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bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

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bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

I have read a variety of reviews about different companies that offer bear viewing out of Homer. Does anyone have recommendations for which company to use and why? I was considering K Bay and read great reviews. Was also considering Hallo Bay until I read a recent very bad review. Also heard good reviews about Emerald Air. How do I decide? what is the difference?

Adirondack, New York
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1. Re: bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

I guess you need to use your own intuition but first call each company and ask many questions. Also find out what company has available seats for your dates if you're going in 2009. Emerald is usually fully booked many months in advance. My husband and I used Emerald Air at least 8 times and we are scheduled to go with them two times in August. We probably have to cancel our entire trip but that is another story. Anyway, Emerald has a great reputation and I hear good things about Bald Mountain. We didn't chose this company because they also take people on bear hunting trips but you need to decide what works for you. Hallo Bay has many staff members leaving too soon and too often so you never know whether your guide is going to be the one with some experience or a newbie. I don't know anything about K Bay.

If you do search here on this forum under "bear watching" you'll find many reports and answers to some of your questions.

on the lake...
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2. Re: bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

we have also used Emerald Air and I always recommend them without hesitation. They are amazing. Personable, respectful of their passengers, the bears and the land and lots of fun. Definitely the highlight of all our trips to Alaska.

Englewood, Ohio
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3. Re: bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

I've gone with Bald Mountain Air twice, fantastic! Looking forward to opportunity to go with them again.

Union, Kentucky
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4. Re: bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

We used Bald Mountain during our trip to Homer last summer. It was by far my favorite thing we have done in Alaska. We flew into Geographic Harbor, hiked a little ways and then sat by a stream watching bears all day. If you check out their website, it has a description of where they might take you according to the time of year. It wasn't cheap but worth every penny!

North Pole, Alaska
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5. Re: bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

We're also Emerald Air fans. We've gone twice and have plans to go in July again. Chris and Ken Day are passionate about bears and know their stuff. The trip is not only a great experience for bear viewing, but also very educational!

San Francisco...
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6. Re: bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

We used Bald Mountain Air, and they were wonderful. We took a float plane out to Kenai peninsula and were very fortunate to see quite a few bears -- and a couple that were probably 50-60 feet away from us. Bald Mountain guide and pilot (I believe his name was Eric) was very knowledgeable and professional. I don't think you can go wrong.

Central Illinois
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7. Re: bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

I don't know if you have booked your bear-watching flight yet, but I can recommend Bald Mountain Air. My husband and I took a flight to see the bears at Brooks Lodge in Katmai the middle of July this year. It was wonderful! When deciding which company to choose, you need to decide what your goal is: Do you want to "walk among the bears"? Or do you want to stand on a platform and see the bears catch salmon as they jump upstream? Not all companies will take you to the same places, so you might need to do a little research on what your goal is. My husband wanted to photograph the bears in the classic pose of bears catching fish at the waterfall, so we chose Bald Mountain Air. I was happy with that, because I didn't really want to walk too much and I didn't want to be on the same level as the bears. At the waterfall at Brooks Lodge, I felt very safe! Bald Mountain does an excellent job! Everyone was totally professional and very accommodating. We would fly with them again in a heartbeat! My only suggestion to anyone who is taking this trip would be to eat a very large breakfast and don't plan to eat while out at the Lodge picnic area. We spent time eating when we should have been photographing! We should have gone directly to the viewing area and waited to eat until we returned to Homer. If you do research on this area, you will see that the Katmai Park rangers limit you to 1 hour on the upper viewing platform in order to give everyone a chance to view the bears close-up. After that hour, you may put your name back on the waiting list for another hour. While you are waiting to get back on the upper platform, you can still see bears fishing in the stream below the falls. You may have to wait from 30 - 45 minutes to get back to the upper falls platform. As always, you get what you pay for! We met a couple who paid less for a bear watching trip to another destination, but only briefly saw 3 bears. We saw 9-12 bears who stayed within our view the whole time we were there. Hope your trip is a great one!

8. Re: bear viewing in Homer, Alaska

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