By Emily Goodheart Kautz,
Our excursions into Katmai National Park and Preserve vary widely from one month to the next due to differences in bear behavior and activity. Find out the best time to visit based on your individual interests, whether it be June, July, August or September.
© Brad Josephs
In June, brown bears converge on the coast of Katmai National Park to socialize, breed and forage. Eager to replenish their diet after months of hibernation, the grizzlies congregate on the tidal flats to dig for razor, butter and steamer clams and in the meadows to feed on protein-rich sedges and other vegetation. The best time to witness play behavior is in early
© Brad Josephs
It takes a significant amount of nutrients to satiate a bear, so they continue to spend most of their time eating grasses and berries that are plentiful on Katmai. Physically, the bears maintain their traditional round, fuzzy look. Mothers nurse their cubs, and young bears nuzzle each other and frolic in the meadows. If you want to see bears interacting with each other on dry land, this is a great time to go. July is also the best time to see wildflowers, as the coast blooms with blue and purple lupines, fireweed and wild geranium, and bears gather to graze on the sweet stalks.
© Brad Josephs
In August, salmon leap from the streams and rivers, and the bears are intent on catching as many as they can—sometimes up to 11 per day! August is a perfect month to go if you want to see the bears fine-tuning their fishing skills. Watching the bears snatch fish from the rapids is enthralling, and photographers will delight in capturing the rush of water alongside the excitement and action of the bears. The
© Emily Kleinburd
September comes in a golden glow—the birches, willows
Regardless of when you go, every month offers enchanting views of Katmai’s mountains and encounters with beautiful bears. You may also spot wolves, bald eagles, red foxes, moose and caribou during your trip, and the chance to see fascinating interactions between grizzlies and other wildlife grants onlookers a once-in-lifetime opportunity.
By Peter Davis Krahenbuhl
The opportunity to experience and photograph a giant brown bear in its natural habitat is, in a word, awesome! And photos don’t lie. In fact, we would go so far as to suggest that images of Alaska’s enormous brown bears are among the most iconic wildlife photos on Earth.
If you are fortunate enough to go on a brown bear viewing and photography tour, we highly recommend our Alaska Coastal Grizzlies Photo Tour—a private ship-based adventure where you can see the largest coastal grizzlies in the world as they gorge on spawning salmon in the Alaskan wild. It’s truly a sight to behold. If you go, here are five key tips to keep in mind in order to capture the best, most awe-inspiring images possible.
Check out these great Alaska wildlife viewing and photography tours and put your photography skills to the test!
All Photos: Brad Josephs
By Holly Glessner, Sky Ambassador at Natural Habitat Adventures
Just a sample of the amazing views in the Kenai Fjords
In 2015, I had the privilege of joining an Ultimate Alaska Wildlife Photo Safari for a spectacular 14-day tour of Alaska’s natural highlights. This unique nature tour included stops in Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Kenai Fjords and Katmai National Park. I was amazed by all the natural beauty that surrounded me while in Alaska and loved every part of the tour.
Whenever anyone asks, “What was your favorite part of the trip?” I reply with, “It was all amazing, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. If I must choose, it would be the time I spent at Fox Island and our stay at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge.”
Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge
The lodge is located on Fox Island
One of the eight private cabins at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge
Upon our arrival at the lodge, we were greeted by the staff, who quickly took care of our luggage and whisked us away to our remote accommodations for the next two nights. Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge is made up of eight guest cabins situated between the beach and a freshwater lagoon that’s located behind the cabins. In addition to the eight guest cabins, there is a 3,300-square-foot main lodge that was built in 2013 and is used exclusively for overnight guests. This beautiful lodge features two-story windows that look out over Halibut Cove. It’s the perfect place to unwind and mingle with other guests while sharing stories from the day. A sharp eye might even be able to spot whales or sea lions from the comfort of the couch. Or you can enjoy your time on the expansive deck with amazing views of Kenai Fjords.
The main lodge is home to the beautiful dining room, which also has sweeping views of Halibut Cove and Kenai Fjords. This main lodge also houses a gourmet kitchen where guests can enjoy a culinary experience with the chefs and learn to prepare one of their amazing Alaskan seafood recipes. Fresh seafood, crisp green salads
Kayaking at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge
When staying at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, you can choose to be as active as you want or spend your time relaxing on the cobblestone beach. Besides eating and taking in the amazing views while at the lodge, guests also have access to full- and half-day kayak excursions, beachcombing, Resurrection Bay tours, glacier tours
If you’re looking for a remote wilderness getaway that doesn’t involve long travel times or an expensive transfer, then Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge is your place. Cute and cozy cabins, gourmet meals, beautiful surroundings and endless views of the Alaskan wilderness await you.
Beautiful Seward, Alaska
The ship used to transport travelers between Seward & Fox Island.
Article photos © Holly Glessner
Header photo © Justin Gibson