EVERYONE WHO VISITS ALASKA hopes to see a bear. They might tell you they’re scared of them, but deep down they really want to see one. It’s a rush, I can’t blame them. Nothing on Earth embodies the wild like a bear.
I’ve spent over a decade finding places to watch these amazing creatures and will never tire of it. I’ve seen big bears, little bears, handsome bears, and ugly bears and can tell you definitively that every bear you see is a distinct individual with its own biases and ways of surviving in an often harsh environment.
Most bear sightings take the form of a bear’s butt as it runs off down the trail or crashes into the alders to get away from you. Even that fleeting glimpse is enough to make someone’s time in Alaska “the trip of a lifetime.” For those lucky enough to spend an hour, a day, a week, a lifetime watching bears, the experience is transformative.
All photos by author