- See Bears up close in their natural habitat, with cubs playing and wrestling, in Katmai National Park.
- Highly recommend Emerald services to fly into Katmai. It is not accessible by road, you either fly or take a boat.
- A day’s flight into Katmai with guided hike to see bears is $600 per person.
- Homer highlights: art galleries, fishing or hiking to glaciers (in kenai fjords across Kachemak Bay)
- Must visit: Homer’s visitor center, cups café and sourdough express café. Highly recommend Boat yard café for breakfast – delicious omelets.
- Homer and Katmai can get cold and cloudy, so look ahead for weather updates.
- Stay at: Driftwood Inn, with discounts on 2nd night with Northern Lights coupon.
|Katmai NP from above|
While we were doing research on our trip to Alaska, we stumbled upon a few pictures of Katmai National Park. We were awe struck. We had to go there. Then we checked the prices; awe struck again - $600 per person. Bears have always amazed us, and seeing them in an untouched natural habitat, was a dream, esp. if its grizzlies in Alaska. Come on, we have to have to do this! So there we were on the fifth day of our trip, headed to Homer – capital of Halibut fishing. Homer has a few private companies that take chartered float planes to Katmai. We were lucky to book Emerald services, with the most humble and educated crew of Chris, Sarah and our guide Dave.
It takes nearly four hours to reach Homer from Seward; the drive is beautiful. Keep some time to spare, cause in peak season, traffic tends to back-up in narrow roads. We reached Homer late in the evening, after stopping at the ‘welcome sign’ to view Kachemak Bay, we headed to Driftwood Inn, our home for 2 nights. This Inn offers discounts for 2nd nights with the Northern Lights coupon. The rooms are like ship units, but they seemed to have perfected the art of utilizing space. There’s a small beach towards the backyard of the hotel, perfect for a campfire.
|Emerald Air Services at Homer|
Next day we picked up egg muffins from McD, packed lunch from a Safeway near by and drove to Emerald Services. After a warm welcome and introductions, they gave us hip boots for the day. The floatplane lands on water, and one needs these boots to wade through water, onto
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Next we hiked towards the stream, hoping to see some Bears in action. Katmai bay is so green and vibrant in colors, that even without bears, it’s a habitat worth a visit. Do make sure you leave the park as you found it. We suddenly heard growling at a distance. Some of us were taken aback, but Dave assured us that it was a lunch fight, for the sparse Salmon in the streams. Seeing them run in the stream to catch fish was like watching Nat Geo feature live – and it indeed was.
|Teenage bear running to catch salmon|
We later had to cross the same stream where a few bears were running around, trying to grab fish. On the way out, we spotted another Mamma bear with 2 yearlings. Bear cubs stay with their mothers until there are a couple years old.
|Flying over four-peaked glacier|
As we headed back to the beach for our ride back home, we looked back to the vivid green grasslands, surrounded by volcanic mountains and white glacier seemingly flowing from snowcapped peaks – it was heaven visited! The weather was in our favor for once, and we had the perfect sunny day with absolute visibility and least wind. Our pilot, Chris, decided to put a cherry on the cake on our way out of Katmai; he flew past the ...
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