Our Newest Polar Bear Adventure—A Rare Opportunity for Close-Up Photos at Eye Level
At the top of Alaska, where the coastal plain meets the Beaufort Sea at 70 degrees north latitude, wild polar bears roam the shoreline in late summer and fall, waiting for the Beaufort Sea to freeze. While this icon of the Arctic has been at home on the edge of Alaska’s North Slope for millennia, its numbers have been increasing around the tiny hamlet of Kaktovik in recent years, where bears come ashore in search of sustenance until the winter seal-hunting season begins. Surrounded by the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Kaktovik offers Alaska’s best opportunity to photograph polar bears at close range from small boats that cruise the coastline. This exploratory trip provides an unusual chance to learn about the impacts of climate change from the frontline as we witness changing polar bear behavior and learn how local Inupiat people are facing challenges to their age-old subsistence lifestyle.