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Katmai vs Russian River Falls for bear/salmon view in June

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Katmai vs Russian River Falls for bear/salmon view in June

Hi all. My husband and I would like to see bears and salmon while on our trip and are in a dilemna.

Option 1: Fly to Katmai from Homer. Con: this is expensive and will call for hotel for one night in Homer.

Option 2: Russian River Falls by Cooper Landing. Cons: Spotting bears at end of June is not as guaranteed and not the same experience as Katmai, but will save significant cost and time.

If we skip Katmai are we really missing a huge experience? Will Russian River Falls be sufficient enough?

For reference we are in our 30s and fit. Plan to arrive in Alaska June 15th. Katmai would be around June 24. Our tentative itinerary goes like this: Anchorage > Hatcher Pass > Sheep Mountain > McCarthy > Valdez > Whittier > Seward > Homer > Girdwood > Anchorage.

Will there be other opportunities along the way to see bears and salmon?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

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Homer
Homer
Alaska
Alaska
Alaska
United States
Hatcher Pass
Hatcher Pass
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Alaska
Seward
Seward
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Winnipeg, Canada
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1. Re: Katmai vs Russian River Falls for bear/salmon view in June

"Spotting bears at end of June is not as guaranteed "

As guaranteed? Try remote. Very few people see bears there. If it were easy to see bears for free at Russian River, who would pay $600+ to fly to Katmai?

That said, in June most bear-viewing trips do NOT see bears fishing. They are clamming or eating sedge grasses, mating, etc. So if you do decide on a tour, be very sure to ask the company what you can expect to see.

You're too early for Solomon Gulch (Valdez), though ask the locals when you get there. If the salmon run starts early, the bears (and sea lions) will be after them if you have the patience to spend time there.

While you might see a bear anywhere, there is nowhere reliable on your route in mid June.

Duluth, Minnesota
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for Cabo San Lucas, Alaska
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2. Re: Katmai vs Russian River Falls for bear/salmon view in June

Having spent weeks at the Russian in June, I can echo MM's words...your odds of seeing a bear fishing for salmon at the Russian is remote. Even seeing a bear at the Russian is unlikely, and if you were to it would likely be trying to steal a stringer from a fisherman...not exactly what you're looking for I expect.

Denali on the bus is probably your best bet without flyouts, but I don't see Denali in your itinerary.

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3. Re: Katmai vs Russian River Falls for bear/salmon view in June

Thank you for the replies MNman and MapleMarshmallow. That's the answer I was looking for. I have heard about both places on this forum and wanted to know the difference. I guess Katmai experience might be too good to pass up.

Re Denali -- our previous itinerary had Denali on it but we decided to go East to McCarthy and Valdez instead.

4. Re: Katmai vs Russian River Falls for bear/salmon view in June

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