The nearby Katmai National Park and Preserve is world famous for its population of brown bears. Literally thousands live there. It is very common to see bears each day as we fly between the lodge and field destinations. It is also very easy to find and safely watch them on the ground as they fish, graze and interact with each other.

Bear in Water SmallKatmai has been a bear sanctuary for decades, and as result the bears are accustomed to and not threatened by a human presence. A day of bear viewing is a memorable experience and is often the highlight of a vacation at Crystal Creek Lodge.

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The bears move constantly to take advantage of concentrated food sources. Accordingly, we have several great bear viewing areas within the Park and nearby Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge where bears congregate to feed. We can provide a great bear watching trip anytime during the season.

The famous Brooks River in Katmai Park is a 15 minute flight from the lodge. Brooks is the easiest place in the world to see bears: just step off the plane, walk about a mile along an easy, graded path then watch up to 30 bears from the safety of an elevated viewing platform. There is excellent fishing for rainbow trout and sockeye salmon in the Brooks River for those who’d like to fish for part of the day.

Is it safe to fish with or watch bears?

Most bears tend to avoid people. In most cases, if you give a bear the opportunity to do the right thing, it will. Many bears live in Alaska and many people enjoy the outdoors, but surprisingly few people even see bears. Only a tiny percentage of those few are ever threatened by a bear. A study by the state epidemiologist showed that during the first 85 years of the 21st century, only 20 people died in bear attacks in Alaska. In the 10 years 1975-85, 19 people in Alaska were killed by dogs.
Most people who see a bear in the wild consider it the highlight of their trip. The presence of these majestic creatures is a reminder of how privileged we are to share some of the country’s dwindling wilderness.
– Courtesy Alaska Department of Fish and Game web site