Labor Day 2020 | TBA
Get up close and personal with one of nature's largest and most magnificent animals. Camp in the remote backcountry of Alaska. Dine first class inside Katmai's Brooks Lodge. All this while receiving Paul Hassell's onsight instruction and personal tutorials each evening via laptop around the warm fire of the lodge.
Our last two Alaska Photo Tours with the bears were a great success! Join the team early if you'd like a spot on the 2020 tour.
Read more in the itinerary below. Special tour of the Valley of 10,000 Smokes!
This tour is purposefully timed to coincide with peak bear activity as the spawning salmon begin to die off in the Brooks River region of Katmai National Park. In fact, we can gaurantee bears! How many and how active is always in flux.
There is a second season of activity earlier in the year (July) when the salmon are swimming up the rivers and jumping the waterfalls. Due to massive crowds of people (hundreds each day!) during that time, we have opted for this September time and always been glad we did. It's quiet from people and alive with wilderness. That's Alaska just as it should be.
It's also important to note that winter is just around the corner. Weather is nice, but evenings can be chilly, especially if the winds picks up. The exact itinerary is always subject to the weather.
As we near the trip date, Paul will assist you in selecting just the right equipment to make your camping experience safe, restful, and even comfortable! Past clients reminisce on the camping component of this tour as one of the highlights of their Alaskan experience.
Plan your flight to arrive today by early afternoon at the latest. Paul and Nora Hassell will coordinate pickup from the airport along with our Anchorage bed and breakfast.
We checkin alll travellers to the B&B. We'll hold a brief orientation.
The group heads out to see Anchorage, then meets up for a welcome dinner.
Note: For those who've come from the eastern United States today, you'll experience a 4 hr time change. This means you may get tired early, but the early mornings are easy. 6am is like 10am at home.
Rise and shine! Let's go to Katmai.
After a half-hour flight over pristine wilderness, we'll land on Naknek Lake in the heart of Katmai National Park.
After a brief introduction from the park rangers, we'll take our gear to camp and get setup. Then, it's lunch time. Though you may be eager for a nap after this travel morning, your enthusiasm to get out and see everything may win. Either way is fine.
This morning, we'll get in a little bit closer to the bears than yesterday by entering further into their domain, on their level.
Enjoy a long day of photography. You may be pretty worn out by the end of the day. That's when it's time to kick your feet up along the round stone fireplace of the Brooks Lodge and relax.
We'll talk photography, bear biology, and for those interested sip a glass of wine from the bar. By now, you're into the flow of the tour and you're probably wishing it would never end.
Today's adventure will take us over to the Valley of 10,000 Smokes.
We'll be back from the Valley to Brooks Lodge in time for dinner. Then, we can head out for some great evening light in the sky and on the bears as they plunge into a few final fishing holes before calling it a day.
This is our final morning of shooting these beautiful bears and their various behaviors. If we're lucky, we may even come across some little yearling cubs. Bald eagles and other wildlife are always nearby subjects as well.
Our plane will arrive in the early afternoon. Filled with stories and full flash cards of images, we'll begin the flights back to Anchorage. We will arrive in Anchorage approximately 7:30pm via Katmai Air.Your late evening flights home should coincide perfectly with just a couple of hours layover.
Arrive home this morning to the continental United States with stories and images to remember for the rest of your life!
Flights: Arrive ANC by early afternoon on Aug 31st. Depart late evening Sept 4th. We arrive back to ANC approx 7:30pm, so any flight out later that evening (11pm-1am) is recommended, unless you plan to continue travelling inside Alaska after the tour.
Note: We advise arriving as early as 24 hrs prior to allow for unexpected travel delays.
What is included: All lodging. All national park fees and permits. Camping fees. Tour into the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. First night meal in Anchorage.
What is NOT included: Airfare. (Please inquire for details). Optional flightseeing tour over Valley of 10,000 Smokes. Meals (except those listed above).
This registration fee will secure your spot. Please contact me via email. I will answer all of your questions as promptly as possible. Please include all dietary needs and physical restrictions that we should be aware of. You will receive a complete itinerary and additional information in the mail following registration.
Policy: Prior to 60 days before the tour, your payment minus the deposit can be reimbursed. Within 60 days before the tour, a refund can only be given if your spot is filled.