I waited for hours to get the perfect shot of a bear catching a salmon at Brooks Falls. This guy was failing all morning, just barely missing these incredible fish as they swim upstream. Finally, he caught one, and you can hear our sheer excitement.
My favorite part of this video? The chonkster in the back who is clearly jealous at the end.
One of the things I most wanted to do on this trip was see grizzly bears up close without it being dangerous. Katmai National Park & Preserve really delivered. There’s something so heart-stoppingly primal and deep about watching these powerful animals fish. I stood on the boardwalk for hours, watching their little dramas play out.
Before this trip, I had never really kayaked or driven a boat. My experience of water was one of swimming pools, the ocean, and occasional frigid alpine lakes. It has been amazing to me to get up close and personal with the many ways people in other states recreate in the water where they live, and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve was no exception. Paddling around this glacially fed turquoise water felt like the most ancient thing in the world. There was nothing between me, the waves, and the sky.
For me, Lake Clark National Park & Preserve was one of the more relaxed Alaska parks, but that didn’t stop me from hiking and paddling. Tulchina Adventures set us up with an awesome, screened-in campsite and a day of kayaking in total solitude. It was a great test of our skills after Kenai Fjords!
Grizzly bears are Denali’s most notorious resident, and I saw a ton of them during my visit (luckily it was from the safety of a bus). They can eat up to 300,000 berries a day, so they’re constantly on the move. Here’s one prowling around on the tundra, chowing down.
The infamous green Denali transit buses. This is the main way to get around the park for most visitors, with frequent stops for wildlife, pee breaks, and, of course, views. I saw countless caribou, half a dozen grizzlies, and so many spectacular glimpses of the 20,000-foot peak.
Kayaking up to the Aialik Glacier. A seriously epic day. We watched a thundering calving event smash into the water, just as a small boat was moving out of the way. The reverberations of the 300-foot-tall tower of falling ice echoed for many seconds afterwards.
Big thanks to Kayak Adventures Worldwide for the great trip.
“Kenai Fjords National Park might as well be called Harding Ice Field National Park,” my guide said on this strenuous day hike to get to the starting point of the park’s famous glaciers.
It’s true. The glaciers that emanate from this point pull vital minerals from the mountains that, in turn, wash into the ocean, feeding krill and ultimately whales. If we care about wildlife, we need to start at the source. By protecting glaciers and creating solutions to slow climate change so that these beautiful places are around for thousands more years.
After two hours on the notoriously rough McCarthy Road, I explored the old mining town of Kennicott, hiking along the Root Glacier Trail, gleaning epic views of Mt. Blackburn, and ultimately bailing from an intense scramble up to Erie Mine. Sometimes bail days can still be pretty damn memorable.
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