Admiralty Island National Monument, charmingly known as Kootznoowoo (Fortress of the Bear) by the Tlingit Indians, is a superb, mountainous Alaska wildlife reserve, 96 miles long, and one of the best places in the state to see seals, sea lions, porpoises, humpback whales, deer, bald eagles and of course bears.
At least 1, 500 of these burly brutes roam the island – outside of winter – lunching on berries, roots and smaller animals while they wait for the salmon main course to arrive in July and August. This is peak viewing time and Pack Creek is the place to see Brown bears fishing. Many tourists fly in from Juneau for just a couple of days by seaplane.
More active travellers enjoy kayaking/canoeing 32 miles across the island on the Admiralty Island Canoe Route from Angoon (an indigenous Tlingit village) to Mole Harbor, consisting mainly of lakes and streams but carrying the transport for up to 3 miles may be required.
Katmai National Park, South-Central Alaska, 300 miles SW of Anchorage, is another great bear-faced place with about 2, 000 animals roaming about. Many feed in the summer at Brooks Falls, where there is a tourist viewing platform and a good campsite, Brooks Camp.
Katmai’s other main attraction is 14 active volcanoes; possible activities include include hiking, backpacking, camping, back country skiing, fishing, kayaking and boat tours.
Other top bearish spots are Anan Wildlife Observatory (black bears, access via Wrangell), Kodiak Island and Denali National Park.