Bears in Alaska?

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Davidsonville, Maryland
25 Posts
Joined May 2004
My husband & I are going on the Coral on July 24th we would love to see brown bears. I have a cruise & port of call book it says a good place to see brown bears is Pack Creek on Admiralry Island near Juneau. My question is, is there a local operator that I can go over to the island with? How far away is Admiralry Island? We are on the land tour on July 19th. We did Alaska about 5 ywars ago on the Crown Princess and I think it was our best cruise.
41 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
When we were on our Alaska Cruise we had a stayover in Anchorage. We saw a Moose right in the middle of the main (6 lane)highway. All the cars going 60 mph had to stop and wait for it to cross. Then as we were driving around town we saw all kinds of animals just roaming around the neighborhoods. It was a riot. Didn't see any Bears!
Cleveland,Ohio, USA
1,203 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Your best chance to see a bear is in Septamber when the salmon are going upstream. If you are going to Denali that also may happen. Bears generally avoid people except when hungry. Some shools have bear fences to protect the kids. Last time we were in Sitka they said a bear was in town the week before, this was September.

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Syracuse, New York
50,489 Posts
Joined May 2000
Your best chance to see a bear is in Septamber when the salmon are going upstream

This is NOT true. Salmon are running in July. I'll assume the above poster is wanting to look at bears eating salmon?? Denali park has plenty of bear viewing opportunities but no salmon. Out of Juneau consider Alaska Fly N Fish. Don't consider an operator that will just fly you out there, you need the permits to land and get to the viewing platform.
Temecula, CA
3,389 Posts
Joined May 2003
Salmon run at different times in Different places. In Haines it is August. I was on a website the other day for Alaska and it said that the salmon run was in September, but I can't remember what town that was in. We saw a bear when we rented a car in Skagway and drove up the Yukon highway into Canada. It's a hit or miss kinda thing.


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Rockford MI USA
1,437 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
We've been on Pricess twice and not seen bears from the ship. Several others claimed to have seen one or two on the shore, but nobody could confirm. Then we did our own land tour in rental car and on the return from Fairbanks, saw a bear at the edge of the woods along the Richardson Hwy. -- long enough to stop and take several photos. My cousin lives near Anchorage over 6 years and has never seen any bears. Hit or miss with the timing. We feel quite fortunate and had one photo framed next to one of an Alaskan Moose. Good luck!
705 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
We saw bears the first week in August 2003 at the Mendenhall Galcier salmon run. The salmon were spawning and there were several bears in the stream right off the parking lot. Several folks saw them while hiking around the visitors center. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
Brentwood, Northern California
1,288 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
If you check out my Alaska pictures (Part 1) on webshots - link below - you can see our bear pictures. We went to see the black bears - it was in August. I noticed that these trips out of Ketchican are not available until late in July through mid September. It was expensive, but well worth it. We also thoroughly enjoyed the float plane ride - it was breathtaking!

We also saw a bear on the shore while canoeing on Mendenhall Lake in Juneau. We were very fortunate when it came to wildlife on our whole trip!!

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Syracuse, New York
50,489 Posts
Joined May 2000
Haines has one of the latest salmon runs- into Sept. Bears at Mendenhall are blacks. I've seen them three times there- once right on the trail in front of me. Rest were fleeting views.
Atlanta, GA
259 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
You have to be lucky to see bears in Denali. As I recall, there are less than 300 brown bears in an area the size of Massachusettes.

I've seen a couple from the ship, but from very, very far away.
14,192 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We got very lucky at Chilkoot Lake (near Haines) while fishing. It was towards the end of July and the chinook salmon were coming in to spawn. While we fished, a bear came down to the water with her three cubs and caught salmon which she tossed on shore for the cubs to eat. We stayed very quiet and allowed the boat to drift in close enough to get a good view while not disturbing her. We also saw lots of bald eagles at the lake.

Princess offers fishing and kayaking excursions to Chilkoot Lake from Skagway.

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