For avid nature photographers searching for the ultimate chance to get close-up pictures of grizzly bears at eye level, it’s tough to top an American bear safari. Here in the roadless wilderness of southwest Alaska, we are enveloped in the raw beauty of this remote region that few people will ever have the opportunity to visit.

From aboard a privately chartered small ship, small groups of nature enthusiasts walk ashore onto deserted beaches where brown bears forage for clams and fish for salmon. These are some of the most intimate wildlife experiences available on Earth.

Nat Hab travelers Dennis and Celia D’Arienzo took the following images of some of their small group’s close encounters with massive Alaskan brown bears along the wild coast of Katmai National Park this summer.

Brown bear stare

Walking with wild bears

Alaska's Katmai coast

Grizzly bear cub in Alaska

Grizzly bear watching in Alaska

Traveler with a grizzly bear

Small group sitting with grizzly bears

All photos © Celia D’Arienzo and Dennis D’Arienzo.