Wildlife Travel: Grizzly Bears
Brown bears, or grizzly bears as they are known in the lower 48 states, are believed to have once resided in the Great Plains of North America. Development and human encroachment have forced these bears into rugged mountain ranges and remote forests that remain undisturbed by humans.
These brown bears now primarily reside in western Canada, Alaska and in the states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Washington. As a result, grizzly bear enthusiasts will have to go to great lengths to encounter one of these bears in the wild. Happily, there are several agencies and organizations which will help you do just that.
Grizzly Bear Wildlife Tours
Natural Habitat Adventures bills itself as “a company that focuses on taking people to see wildlife as it lives, wild and free” and offers two unique grizzly bear adventures in Alaska.
The Hidden Alaska 13 day grizzly bear wildlife tour costs $6,795 and provides enthusiasts with an opportunity to explore the breathtaking back country of Denali. The trip also includes a visit to a private island in the Kenai Fjords and a stay at Brooks Falls in Katmai – thought to be one of the best places anywhere for viewing grizzly bears.
Another NHA offering is the popular Grizzlies: From Kodiak to Katmai. This wildlife tour lasts 7 days, costs $5,595 and covers coastal Katmai, just off the spectacular Kodiak Island. The grizzly bears in this area are massive due to the consistent diet of high protein salmon – some males weigh as much as 700 pounds! Much of the tour takes place aboard a small boat rather than from land, which allows bear enthusiasts the opportunity to go ashore, getting astonishingly close to these animals as they focus on feeding, rarely paying attention to their human observers.
Looking for something with a bit more pampering, but just as remote? Try Grizzly Bear Ranch located in the Lardeau Valey of Canada, one of only a handful of places in the world where grizzlies can be observed in their natural habitat.
The autumn is the best time to visit Grizzly Bear Ranch as this is when the bears gather at Lardeau River to feast on the spawning, bright red Kokanee salmon.This 4 night/3 day grizzly viewing wildlife tour is a bargain at only $840 US dollars and includes a gentle rafting tour of the bears feeding grounds in addition to an excursion through the valley from the comforts of a 4x4.
Gizzly Bear Ranch hosts no more than 7 guests at any one time. This, combined with its remote location provides the perfect place to relax, take in the sun, observe the birds – including bald eagles and enjoy the towering snow capped mountains. As if this weren’t enough, those visiting the ranch are treated to exceptional food, fine wine and comfortable accommodations.
Self Guided Grizzly Bear Wildlife Tour
Do you prefer instead to design your own grizzly bear wildlife vacation? Then head to the northern most part of Yellowstone Park, between Mammoth Hot Springs and Silver Gate.