Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time of year to see bears in Alaska?
The prime season for bear viewing is late May through August. As the seasons change, the bears follow their food and move to better spots to find fish, clams, beach greens, and berries. As the weeks progress, the bears pack on hundreds of pounds, especially when they get their catch of fatty salmon in July.
Our Katmai trips begin in mid July when the salmon return to spawn. The bears congerate to the samon streams. Katmai is located in Bristol Bay. Bristol Bay has the largest salmon run in the world.
Is bear viewing safe?
We have a perfect safety record in our three decades of taking guest to view bears. Safety is our top priority on every single trips. We use several techniques to minimize the chance of conflict, including keeping a safe distance at all times, keeping food in the plane far from bears, and taking additional standard precautions around wild animals. If you have any safety questions, plase ask us–we’re more than happy to discuss.
What kind of bears will we see?
We will see Alaska Brown Bears. They are considered the same species as grizzly bears, but because of their rich diet of salmon, they can grow to be much larger than grizzly bears in the Lower 48. The distinct population of bears we view are specially adapted to the coastal environment of the Lake Clark and Katmai regions.
Where will we go to see the bears?
Our two main areas are Lake Clark National Park and Katmai National Park—two of America’s most remote and wild national parks. Depending on where the bears and fish are at the time, we will land on a sandy beach where bears have good access to fish and tend to spend their busy summer days. The trip to Kamai is a longer flight and takes a full day. The trip to Lake Clark is typically a half-day trip.
What will the bears be doing?
We’ll see bears foraging for grass on the beach and digging for clams when the tide is out. If the fish are running, we may see them display their well practiced salmon fishing technique. If a sow has cubs, we’ll see the cubs wrestle and play with each other. If a boar is around, he may be interested in finding a mate and give us a chance to see his courtship skills. You get to see these intelligent and social animals in their natural setting. Every day is a little different!
What if the weather is bad?
Flying is dependent on having acceptable visibility and weather, so in some cases we need to postpone trips. You will be contacted the night before if there is any challenging weather expected. If there is a weather delay it is better to stay at your hotel untill advised. Please be in close contact with Luke. If you book online please be sure to put your phone number and body weight in corectly.
Who is our guide?
Your pilot and guide is Luke Miller. He’s the owner of Fly 907 and has been taking guests out to see bears and travel in Alaska for 30 years. He’s been flying airplanes in Alaska since he learned as a 14-year old. He grew up spending time at his family’s off grid lodge and spends his free time fly fishing. He loves exploring Alaska and taking guests to new locations.
What does a typical day like?
Depending on what time your tour is booked for you will meet Luke at the airplane located at Lake Hood in Anchorage. You’ll meet Luke, your pilot and guide for the day’s adventure. He’ll show you the plane, give a safety briefing, and answer any questions. Then we load up the plane and fly along one of the most spectacular routes in Alaska. If it’s clear, we could catch a view of Denali and the highest peaks of the Alaska Range to the north. As we turn south and cross Cook Inlet, you’ll see the snow-covered Redoubt and Iliamna volcanos soaring above the ocean. If we’re lucky, we may spot beluga whales in the inlet.
Once on the ground, we’ll review safety protocols and then get busy watching bears. In a single day, we may see adult bears busying fishing while cubs play around. Sometimes the males fight over a mate. Each day is a little different! Don’t expect any crowds – it’s just you, Luke, and the bears making the most of the day.
Food and snaks are ok but must be ate close to the plane. All food items are left in the plane when bear viewing. There should be time for beachcombing and exploring all around the area to get new angles. After 2-3 hours of watching bears, it’s time to load up the plane again, take off from the beach for another beautiful flight along the rivers and mountains and finish the day at the base at Lake Hood
What do I need to bring?
The weather can change quickly in Alaska and summer days can quickly get chilly.
Anchorage weather can be a lot warmer than where you are going to be bear viewing, bring warm close.
- Sturdy shoes (such as hiking boots)
- Comfortable pants
- Fleece or warm under layer to put under a wind breaker
- Waterproof layer like a rain jacket
- Water bottle
- Small lunch or snack (this will be kept in the plane away from bears)