Best Place To See Bears In Alaska - Thrilling Adventures Await

Best Place To See Bears In Alaska

Alaska is affectionately referred to as the Last Frontier, and its wild, unsullied landscapes create the perfect natural habitat for many bear species, including black and brown bears, polar bears, and more!

Because there are countless places to watch bears and encounter wildlife in Alaska, we’ve compiled a list of fantastic locations to grab your camera and capture the beauty of Alaska and its magnificent wildlife.

Whether you’re stopping at one of our cruise harbors for a shore excursion or you’re traveling to Alaska to encounter the wilderness on a solo trip or family vacation, we’ve got all the best places to encounter and view bears from a safe distance here in one of the best bear viewing destinations in the world.

Check out the list below and start getting your travel plans together for the most unforgettable trip you’ll ever experience in the United States.


Take The Wilderness Tour And Brown Bear Search On Chichagof Island

Chichagof Island is the fifth largest island in the United States and has the densest population of bears in the world, making it one of the best places to see bears in Alaska. We at Hoonah Travel Adventures offer the wilderness tour and brown bear search from May through September only due to the high probability of sighting a bear.

This bear-viewing adventure lasts three hours and includes up to 10 visitors. Hop in our climate-controlled van for a comfortable tour through the Alaskan wilderness. Your professional guide will lead you to some of the best bear-viewing locations in Chichagof Island, where you can watch and photograph bears and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

Some of the other animals you may encounter include:

  • Martens

  • Bald Eagles

  • Sitka Black-Tailed Deer

  • Beavers

  • Seabirds

Our brown bear searching tours are some of the best opportunities for bear viewing you’ll find on your shore excursion or trip to Alaska, so be sure to contact us ahead of your trip to nail down your preferred tour time before it’s too late!

Bear Watching On Chicagof Island - An Ultimate Bucket List Experience


Enjoy A World Class Bear Viewing Trip At Lake Clark National Park

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve have incredible bear viewing opportunities along the coast due to the magnitude of brown bears that gather in large groups to devour salmon and other fish as they run. Here is a list of a few solid destinations to capture a glimpse of these magnificent creatures:

  • Chinitna Bay – Located at the Cook Inlet’s south end in beautiful Lake Clark National Park. Visitors sometimes see as many as 20 coastal brown bears at once at this bear-viewing hot spot.

  • Crescent Lake – Check out this fishermen’s heaven in the heart of the Chigmit Mountains at Lake Clark. While the salmon are running, black and brown bears frequently visit the shores of Crescent Lake to gorge themselves on the schools of fish.

  • Silver Salmon Creek – Another world-class fishing and bear viewing location in Lake Clark, where brown bears come to dine on the plentiful fish along the Cook Inlet’s coast.

  • Shelter Creek And Tuxedni Bay – These locations are more challenging to reach along the coast of the Cook Inlet, so bears are far less likely to tolerate human presence. If you decide to brave this part of Bear Country, be sure to stay cautious and keep your head on a swivel!

Food Sources For Bears At Lake Clark National Park


Visit One Of The Best Viewing Platforms At Iconic Brooks Falls In Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park is known for its fantastic bear viewing opportunities. Though many places around the globe see a decline in bear population, Katmai provides a largely undisturbed habitat where the Alaska bear can thrive.

If you’re searching for some of the best bear viewing in Alaska, then you can’t miss a trip to Brooks Falls! Brooks Falls splits the Brooks River, which connects Brooks Lake and Naknek Lake. The falls are about six feet high, creating quite the challenge for upstream-climbing salmon.

Because the Falls make it difficult for the salmon to progress on their journey up the river, they collect in large groups at the base, creating a delicious buffet for brown bears and other Alaska bears.

Bear Activity At Brook Falls In Katmai National Park


Don’t Miss The Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area

If you’re still wondering where to see bears in Alaska, then the Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area might just be the spot you’ve been searching for. Located on Admiralty Island, or “Kootznoowoo,” the island is home to more brown bears than there are in the lower 48 states put together.

The Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area allows visitors to experience these magnificent creatures in their natural home in the heart of bear county from the safety of an elevated platform. This location is carefully monitored, with rules strictly enforced!

Because it is maintained so carefully by the United States Forest Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, there has never been an incident with Alaska bear-viewing guests.

Brown Bears In The Pack Creek Bear Viewing Area


Capture The Beauty Of Denali National Park On Bear Viewing Tours

Despite the large population of Alaska bears, you’re less likely to spot them here than on other bear-viewing tours in Alaska. Catch a private bear-watching excursion by bus or on a public shuttle through the park for a chance to watch bears as they meander through the park.

The grizzly bears and black bears can be safely spotted from the road. You might see bears digging up roots and other plants, romping after tiny critters, or wandering across the road.

Denali National Park - The Best Place For A Wildlife Photographer


See Polar Bears On Kodiak Island

Have you ever wanted to see a polar bear in the flesh? Make sure to go on a bear viewing excursion on Kodiak Island to see polar bears and so much more wildlife. Aside from watching bears on your tour, another beloved pastime on Kodiak is to indulge in some wildlife photography.

Some of the other animals you might encounter on a trip to Kodiak Islan include:

  • Red Fox

  • Sitka Deer

  • Dahl Porpoise

  • Wolves

Kodiak Island is an absolute paradise for nature enthusiasts. The island’s breathtaking natural beauty and abundant wildlife make it the perfect destination for an unforgettable experience.

