Generic itinerary for our 8-day, 7-night photo tour
The chronological order may change due to weather and/or other logistics, but you will be sent a more concrete schedule about 30-60 days before the tour begins. This gives us the most flexibility within the 8 day/7 night period to take advantage of prime photographic opportunities and maximize your experiences at each location.
DAY -1: Your independent arrival in Anchorage
You should plan on arriving at least a day or two before your tour date begins. This way you can get acclimated, enjoy Anchorage on your own for a day or so, and leave some room for weather delays before or after you arrive.
Most hotels have free shuttle service and you can decompress a bit in your hotel or around town. You can call or contact us by phone after you arrive and we can update you on arrival times for your transportation to the Kenai Peninsula.
DAY 1: Courtesy transport and sightseeing to Kenai Peninsula
Early in the morning, around 8:00AM, you will be picked up by luxury 12 passenger van and meet the other tour participants for your 3 hour drive to the Kenai Peninsula.
We will be stopping at famous wildlife spots along the way, most notably the Potter Marsh bird sanctuary a mile south of Anchorage, and possibly, time permitting, a drive up the hillside area for great views of Anchorage and to look for huge bull moose (protected in certain areas).
Keep an eye out for dall sheep in the first 10 miles south of Anchorage, bald eagles along the way, bison at the Wildlife Center near Portage, moose when you drop down onto the Kenai Peninsula, and Trumpeter Swans at any of the larger lakes.
Bring snacks and your water bottle for the drive south. We will stop at the top of Turnagain Pass (elevation 1015′), and perhaps a rest stop somewhere in Cooper Landing along the Kenai River.
Lunch or dinner will be at your lodge/hotel in Sterling, Soldotna or Kenai.
DAY 2: Flight to Bear Viewing Camp
After breakfast, we take a quick shuttle to the Kenai airport where we load onto a floatplane for our 45 minute flight to the bears! We’ll land on a sandy beach near the lodge where we will spend the next three nights.
We have 3 different bear camps that we reserve our tours with, as a redundancy for you in case one is full, or weather delays or deters us from using another.
But each room, glamour tent or cabin will be very comfortable with a combination of twin and/or double beds, full baths, individual heat sources, electricity, boardwalks or private decks, with views of the tidal flats and Cook Inlet.
After you get settled, we’ll immediately look for bears, accompanied by one or two highly trained guides looking out for your safety. We may use ATVs to transport us from one location to the next.
With any luck, youâ€™ll capture your first images of these beautiful bears. After a break for dinner, you’ll again look for bears, in slightly different light, taking photos and enjoying their behavior as long as light allows.
DAY 3 & 4: Grizzly Bear Viewing and Photographing
You’ll spend two more days following bear tracks, photographing and observing bears, bear cubs and any other animals or light that crosses your path.
You will probably see them catching salmon, playing with each other, sparring, digging up mussels and clams, and just being themselves.
It is truly a joy to be in the company of such trusting yet magnificent animals that command our respect. We will return to the lodge for lunch and breaks.
Depending on which area we are at, you will have different opportunities to see bears interacting with salmon, bear cubs, themselves, and other wildlife.
You will either be walking, taking ATVs, or be shuttled in boats to the areas that the guides know are having the most activity at the time. Be sure to see our FAQ for guidelines on clothing and other items to bring.
DAY 5: Morning Bear Viewing, Return afternoon flightsee
After breakfast, you will have more time for bear watching and photography, before being picked up by bush plane for the return to Kenai. You’ll arrive back at the lodge or hotel area around 4PM.
Depending on the group’s wishes and/or weather, you then relax a bit before we take a short tour around the Kenai-Soldotna area looking for wildlife and/or scenic shots.
We may also have time for a participant slide show and critique after we return.
DAY 6-7: Land tour around Kenai Peninsula, Dogsledding, Helicopter flightsee
Today you’ll relax a bit and enjoy a full-day land tour around the Kenai Peninsula looking for moose , bald eagles and other animals.
We may go to Homer, Seward or any points in between, depending on whether and wildlife we may know about. These days are built into the tour for flexibility and alternate options around the Peninsula.
We will work our way over to Seward for your unforgettable helicopter-dogsled adventures.
Depending on the weather and the pilot’s decisions, doors off may be allowed for both the dogsled flight to the glacier, and/or the flightsee over Resurrection Bay and fjords.
There is also the option of a half-day or all-day boat tour in Resurrection Bay, Seward to photograph whales (orcas, humpbacks, minke, etc.), sea otters, puffins, sea lions, mountain goats, etc.
The boat tour is a terrific option, and there may be an extra charge (generally $150-200) depending on whether participant(s) decide to take this option in lieu of, or in addition to, the helicopter or dogsled experiences.
DAY 8: Catch-up day, possible Seward tour, Back to Anchorage
Today is the last day of our trip, but by no means not exciting. After enjoying breakfast, the rest of the morning and early afternoon may be used for one of our helicopter tours or other activity that wasn’t able to be taken due to weather or other reason(s).
Then we will take a leisurely trip back along the Kenai Peninsula to Anchorage for a nice dinner before bringing you to your hotel or airport, as you choose.