Bear Viewing Availability
Chinitna Bay Bear Viewing
This tour is operated in a wheeled aircraft
The Chinitna Bay Bear Viewing Experience
- The activity level is moderate on this tour as it may require walking on uneven, off trail terrain
- Intimate, 90 minute scenic flight from Anchorage
- Up-close guided bear viewing in Lake Clark National Park
- Travel by small 4wd bus and on foot to where the bears are most active
- Observe brown bears digging for clams and frolicking on the beach
- Spotting scope available for viewing and photographing if bears are further out in bay
Your Chinitna Bay Bear Viewing Tour Includes:
- A window seat and 2-way headset
- Detailed knowledge (and personality) of an Alaska bush pilot
- Rust’s meticulous attention to comfort and safety
- Bear Viewing experience lead by a naturalist guide
- Snack box
Things to remember
Check in: Please check in at our Lake Hood Office 30 minutes prior to departure. For safety of weight and balance of the plane, we will need accurate weights of individuals or of the entire group.
Parking: There is free, although limited parking at the Rust Office. You will need to leave your car keys with the office. Rust’s also picks up from major hotels. You are welcome to leave baggage at the Rust office at no additional charge.
What to bring: Sunglasses, bug spray, camera and binoculars. Dress comfortably and in layers; Alaska weather can change dramatically. A sunny and warm day in Anchorage can turn windy, rainy, and cool in the National Park. Please bring prescription medications.
Depart from Lake Hood Seaplane Base in Anchorage and fly southwest over Cook Inlet. Watch for the Chigmit Mountains, where Alaska and Aleutian Ranges meet, and two active volcanoes – Mt. Redoubt and Mt. Iliamna – before landing on the beach in Chinitna Bay in Lake Clark National Park.
Chinitna Bay Bear Viewing
Located on the southern end of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Chinitna Bay is our only tour operated in a wheeled aircraft instead of floats. It is home to a multitude of brown bears that come to the bay to feed on the protein rich sedge grasses, copious clams and fish the late summer salmon runs. An approximate 1.5 hour plane ride from Anchorage each way, your knowledgeable pilot, will point out areas of interest along the route. This included mountains, glaciers, and volcanos as well as spotting for wildlife. Upon arrival to Chinitna Bay, your pilot will land on a remote beach in front of Bear Mountain Lodge where you will meet your guide. Listen as your expert guide shares tales of the resident bears and their families. You’ll travel with your guide by customized 4WD bus/vehicle to where the brown bears are most active. Once at best location, you will disembark the bus and witness these magnificent animals digging for clams, sunning on the beach, feeding in the meadow or out in the bay. You’ll be amazed at the shear mass of the male brown bear and fall in love with the cubs as they wrestle and play.
Please note: This tour is rated at a moderate activity level as it requires some walking on uneven, unpaved terrain.