Our friend Bradley Trevor Greive was along when we shot this little promo in May.
When most people think about great bear viewing, they think of the salmon runs of July and August. However, May and early June are outstanding opportunities to see bears actively foraging in the meadows and looking for mates. Alaskan travelers who want to see bears on an early-season excursion have a lot to look forward too. Seeing the social interactions is what makes spring bear viewing so special for me!
When these bears first emerge from their dens, they’re looking to restore some of the weight they’ve lost during the winter. Male bears typically emerge before females. They’ll look for animals like deer that didn’t survive the winter and head to the tide line to dig up clams and other invertebrates. In this video, you can see the first green shoots of protein-rich sedge grass that the bears will graze throughout May and early June.
This is when bears are looking for mates and it’s thrilling when we get to see enormous male bears chasing females across the tide flats. This is typically when we see the most male bears.
In the middle of June, some bears head back up the mountain. They’re following the melting snow to eat emerging green vegetation. They’ll all start returning towards the end of June, in anticipation of the salmon runs. However, some bears remain throughout June. June can be when we have our neatest encounters with bears that are comfortable and experienced around people.
Spring is a great time for bear viewing. As one of the few bear sanctuaries, where bear hunting is not allowed, Pack Creek provides a great opportunity to see these animals in the spring.