Polar Bears On Kodiak Island


Encounter The Best Bear Viewing Alaska Has To Offer

Now that you know where to see bears in Alaska, you can make an educated decision on where to travel while you’re visiting Bear Country. Not only is bear viewing an exhilarating experience in a seemingly undisturbed wilderness, but the sights Alaska offers are unlike anything you’ll experience elsewhere in the United States.

At Hoonah Travel Adventures we pride ourselves on offering the best bear-viewing experience guided by local professionals who can show you the best locations in the state to watch bears and other wildlife. We’ll provide you with a comfortable bear-viewing experience while you take in all the sights and enjoy time with your loved ones.

Best Bear Viewing Near Hoonah, Alaska

Contact us on our website to schedule your bear viewing experience today! We can’t wait to help you explore the Last Frontier here in Hoonah!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 30

Guaranteed Whale Watching in the Icy Strait Point, Alaska Area - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

Our Hoonah whale watching tour begins when we pick you up at the Icy Strait Point Excursions Hub. We drive along Shaman Point to the Hoonah City Harbor where our charter boat is waiting. Along the way, you may spot some of our local wildlife, including bald eagles, blacktail deer, and more. Hoonah is home to the largest concentration of Alaskan brown bears in the world, so keep your eyes open!

We then board the boat and leave Hoonah Harbor. While traveling along the shorelines, sightings of bears, deer, coastal ducks and geese, blue heron, puffin, terns, cormorants, and more are common. In the water, you may get a chance to spot humpbacks, orca, sea otters, sea lions, porpoises, and seals.

Large numbers of humpback whales come to Hoonah to feed in the nutrient-rich waters of Point Adolphus, Glacier Bay and Icy Strait every summer before migrating south again in the winter. The whale population begins to arrive in Hoonah in May and stays through September. Humpback whales are large baleen whales that can reach over 50 feet in length and weigh as much as 50 tons. They are most famous for their whale songs, thought to be used by males as a mating call. Humpbacks are amazingly active and typical whale sightings include diving, blows, and flukes (tails). Lucky whale watchers may get to see breaching or bubble-net feeding, a cooperative feeding method where a pod forms a circle and dives under the water. They blow air to create a wall of bubbles that force krill and plankton to the surface where the whales can eat them. Observing humpbacks practice bubble-net feeding is a real treat and a truly thrilling experience. We have a $100 whale sighting guarantee! If a whale is not sighted on your tour your will be credited $100.

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3 hours
Group Size
Up to 10

Wilderness Tour and Brown Bear Search - LEO, Military, Teacher Discount!

Chichagof Island, or Shee Kaax, is an island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Alaska Panhandle. At 75 miles long and 50 miles wide, it has a land area of 2,048.61 square miles, making it the fifth largest island in the United States. Chichagof Island has the highest population of bears per square mile of any place on Earth and its dense rain forests are some of the last grizzly strongholds!

The community of Hoonah, with a year-round population of approximately 750, is located in the northern part of Chichagof Island. The vast majority of the island is made up of pure, uninhabited Alaskan wilderness teeming with wildlife! The Ursus arctos, or brown bear, is the king of the forest, but Sitka black-tail deer, bald eagles, minks, martens, beavers, ducks, and seabirds thrive on the island and are sometimes spotted on this tour.

This Alaskan wilderness and bear search tour is only offered May through September because those are the months that afford the highest probability of bear sightings. In late April and May, the bears are coming out of hibernation and looking for food. In June, the bears are mating and eating grasses on the tidal flats. Older males fight each other for dominance and mating rights with the females, who at times are not receptive and force the male to give chase.

In July, the salmon start their migration from the ocean up the rivers and we find the bears feeding in coastal rivers and streams. In August and September, the salmon have made it further up the rivers to shallow streams where the bears chase them.

Depending on the month and the weather, the wildlife can be found in different locations throughout the island. Your guide spends a lot of time in the forest and knows where to look.

Join us as we search for these amazing creatures!

This tour is located on the Tongass National Forest under special use permit from the Forest Service, USDA.
Hoonah Travel Adventures LLC is an equal opportunity provider.

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3 hours
Group Size
Up to 6

Icy Strait Fishing Adventure

Fishermen come from around the world to cast their lines in the waters of Southeast Alaska in search of halibut and salmon. Join the ranks of these traveling fisherman and book a trip with us today!

3 hours
Group Size
Up to 12

Icy Strait Kayak Adventure

The reasons to Kayak with us are endless! A few reasons might be to experience unspoiled nature and stunning scenery amid a mountainous back drop! Or simply the serenity and peace that speaks to ones soul while gliding silently across the water in this majestic, remote location.

3 hours 30 minutes
Group Size
2 to 10

Chichagof Island Birding & Nature Adventure

In the lush vegetation of Chichagof Island, near Hoonah, Alaska, where Brown Bears outnumber humans, birding is an adventure! Your expert bird guide is also a naturalist, and you will learn about the natural and human history of the area, the plants, animals, fish, forests, and rivers. Pigeon Guillemots, Bald Eagles, Varied Thrushes, Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Red-breasted Sapsuckers are some of the favorites, but this is so much more than just another birding tour. Come experience the vibrant ecological web created here, in Hoonah, Alaska, near Icy Strait Point where the towering temperate forests of Chichagof Island tangle with the rich marine life of Icy Strait.