Bear Mountain Lodge is located within the vast wilderness area of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve in Alaska. A visit to this secluded lodge is an experience of a lifetime. You will witness coastal brown bears displaying their amazing ability to forage for abundant food sources and interact with each other in their natural environment.
Watch Highlights from our Alaska adventure Tour
The beginning of your adventure
Your adventure starts in the small town of Nikiski located on the Kenai Peninsula where you will board a small Cessna plane. Your bush plane flight, led by an experienced Alaska Bush pilot will be one of the highlights of your trip.
After your flight leaves Nikiski you will fly over Cook Inlet named after the infamous British Captain Cook. Captain Cook made three well known voyages around the world and on his third voyage in 1778 he explored Alaska and Cook Inlet.
This body of water is home to beluga whales that number less than 500. The beluga whale population in Cook Inlet is an endangered, isolated, and distinct population of whales found nowhere else. If you are lucky you may catch sight of these special whales on your drive from Anchorage to Nikiski.
In the air you will witness the rugged landscape of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. This expansive wilderness is filled with enormous glaciers and rocky spires that permeate the landscape where the Aleutian and Alaskan mountain ranges collide. Two famous volcanoes may be viewed in the distance.
These two volcanoes are known as Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt, the latter of which is active and last erupted in 2009.
You may hear your guide relate the story about how the ash plume from this eruption engulfed a Boeing 747 and shut its engines down. Fortunately the pilot was able to fire the engines back to life and land with the passengers miraculously unscathed.
After being in the air for nearly one hour your Cessna will land on the small gravel bar of Chinitna Bay. The shores of this bay are home to arguably the highest density of brown bears in all of North America. Upon exiting the plane you will likely be welcomed by Marty and Merrel who are the two owners of Bear Mountain lodge, which is a small family owned business.
The accommodations during your stay will be in one of twelve rustic cabins. These cabins, as well as the main lodge were all built by Marty and Merrel and their son Mac. It is fascinating to listen as Merrel recounts the history of the lodge and listen as he spins tales of the adventures of their long storied history in one of the most beautiful areas in all of Alaska. Merrel will also cover safety precautions as it is possible to have bears walk right past your front door at any time.
Your afternoon after arriving will probably consist of traveling down the beach for a bear viewing session. Depending on the season and food available to the bears, you may observe bears fishing for salmon, digging for razor clams, or grazing on salt grass. If you are fortunate you may witness a great battle between two bruins as they vie for preferential feeding locations.
Upon returning to the lodge, dinner will be followed by some down time. Throughout your stay all meals will be prepared by Marty and it will feel as if you are eating world class meals. Her cooking is amazing and the hospitality that is extended to their guests is unrivaled. After dinner there will be a break and some time to relax in the comfortable and well appointed lodge before going back out for an evening bear viewing session. Remember that this is Alaska and it stays light here very late into the evening!
Your second day will consist of multiple bear viewing sessions. Make sure to bring your camera for some up close and personal bear viewing encounters. Bears may be observed feeding, relaxing, ambling along the beach, and the occasional sighting of a sow teaching her cubs how to catch salmon.
All bears are not created equal in the art of catching salmon and some bears are much more skilled than others. Your guide will provide spotting scopes and hook a video camera to capture incredible intimate close up shots of the action.
Upon your final day you will have a delicious breakfast before departing for your beautiful return across Cook Inlet. Saying goodbye to Marty, Merrel, and Mac will leave you with a feeling of sadness that some day will turn into a yearning to return for more. Memories made at Bear Mountain Lodge are those that will remain with you forever.