
$870.77

Exclusive Pack Creek Bear Viewing from Juneau

Exclusive Pack Creek Bear Viewing from Juneau

star-4.5
10
Go deep into the Alaskan wilderness to a protected wildlife site with the highest concentration of brown bears in the world. This bucket-list day trip to Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area includes a floatplane flight over Tongass National Forest and a kayak paddle through Windfall Harbor. An informative guide takes your small group of no more than 10 people into the woods to observe brown bears romping in the meadows and catching salmon in rivers. The Pack Creek Brown Bear Viewing Area issues a limited number of visitation permits, exclusively to tour operators. Avoid disappointment by booking this tour well in advance.
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  • 8 hours
From
$870.77
From
$870.77


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