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Hallo Bay VS Silver Salmon Creek

Cincinnati, Ohio
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51 posts
13 reviews
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Hallo Bay VS Silver Salmon Creek

Im trying to determine which overnight bear viewing trip to book. I am leaning toward Silver Salmon Creek due to the cost. The prices are exactly the same - $800. One major difference - Hallo Bay DOES NOT include airfare. So my question, why would I even consider Hallo Bay over Silver Salmon?

Also considering Emerald Air for a day trip for $600. They seem great. Any suggestions on day trip vs overnight would be appreciated also. I guess my rationale is obvious, for $200 it seems like an overnight would provide much more bear viewing for a little bit of cost.

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,213 posts
46 reviews
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1. Re: Hallo Bay VS Silver Salmon Creek

I cannot respond to Hallo Bay as I've not been there. Regarding day trips, I'm not sure where EmeraldAir would be going so my comments here will not be apples to apples, just my personal experience with Lake Clark and Natron Air, utlizing the lodge services of Silver Salmon Creek Lodge.

Because the planes land on a beach, the flight schedules are tightly timed to the tides. We we flew over for an overnight (last Labor Day), we left Soldotna at around 10am. With my hubby and me was another gentleman from the UK flying in for a five night stay and a German couple doing a "day trip".

When we arrived, we were very excited to see a mom and two cubs on a large sandbar sleeping. We spent about 10 minutes there, before heading into the lodge to get our luggage in, receive our bear safety briefing and to pick up some mud boots for use during our time there.

We then went back out for a while to photograph and watch the mom+cubs. Lunch was served around 1pm. Because the tide was coming and would be high shortly, there was an inbetween time of inactivity so we got to relax around the lodge.

We went back out around 3p but because there was no bear activity, we found a nice area to watch some silver salmon fishing by the lodge's guides. It was interesting, but I can tell you the couple there "for the day" was pretty bored by it.

Around 4p the bears were starting to come around to fish themselves. It was exciting to see 6-8 bears around, including the pair of cubs. We followed them out to the main shoreline area where we had observed them early in the morning. The group of overnight guests stayed until around 7p, maybe even 7:30p. When we returned we had a fabulous dinner.

At about 5 or 5:30p Natron Air returned for the day trip couple. I would say all totaled, they probably got about 3-4 hrs of actual bear viewing in.

I should also report that after Natron Air dropped us all off in the AM, he returned later (before lunch) with another couple. This trip with the couple must have been Natron's flightseeing tour advertised that states it will land for a possible bear viewing as they were only on the ground for about 30 minutes.

They were treated to a bear that walked literally under the plane's tail, and then down along the beach shore. I'm sure the couple was very excited by the visit of the bear, as they were no more than maybe 10 yds away from the bear strolling by. The same bear strolled in front of our group and was even closer to us, not really paying us any attention.

All in all, with our overnight visit at SSCL, we had probably had a total of 7 or 8 hours of bear viewing/photography. Well worth the overnight stay.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,213 posts
46 reviews
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2. Re: Hallo Bay VS Silver Salmon Creek

If you're interested in reading a more detailed report, along with seeing some photos from our experience, check out my trip report/journals here:

http://www.igougo.com/review-r1377938-Bear_Viewing_in_Lake_Clark_Natl_Park_(Part_1).html .

http://www.igougo.com/review-r1377940-Bear_Viewing_in_Lake_Clark_Natl_Park_(Part_II).html .

Cincinnati, Ohio
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51 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Hallo Bay VS Silver Salmon Creek

Thanks a lot for your feedback. Im a bit surprised that nobody commented on Hallo Bay bear viewing since it appears to be so popular. Guess that confirms my decision to go with Silver Salmon Creek since they include airfare in their price.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,213 posts
46 reviews
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4. Re: Hallo Bay VS Silver Salmon Creek

BMS . . . be sure you look into purchasing travel insurance, as you will be required to pay a deposit and subsequently the balance due before your trip. Should something happen that results in cancellation understand their refund/rescheduling policies and how travel insurance will protect you.

This was one of my major front-end expenses for our trip that made buying the insurance essential.

5. Re: Hallo Bay VS Silver Salmon Creek

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