Kodiak Bears

Old Feb 15, 11, 6:15 pm
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Kodiak Bears

Ms. P would like to see the brown bears live and in person. As best I can tell, we would need to fly AS to Kodiak, and then take a smaller plane to a lodge? Any advice would be appreciated. We don't mind spending a few extra dollars for a once in a lifetime trip. Thanks
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Old Feb 15, 11, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by PIONEER View Post
Ms. P would like to see the brown bears live and in person. As best I can tell, we would need to fly AS to Kodiak, and then take a smaller plane to a lodge? Any advice would be appreciated. We don't mind spending a few extra dollars for a once in a lifetime trip. Thanks
She has to see Kodiak bears? There are other grizzly/brown bears in Alaska that are easier to see (Denali probably being the cheapest). Katmai National Park and Lake Clark National Park are also excellent choices for grizzly bears.

I was in Kodiak last August. Though never guaranteed, I had good success seeing bears 18 miles east of the city of Kodiak at rivers. I went four times (morning and evening) and saw bears twice. Once I saw a single bear - he even stood on his hind legs for me. Another time I saw a mama and her three cubs.

In 2012 I am planning on taking a trip to a cabin with a friend. The day trips or all-inclusive lodges are just extremely expensive. A day trip costs about $500/person. It looks like we can get a cabin for about $35/night and a chartered floatplane round trip for $1,600. If we stay there 5 nights, we can do the trip for under $200/person/night. Granted, we must bring our own food, sleeping bags, etc. But we will have hours more bear viewing than any day trippers. I am not at my own computer right now so I can't give specifics of what I found. But if that is not appealing to you, the all-inclusive lodges with bear viewing are probably best. But they often run $400-$600/person/night if not more. Depending on where you go on Kodiak, early July to mid August is the prime bear viewing time.

Brooks Camp in Katmai is another great place to see brown bears. The campground fills up very quickly the first day they start taking reservations. $8/person/night for the camping. You can bring your own food or eat at the lodge. The flight from Anchorage to King Salmon to Brooks costs about $600 round trip per person. If you wanted to stay in one of the cabins, you usually need to book those more than a year in advance. July and September are peak times for bears at Brooks.
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Old Feb 15, 11, 10:11 pm
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Thanks very much fti. Yeah, we've already seen a grizzly at Denali. The goal this time is to see them in the water catching salmon. We are definitely not going to be dealing with sleeping bags etc. and so would appeciate a referral to a decent tour operator or lodge. (I've found some on the net, but a referral from a fellow FT would carry a lot more weight.) Our preliminary research indicates that there are a lot of people there in July and August, so we're thinking just after Labor Day. Thanks again
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Old Feb 17, 11, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by PIONEER View Post
Thanks very much fti. Yeah, we've already seen a grizzly at Denali. The goal this time is to see them in the water catching salmon. We are definitely not going to be dealing with sleeping bags etc. and so would appeciate a referral to a decent tour operator or lodge. (I've found some on the net, but a referral from a fellow FT would carry a lot more weight.) Our preliminary research indicates that there are a lot of people there in July and August, so we're thinking just after Labor Day. Thanks again
I don't have any personal recommendation for a tour operator.

I trust you don't mean seeing the bears catching salmon that are jumping in midair. That classic picture in people's minds comes from Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park and only happens in/around July.

I think your reasoning of going just after Labor Day may be faulty. My guess is that the reason a lot of people are there in July and August is because a lot of BEARS are there in July and August. If I am going to spend that kind of money, I want to go in the prime bear viewing time. You go to Kodiak in September and your chances diminish greatly, at least from the research I have done so far. I just wouldn't consider such a trip myself unless I went during the "peak" season, crowds or not. You might want to reconsider.

Last edited by fti; Feb 21, 11 at 4:06 am
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Old Feb 20, 11, 12:19 pm
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September brings a lot of weather issues for the island of Kodiak especially fogs that delay flights and make bear seeing difficult.

Been stuck on Kodiak waiting and waiting for a flight out. Waiting and waiting.

Schedules on Kodiak don't mean much. Be prepared.
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Old Mar 6, 11, 3:36 pm
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Kodiak

Fly to Homer from Anchorage on Grant Aviation, Go on a bear viewing flight out of Homer to Hallo Bay bear camp (Grant has a special fare for Hallo Bay guests). Then catch a flight to Kodiak on Grant and go for a flight around the island with Andrew Airways. Take the Ferry back to homer if you want to go by sea, or catch a flight back on Grant. Fun!

www.flygrant.com, www.andrewairways.com, www.hallobay.com
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Old Mar 13, 11, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by premieride View Post
I took a geology class with one of the owners of Andrew Airways (she was actually my lab partner). Also, my next door neighbor (who was my piano teacher's husband) moved to Kodiak to fly for Andrew Airways. I can recommend them!
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