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2019 & 2020 SOLD OUT

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June 28 - July 10, 2020

In area, Alaska contains more than 65% - or 54.6 million acres - of America’s National Park system. No wonder Alaska is called the Last Frontier!

On this 11-day photo workshop, we’re connecting with two of the more remote, but most prolific parks for photographing bears in their natural habitat: Lake Clark and Katmai National Parks. The parks can only be accessed by small plane, landing on the beach or on floats on a lake or sheltered bay. These two parks are vastly different from one another in both their accessibility and their wildlife management.

WHY THESE DATES?

  • The days are long, providing extra hours of good shooting light

  • The weather has stabalized

  • The sedge fields are green

  • The clamming tides (bears eat clams!) are mostly favorable

  • The wildflowers are in full bloom

  • The maximum number of bears (usually 25-28) are on hand and look their best (they start molting mid-July)

  • The cubs are out and the grass is still short enough to photograph them unimpeded

  • The spawning salmon usually traverse Brooks waterfall at this time to reach the spawning grounds, and the bears are waiting

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Photograph mums with cubs in the sedge fields at Lake Clark National Park
  • Capture the non-stop action of the fishing bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park
  • Be dumbfoundd by Alaska's majestic beauty on the scenic railroad from Anchorage to Seward
  • Marvel at the marine wildlife and dramatic landscape on Seward's Resurrection Bay
  • Be awestruck by the massive whales and glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park
  • Track the flight of eagles, puffins, and local and migratory birds on Kachemak Bay in Homer
  • Be amused by the frolicking antics of sea otters with their newborn cubs
  • Thrill to the float plane experience - not once, but seven times - one of which you ride co-pilot
  • Be impressed by what goes on Behind-the-Scenes at the Alaska Sealife Center
  • Celebrate the photo knowledge you learned, the places you saw and the friends you made

ITINERARY At a Glance

(with links to Accommodation)

  • July 5, 2020
    Flight to Soldotna, drive to Homer, charter boat on Kachemak Bay for eagles.
    LAND'S END RESORT
  • July 7, 2020
    Commercial flight to King Salmon. Transfer to Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park.
    KING SALMON LODGE
  • July 9, 2020
    Morning at Brooks Falls or Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Flight to Anchorage.
    THE LAKEFRONT ANCHORAGE
  • July 10, 2020
    National flight home.
 

LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK

Lake Clark is one of the last national parks I know not to force a distance restriction when approaching bears. Having been a bear guide for eight of the ten years I worked at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, a private freehold on the coast of Lake Clark National Park, I know both the area and the bears, and I’m looking forward to sharing this unique and intimate experience with fellow photographers.

Over the past few years I have been fortunate to have Rick as my guide while photographing brown bears in Alaska. His professionalism, sense of humor and understanding of animal behavior rank him among the best guides anywhere. The only thing that may outshine his own images is his ability to get the best out of each photographer he guides.
— Andrew C.

KATMAI NATIONAL PARK

What you won't find at Lake Clark National Park in early July are fishing bears as the local salmon run isn't until late August.  So if the fishing bears won't come to us in July, we'll go to them!

Twice a year salmon spawn the upper reaches of Brooks River in Katmai National Park - once in July and again in September. To reach their destination they have to traverse 6-foot Brooks Falls where the bears congregate for a much-needed feed. We'll be there amongst them - but at a safe distance. Unlike Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark National Park where the bears are habituated to humans and there is no distance restriction, Brooks is a controlled environment and we'll be shooting from a raised platform.  But who cares?....Look at the photos above from 2018! 

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Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

It's always important to book an extra day when shooting wildlife in remote areas as you can't predict the weather or animal behavior. On DAY 3 at Brooks - assuming both the bears and weather have been agreeable - the possibility exists for a Day Excursion to Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a valley caused in 1912 by the largest volcano eruption in the 20th Century.

This is an Optional Extra and costs $135 if interested. Price includes a packed lunch.

Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

There’s nothing Rick doesn’t know about bears! Having been a bear guide at the lodge for many years and being a photographer himself meant we were always safe and put in the best spot possible for photos. Absolutely brilliant experience!
— Lori B.

THE KENAI PENINSULA

Alaska has so much to offer that it's hard to fit everything into one trip.  In addition to 8 days of shooting bears, we're including 4 days on the Kenai Peninsula shooting whales and glaciers in Seward’s Kenai Fjords National Park and Resurrection Bay, and eagles and a variety of marine life in Homer's Katchemak Bay.  And if that’s not enough, we're kicking off the tour with one of National Geographic Travelers 'Top Ten Train Rides in North America'  - the 4-hour scenic train journey from Anchorage to Seward in Goldstar Class featuring the glass-domed observation car and outside viewing decks.

SEWARD

FLOATING WITH WHALES…..

The port town of Seward is gateway to the Kenai Fjords National Park. The park is renowned for the glaciers that flow into coastal fjords that are habitat to whale and porpoise.  The scenery is exquisite and we'll be spending two days on Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park exploring the abundant marine life and scenic attractions.

  • Images 2, 3 & 5 above and the one below used under license from Shutterstock.com

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HOMER

…..SOARING WITH EAGLES

Come aboard the GRANITE CAPE for two adventure-packed half-day trips shooting eagles, puffins, kittiwakes, sea otters and stunning landscape in beautiful Katchemak Bay. We'll be overnighting in the swank Land's End Resort at the end of Homer Spit where you'll enjoy views of the bay and further photo ops of mariner life and the local fishing fleet.

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Just wanted to say thanks again for all the attention to detail you spent on making my trip to Alaska one of the best trips of my life.
— Carole M.

INCLUSIONS, EXCLUSIONS & COST

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • 11 full days of photography

  • 12 nights accommodation in 3 & 4-star lodges, cabins and hotels (based on double occupancy)

  • All meals and soft drinks, limited wine and beer

  • 4-hour scenic train journey from Anchorage to Seward

  • 11 Flights (including 6 float plane flights) from Soldotna and Anchorage to remote lodges
    in Lake Clark and Katmail National Parks

  • All ground transport - one way by private 12-pax van from Seward to Homer; return flight
    from Homer to Anchorage

  • Private boat charters in Seward, Homer, and Silver Salmon Creek in Lake Clark National Park

  • Unlimited infield and classroom photography training

  • Taxes and Park Fees

  • All Gratuities

  • Footwear in the form of knee boots and hip waders at Silver Salmon Creek

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Return flights between domicile and Anchorage

  • Excess luggage on internal flights

  • Mandatory travel and health insurance

  • Alcoholic spirit drinks

  • Laundry

COST

11 DAYS | 12 NIGHTS
28 June - 10 July, 2020
All-Inclusive $9,950

(See Terms and Conditions Below)

TERMS and CONDITIONS

*ALL PRICES QUOTED ARE BASED ON SIX PARTICIPANTS AND DOUBLE-OCCUPANCY.  FEWER THAN SIX PARTICIPANTS WILL NECESSITATE A PER PERSON INCREASE IN PRICE. SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY.

PRICING IS GUARANTEED AS DESCRIBED AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION. PRICE FLUCTUATION CANNOT BE CONTROLLED SPECIFIC TO PARK FEES, INTERNAL FLIGHTS AND ACCOMMODATIONS. ANY INCREASE IN PRICES, IN THE UNLIKELIHOOD THEY SHOULD OCCUR, WILL BE PASSED THROUGH TO THE CLIENT.