“Here, take a look,” whispered Ricardo. Peeking through the lens, I was six years old again. There was the bird I had been yearning to see, a quetzal as resplendent as I had read about—a vivid dream from my distant past. He sat on a tree branch, preening his feathers, cocking his head and looking […]
You’re off to a wild start, with four unforgettable days in Katmai National Park to experience some of the most natural, unconstrained bear viewing in the world. Boat out into the bay each morning with your guide to explore different beaches where bears congregate to dig razor clams, catch salmon heading up tributary streams, roll in the grass, tussle, and lounge. If conditions allow, you can go ashore for unparalleled photography and observation.
From Katmai, fly via Anchorage into one of our favorite backcountry lodges in the pristine and beautiful Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, where streams and lakes support the phenomenal Bristol Bay salmon fishery. You can hike, kayak, canoe, or try some epic fishing or flightseeing.
For the grand finale, fly into Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. This needs to be the biggest national park in the United States because it holds four mountain ranges, a glacier larger than Rhode Island, uncounted rivers and streams, and a mining ghost town, where you stay in a living-history lodge. Your first day here, you’ll take a bush plane up to Kennicott Glacier, land on a dirt strip, and spend the day hiking and exploring the glacier and its moraines and adjacent wildflower meadows. Views are stunning. A half-day glacier hike the following day gets you out on a glacier to see blue pools, waterfalls, and moulins—holes bored deep into the ice by flowing meltwater. This is true Alaska, as promised.