Chinitna Bay Bear Viewing

What do you consider to be the ultimate Alaskan experience? Most visitors to Alaska dream of seeing wild animals like whales and bears in an unspoiled natural habitat. At Bear Viewing Alaska, we will make your dreams come true on a single Chinitna Bay bear viewing tour!

Your tour starts on the famous Spit in Homer, Alaska. You will travel by boat across Cook Inlet, which is famous for spotting humpback whales, otters, sea lions, orcas and many other varieties of wildlife. Your destination is Chinitna Bay in Lake Clark National Park. Chinitna has some of the best brown bear viewing in the entire state and is only accessible by boat or plane.

What are you waiting for? Book your Chinitna Bay bear tour with Bear Viewing Alaska today and make your vacation the best it can possibly be.

Lake Clark National Park

Your bear viewing experience takes place in Lake Clark National Park. This wild, untamed land is an entirely intact ecosystem located at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon fishery on the planet. As the home of the Dena’ina people, Lake Clark National Park is also rich in cultural history.

Because sockeye salmon are so abundant in Lake Clark National Park, brown bears are routinely spotted feeding in various inland streams. This ritual starts when salmon return to their home stream to spawn. As they fill the rivers and streams, bears take advantage of their rich fats and oils to bulk up for hibernation.

Around Chinitna Bay, bears forage on clams and vegetation. Experiencing their feeding antics is arguably the greatest highlight of any Alaskan Vacation and makes Lake Clark National Park one of America’s greatest treasures.

One of the reasons this wilderness remains unspoiled is because it can only be reached by plane or boat. The advantage of booking a boat-based bear viewing tour is that you also have the opportunity to see all sorts of incredible sea life in Cook Inlet.

Once you arrive at the park, you may also spot wolves, caribou, Dall sheep, black bear, lynx, and a variety of birds. However, the star of the show is the brown bears. Lake Clark National Park offers an authentic Alaskan experience to anyone visiting Homer for the day or longer. Anyone who has taken the tour will tell you that it’s one of Alaska’s DO NOT MISS experiences.

Bear Viewing Chinitna Bay

Chinitna Bay is famous for its incredible bear viewing but there is far more to see in this slice of paradise than many visitors realize. Hikers, campers, backpackers and wildlife enthusiasts all come to Chinitna Bay to enjoy wilderness experiences found in few other places.

Fishing and clam digging are also popular in the bay, but the most productive fishing stream requires serious effort to reach because of their isolated nature. Clamming in Chinitna Bay is often excellent and low tide is the time to target these tasty morsels.

Obviously, anyone venturing into the wilderness accessed via Chinitna Bay must be experienced traversing through bear country. Coastal brown bears can be aggressive so all necessary precautions must be taken. Guided trips into the region are the safest bet for visitors who want to see the bears but lack wilderness survival skills.

If you’re also a bird enthusiast, Chinitna Bay offers a dizzying variety of species to encounter. Raptors, songbirds, seabirds, and ducks are all commonly spotted on our Chinitna Bay bear tours so it’s a good idea to bring along a pair of binoculars.

What to expect

Chinitna Bay bear tours are special because brown bears gather in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in large quantities. It is not uncommon for visitors to see 20 bears from a single location.

Viewing areas make it easy to spot the massive bears, birds, and any other variety of wildlife that happens by. Visitors to Lake Clark National Park are strongly encouraged to use these areas. Not only are they located in the best viewing locations but they also ensure that bears don’t become overly acclimated to human presence. The designated areas also help ensure visitors do not leave any human trace on the land, and helps preserve the park. By following these rules, human behavior is predictable to bears and they are far less likely to become spooked or aggressive.

Chinitna Bay Bear Tours

Safety is always one of our top concerns, and we go out of our way to ensure you have a memorable and danger-free bear viewing experience. Please stay on the trails when accessing Chinitna Bay bear viewing sites and make your presence known.

It’s important to stay with your group at all times while listening intently to any instructions from your guide. Never stop on the trail to take a photo because it could cause your group to become separated. The last thing you want to do is surprise a brown bear!

Always allow a bear its personal space. You should never attempt to approach, crowd or disturb a bear whether it’s eating, resting or walking. Your guide will help you navigate the trails to the viewing areas and ensure that you understand all safety protocols.

Fun facts about brown bears

Did you know that 95% of brown bears found in the U.S. live in Alaska? In fact, there is a bear for every 30 people living in the State of Alaska (including black bears). There are multiple places in the state where bear viewing reaches world-class status and Lake Clark rates at the top of this list.

Brown bears can be found along the coast or inland. Coastal brown bears grow larger, on average, but inland bears can grow to surprisingly large sizes. Some people are confused about the difference between brown and grizzly bears but the only differences are geographic location and diet. Brown bears live and feed around coastal habitats while grizzlies have no access to marine-based food sources. However, they are both considered brown bears of the subspecies Ursus arctos horribilis.