Alaska is wild nature on a grand scale

Alaska is a destination of stunning scenery and incredible wildlife-viewing opportunities. It is a vast, sparsely populated landscape dominated by pristine wilderness areas. 

The fjords and inlets of the famous Inside Passage are an undoubted highlight, as is legendary Katmai National Park, home to an impressive population of Alaskan Brown Bears. Denali National Park is also a terrific area to explore, home to North America’s highest peak – Mount Denali (Mount McKinley), standing at an impressive 6,190 metres above sea level. 

Alaska is a fabulous holiday destination, and offers a wide range of scenic tours and adventures. Most popular of all is a cruise through the extraordinary Inside Passage, one of earth’s most beautiful wilderness areas. Travelling by small cruise ship or yachts (40-80 passengers), guests explore the Inside Passage on guided activities ranging from walking and kayaking to stand-up paddle boards. The passage is home to a wealth of wildlife, ranging from bears, moose and caribou to humpback whales, sea lions and orcas. Natural Focus offers a range of superb small ships that specialise in getting you close to the action, exploring gorgeous forests, towering waterfalls, picturesque towns and idyllic shores.

Grizzy Bears

Bear Viewing

Katmai National Park is one of the very best places to see brown bears. Katmai National Park is a 3.6 million acre unspoilt reserve originally created in 1918 to protect the famed Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. There are roughly 2,200 active bears in the area. Denali National Park is the other park to explore for bear viewing, but other wildlife you can see include caribou, moose, Dall sheep, wolves and many species of raptor. Natural Focus offer a choice of several lodges in both parks that provide some of the best bear viewing opportunities in North America.

Alaska Cruising

Cruising the Inside Passage – and in particular Glacier Bay National Park – in Southeast Alaska is undoubtably one of the region’s top experiences. The park was established in 1980 and covers a massive 3.3 million acres of pristine Alaskan wilderness, filled with impressive glaciers, beautiful temperate rainforest, sheltered bays, rugged coastlines and towering mountains. The park is also part of a larger 25 million-acre World Heritage Site. 

Wilderness Adventurer

Alaska Tours

Below are some of our most popular tours around Alaska. Please contact us for more information.

Accommodation in Alaska

Below are some of our other recommended Alaskan wilderness lodge accommodation options, carefully selected for their superior location, incredible wildlife and wilderness experiences, service and level of comfort.

Brooks Lodge

Probably the most famous lodge in Alaska for grizzly bear viewing, Brooks Lodge occupies prime position next to the salmon-rich Brooks River and Brooks Falls.

Katmai Wilderness Lodge

Amongst the finest bear viewing destinations in Alaska, Katmai Wilderness Lodge is also one of the few lodges within Katmai National Park.

Redoubt Bay Lodge

Family-run Redoubt Bay Lodge is the only lodge in a vast 171,000 acre wilderness teeming with bears and other native Alaskan wildlife.

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Alaska Overview

Mountains, glaciers, wildlife – everything is bigger in Alaska. A cruise of the stunning Inside Passage is on nearly everyone’s bucket list; consider a small ship for the most intimate experience. There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife encounters, in particular whale watching and bear viewing. In Denali NP, look for the “Denali Slam”: moose, caribou, wolf, Dall sheep and brown bear.

The best time to visit Alaska is between mid-June to mid-September. Aside from this being a pleasant time of year temperature wise, the daylight hours are also longer. This is also the best time to see wildlife including bears and whales (June & July in particular). Many lodges begin to close in September (end of the season) and aren’t open over the winter months. April and May are considered shoulder season, whilst the winter (November – March) is generally avoided, unless to enjoy winter sports or the Northern Lights.

Alaska’s cruise season runs from mid-April until mid-September. Just like bear viewing, the best time to explore the renowned Inside Passage is during the warmer months, when the weather is fine and wildlife abounds. Humpback whales migrate to Alaska, tending to arrive in late-April and May. Whale watching is best during June and July. 

The bear viewing season in Alaska runs during the warmer months from May to September, with the best time to see them during June and July. This is because brown bears hibernate during the winter months, to avoid the cold weather and lack of available food. This hibernation period can last for between 5-8 months. 

Bears hibernate during the colder months to avoid the cold weather and because of the lack of food availability. During this hibernation period, their body temperature and pulse rate drop to conserve energy. They use their fat stores (from gorging themselves on food over the summer months) as a source of energy. 

Canada. The country’s west (Pacific) coast is home to the picturesque Rocky Mountains, and can be easily explored by rail. You can also visit the beautiful alpine towns of Banff and Jasper, or encounter wild grizzly bears at Knight Inlet. On the east (Atlantic) coast, explore charming French-speaking Montreal or Quebec City, or take a tour of the historic Atlantic Maritimes.

Fly to Anchorage or Juneau in Alaska. Inside Passage cruises depart from Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau or Seattle (in Washington State).

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