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Bear viewing at Brooks Camp on 4-5 July 2017, too early?

Dublin, Ireland
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Bear viewing at Brooks Camp on 4-5 July 2017, too early?

Hi there,

My fiancée and I are honeymooning in Canada & Alaska next year; we've only a week unfortunately in Alaska, arriving on June 30. We'll spend 3 days in Denali and then the plan is to fly to King Salmon very early on 4 July and do 2 full days at Brooks Camp, overnighting in King Salmon on 4 July. Its been a life-long ambition of ours to see brown bears fishing for salmon in real life and not just on tv nature documentaries :)

So my question is; are we going there a bit too early given salmon runs over the last few years? I know it varies year-on-year but I hear mid-July is preferable? (Our dates can't be changed unfortunately) If it is a bit early, are there other places which might be better in early July to see brown bears fishing (e.g. Bear Mountain Lodge, Homestead, Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, Kodiak Island etc)? Or would we be better off taking our chances in Brooks? Even if there's a few bears fishing there and not peak run time that would be just fine :)

Thanks a million for any help/advice :)

6 replies to this topic
fti
MN
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for Alaska
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1. Re: Bear viewing at Brooks Camp on 4-5 July 2017, too early?

It is hard to say exactly, but by July 4-5 there will be some bears at the falls. It just might not be as many as some years if the salmon run starts later.

The key is to book your campground permit when it first opens up (Jan 5?). Last year it was a fiasco with people allowed to put the permits in their shopping cart before the opening time but then had to wait until the opening time to check out. That left many people empty handed. The NPS assured people it would not happen like that again. I don't plan to go this summer, but it was not a good situation. In any case, even if you don't get a permit on the first day, it is possible to get one later on as there are always cancellations.

Good luck!

Dublin, Ireland
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2. Re: Bear viewing at Brooks Camp on 4-5 July 2017, too early?

Thanks fti. I think that should be okay.....my contact in Katmailand assures me she can't remember a time there wasn't at least a few bears around by late June, and that last year they were around from mid-June! No guarantees obviously but think we'll take our chances....we're unlikely to hit the peak run season, looks like, but should be close enough to it that there's a few bears around.

Just on the campground permits, I think (but will make sure!) that our 2-day tour with Katmailand covers that (includes park fees anyway)?....will confirm though!

Thanks again :)

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3. Re: Bear viewing at Brooks Camp on 4-5 July 2017, too early?

We visited Brooks on 7/23/16 and saw 4 diff bears and had a magical day. Who the heck knows what will happen but this past summer the run started early from what we heard and I was nervous 7/23 would end up being too late so it's impossible to fully plan these things but based on last year July 4/5 is likely to be a good time.

Dublin, Ireland
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4. Re: Bear viewing at Brooks Camp on 4-5 July 2017, too early?

Great, thanks kmcclintock :) We're in with as good a shout as any so :)

Birmingham, United...
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5. Re: Bear viewing at Brooks Camp on 4-5 July 2017, too early?

From what I hear you should be lucky! It depends where you go,but the brook falls tripmus the best for that time! I'm going on the 7thn

Also ambition if mine!But line you my dates can't be changed! But the redtnof the place I believe is ftomnthe 25,thinly onwards! But they are definitely there then! I would recommend Rusty's flying service, from anchorage I think $936 pp,includes flights lunch etc,sadlyni can't go,or it's not recommended I enjoy

Lake Forest...
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6. Re: Bear viewing at Brooks Camp on 4-5 July 2017, too early?

There should be plenty of bears at Brooks Falls then! For example, for the last few years there have been numerous bears at the falls at that time. Go and enjoy your trip of a lifetime!

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