What kind of bears live in Alaska? Meet the Alaska Bears!

Alaska bears are representative of the state’s untamed wilderness, captivating both residents and visitors with their presence. In our region, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, these amazing creatures thrive in some of Alaska’s most pristine habitats.

Alaska bears

Alaska is home to three species of bears: the brown bear (grizzly bear), black bear, and polar bear. Each species possesses unique adaptations suited to its habitat, contributing to Alaska’s remarkable biodiversity.

  • Brown bears, often found in the coastal regions, inhabit diverse environments from dense forests to alpine meadows. We see lots of brown bears at Redoubt Bay Lodge.
  • Black bears, the most common bear in Alaska, are adaptable and thrive in forested areas throughout the state, including the southern coastal regions. We get black bears around the lodge.
  • Polar bears, the largest of the three, are primarily concentrated along the northern coast, particularly in areas like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Polar bears do not populate our area.

Alaska Bears in Lake Clark National Park

In Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, we see brown bears and black bears emerge from hibernation around late March to early April, timing their return based on winter severity and food availability. During summer, they follow sockeye salmon migrations in the Cook Inlet and nearby rivers, relying on salmon to store fat for winter. From late May into early June we start seeing more bears congregating around the mouth of Wolverine Creek and other tributaries around our lake system.

How likely is it to see a bear in Alaska?

Bears thrive across Alaska, offering ample opportunities to spot them, particularly near salmon runs, but the chance you’ll see bears is happenstance unless you plan a trip where they are known to congregate like Redoubt Bay Lodge.

Situated just 7 miles from Cook Inlet, the lodge sees the early arrival of sockeye salmon in late May, and that’s when we start drawing a substantial number of bears to our area. This makes June, July, and August ideal months to observe Alaska coastal brown bears with cubs and also black bears in their natural habitat.

Redoubt Bay Lodge offers a half day guided Alaska bear viewing tour with a trained naturalist guide who will take you for an up close and safe view of our nearest neighbors.

Half Day, Guided Bear Viewing (with flight originating from Anchorage)

$1150 per adult – $1055 per child

Alaska bearsBrown Bears vs. Black Bears

Brown bears, also known as grizzly bears, are formidable creatures that can weigh between 500 to 900 pounds for adult males, with some exceptional individuals reaching up to 1,500 pounds. Females are generally smaller, ranging from 300 to 600 pounds. In the wild, brown bears typically live for 20-25 years, with females giving birth to 1-3 cubs every two to three years during hibernation periods.

In contrast, black bears are smaller than their brown counterparts, with adult males weighing between 200 to 600 pounds and females ranging from 100 to 400 pounds. These bears have a lifespan of about 20 years in the wild. Like brown bears, female black bears also give birth during hibernation, typically having 1-4 cubs every two years.

Alaska bear viewing offers a unique and thrilling opportunity to observe these impressive creatures up close in their natural environment. Join us on our bear viewing tour for an unforgettable glimpse into the lives of Alaska’s iconic wildlife.