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Cheapest way to watch Bear catching Salmon

Portland, Oregon
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Cheapest way to watch Bear catching Salmon

Family of 4 with 14 & 6 yr boys, visiting Alaska July 8-19th. So far we plan to be 1 night in Barrow, 2 nights in Seward, 2 nights in Denali NP, 2 nights in Fairbanks and 2 nights in Anchorage. Still open with another 2 nights. We will probably see some bears at a distance in Denali.

We want to see bears catching Salmon in cheap way (~$400 for 4).

Brooks Falls visit would be too expensive, >$600/pp, Homer to Kodiak island trip is not also cheap! Is there any other place around Anchorage/Fairbanks/Denali/Seward/Homer, where we can can spend a day and watch bears catching Salmon and not spend a fortune?

Is there any chance of seeing Arctic Fox or Polar Bear in Barrow?

Thanks in advance.

Manitoba, Canada
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1. Re: Cheapest way to watch Bear catching Salmon

"Is there any other place around Anchorage/Fairbanks/Denali/Seward/Homer, where we can can spend a day and watch bears catching Salmon and not spend a fortune?"

If there were, people wouldn't be spending $600 pp.... The "cheapest" tour would be Talon Air out of Soldotna at about $350 pp.

Anywhere there are salmon there might be bears, but your chances of being there at the right time is just a matter of luck and the odds are poor.

You could try hanging around the Russian River area (Cooper Landing). Hike to the falls to see the salmon jumping up, and watch the fishermen in the river. Ask everyone you see if they've spotted any bears. But no guarantees you'll even see a bear, let alone see one fishing.

The best time to see Polar Bears in Barrow is September/October. Not much chance in July, but ask around once you get there. I don't know about the Arctic Fox--there are lots of birds that nest in the tundra near Barrow, so I would think you might have a chance to see foxes going after the young birds, but don't count on it. Again, ask the locals when you get there, since they might know the location of a fox den.

Destination Expert
for Alaska
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2. Re: Cheapest way to watch Bear catching Salmon

Good advice from MM. Finding wild animals in the open is a matter of chance or placing yourself in the right place at a time of maximum activity - still a chancy affair. I have spent a lot of time in the arctic and in the wilds, and by far the best place to see animals in the wild is Denali Park. Besides, meeting bears in true wilderness takes pretty good nerves and judgment as to just how close you want to get. That is a digression, though.

In Barrow DO ask the locals if there are any dens or places they can take you to see fox or other local animals. Be generous with your payment to people, their expenses are horrendously high. Look at the price of gas when you are there, and ask about the cost of heating oil. Take the initiative to say hello, it will pay back 10 fold. Take time to let your kids play with local kids, and talk to the adults if you have a chance.

Most often the best place to see bears is at a city dump. It is not the picture of wilderness or romantic, but it is most effective. The Russian River Falls is a superb recommendation. Stop at the local Fish and Game office and ask about places for the recent sightings.

Best of luck. Approach the people and the land with a positive attitude and you will be paid back generously.


PS Might as well add, take rain outfits with you and use them. Animals are most active when the sun is not shining and will not overheat them. So put on the fowl weather gear and go out in the chill and the rain and the cloudy days, and the early morning and evening for the best chance to see animals.

Edited: 19 September 2010, 18:02
3. Re: Cheapest way to watch Bear catching Salmon

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