Read an Excerpt
For a bear viewer, Alaska is Mecca. It’s the only American state with all three species of North American bear, providing habitat for at least 50,000 black bears, 30,000 grizzly and coastal brown bears, and 4,000 polar bears. Grizzlies are found throughout the mainland of Alaska, and on the three major islands of the Alaska Panhandle (Baranof, Chichigof, and Admiralty). Over the past forty years, the popularity of viewing has grown explosively from the hobby of an eccentric minority into a mainstay of many local economies. Areas once visited by no more than a dozen people a year can now actually be called crowded. Thousands of people apply each year to visit world renown sites such as McNeil Falls on the Alaska Peninsula. For many people, a bear viewing excursion is a once in a lifetime adventure. It needs to be done right the first time. Too often, enthusiastic viewers go away disappointed or disillusioned. They either didn't see any bears or the sightings were too brief, or maybe the bears were visible but the viewers couldn't get within 300 yards of the animals. Approaching your experience with the right information and resources can mean the difference between success and failure.