The Alaska Peninsula is incomparably rich and rugged. In this week of adventure, we will show you two wildlife icons of Alaska’s southwest coast: walrus and brown bear. We will spend three days in the company of walrus and sea birds on the Bering Sea coast and three more days with enormous brown bears and salmon on the Pacific Coast of Katmai National Park. This unique trip offers volcanoes, beach combing, hiking, wilderness solitude and world-class wildlife viewing.
Last updated: August 17, 2019
What follows is a general flow of events. Expect the unexpected and prepare to be flexible.
Meet your guides this afternoon for a pre-trip meeting in King Salmon, AK. at 5 pm. Location TBD. Lodging on your own.
Weather permitting our flight down the Alaska Peninsula departs in the morning. We will fly down the Bering Sea Coast scanning the beaches, observing the fishing fleet, catching glimpses of volcanoes and marveling at the enormous wilderness below. By mid-day we should be on the beach near the walrus colony. After setting up camp we can investigate our surroundings, climb the cape and enjoy the wind and walrus.
Weather and wildlife will guide our activities. We will camp nearly a mile from the walrus colony as to not disturb them. The day will start with a hike down the beach and across the tundra. Walrus can be observed from the beach or we can climb to the top of the bluffs for sweeping views up and down the Alaska Peninsula. Below, the walrus should be resting and bellowing. When not watching walrus or sea birds, we can wander the beach and tundra, enjoying this remote and unique landscape. Our weather-worthy camp turns the storm ravaged coast into a home away from home and allows us to focus on the wildlife we have come to see.
Wake to the sound of breakers and Kittiwakes. After breakfast we pack camp and await the return of our pilots. Weather permitting, we fly over the great volcanic spine of the Peninsula and then into the steep fjords of the Pacific Coast. After a bit of reconnoitering, we land on the beach near to where we plan on camping. The mountains are close, vegetation lush, and (with luck) there are bears everywhere.
We have 2 full days to explore and enjoy the Pacific Coast and the bears who live here. We may see bears fishing the creeks, grazing the sedge meadows, or scouring the tide flats. When not entranced by the bears, we can hike up the valley, explore down the beach, or pick a nearby promontory for views of the rocky coast and storm lashed Pacific.
A last walk on the beach before packing up and listening for the plane. Weather permitting, we fly up the Bering Sea Coast to King Salmon arriving late in the afternoon. Lodging in King Salmon on your own.
Such a joy to spend days where time was meaningless. A wonderful adventure and I would like to return next year for a longer, more challenging trip.
You mentioned to me in an email that you have terrific guides - you do indeed. Dave is a superb guide. He is personable, knowledgeable about the Arctic, and has excellent group management skills. I appreciated the time he spent teaching me to read the map, which is not easy without trails. He allowed Adrian and me to hike at our own pace and he encouraged all of us to explore the area surrounding our campsites. I know the others would concur in my praise.
Scheduled and charter flights beyond King Salmon, Alaska
Professional guide service
Wholesome, delicious, and mostly-organic food while in the wilderness
Weather worthy camp, including stoves, cooking & eating utensils, water filters, electric fencing, expedition cook tent, etc.
Repair and safety equipment including satellite phone, first aid kit etc.
Select Rental Gear is available from Arctic Wild and is included.
Non-camp lodging (lodging in King Salmon is on your own)
Non-camp meals (hotel and meals if/ when there are weather delays are your responsibility)
Personal clothing and footwear.
Gratuity for guide(s).
Though the temperatures should not be extreme, we can expect wind and storms and sun and rain and fog, possibly all in the same day. The area is known as the “birthplace of the winds”. Travel delays due to weather are likely. Rain is assured.
Where the Sea Breaks its Back by Cory Ford; Birthplace of the Winds by Jon Bowermaster; The World of the Walrus by Peter Knudtson; Walrus Conservation Information; Walrus Biology Information; Grizzly Maze by Nick Jans; The Bears of Katmai by Matthais Breiter. More Alaska reading is available from our Bookstore.