Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek

Alaska

June 26 - July 1, 2021
Cost: $5,199
Leader: Bill Mohrwinkel
Group Size: 8
Days: 6

Safari Overview

Take a bush flight to the seldom visited Lake Clark National Park to walk amongst wild brown bears. This unique experience begins with a magnificent bush plane flight along the bases of active, steaming volcanoes of the Alaska Peninsula and ends with a landing on the beach in front of the lodge. Spend three days walking amongst these giants of the bear world as they go about their daily lives of eating, playing, and sleeping. Take home countless memories and photographs under the expert guidance of Alaska resident and naturalist, Bill Mohrwinkel.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Take a bush airplane flight from Anchorage to Silver Salmon Creek, passing steaming glacier-draped volcanoes in the Alaska Range and ending with a landing on the beach in front of the lodge.
• Walk on the ground up-close with brown bears as they go about their daily activities of eating, playing, and sleeping at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, a private reserve within Lake Clark National Park.
• Take a boat ride to islands where seabirds such as tufted and horned puffins nest and photograph them up-close on flower covered slopes.
• Enjoy Alaska hospitality at this small family owned lodge.

SAFARI OPTIONS
Mix and match any of our four Alaska tours as follows:

1. Begin your journey early on our Cruise Prince William Sound tour from June 21 to 27, 2021 and SAVE $400. From calving glaciers to breaching humpback whales, experience the northernmost coastal temperate rainforest from your boat, the Discovery. Whether you want to kayak amongst icebergs or watch playful sea otters from the deck, this is the best experience you can do on water in Alaska!

2. Combine three Alaska tours (Denali Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers, Cruise Prince William Sound, and Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek (this tour) and SAVE $600.

3. Combine all four Alaska tours (Arctic in Spring, Denali Spring Wildlife and Wildflowers, Cruise Prince William Sound, Coastal Brown Bears of Silver Salmon Creek (this tour) and SAVE $1,979.

Itinerary Updated: May 2019



Print Trip Safari Options
Date Description Lodge Meals
Jun 26 Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska from our Cruise Prince William Sound tour or from home. Susitna Place B&B, Anchorage
Jun 27-29 Scenic flight from Anchorage to Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, photograph Brown Bears and other wildlife in Lake Clark National Park. Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, Lake Clark National Park B, L, D
Jun 30 Enjoy more wildlife action then fly back to Anchorage for farewell dinner. Susitna Place B&B, Anchorage B, L, D
Jul 1 Fly home. B

Our Trip Leaders

Bill Mohrwinkel

Living and guiding in Alaska for 25 years, Bill has vast knowledge to share. He was part owner of an Arctic tour business for 10 years and has guided sea kayaking trips in Prince William Sound, polar and brown bear trips, and birding trips. His love of the polar regions has led bill to also guide in Antarctica and South Georgia Island. Though he is not a photographer, he has extensive experience guiding photo trips and works hard to help clients accomplish their goals for the tour. His true passion is natural history and sharing that passion with participants, and he loves to have fun!

Detailed Itinerary

A glimpse into our journey

Silver Salmon Creek Lodge for Brown Bears and other wildlife

Jun 27-29

From Anchorage, you’ll take a one and a quarter hour flight to Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, situated on the coast of Cook Inlet within Lake Clark National Park. The scenic, low-level flight will end with a beach or lagoon landing for a unique experience. Silver Salmon Creek Lodge is on 40 acres of private land within the coastal region of the expansive park, offering views of the coast and towering volcanic peaks.

The opportunity to observe concentrations of coastal brown bears in their natural habitat is the primary attraction of this remote wilderness area. Due to their high-protein salmon diet, coastal brown bears are often significantly larger than the interior grizzly bears (both are subspecies of brown bear, Ursus arctos). Most of the time spent here will be observing and photographing the phenomenal bear activity, sometimes even from the deck of your cabin. You’ll look for mothers with cubs as well as larger male bears as they dig for clams at low tide and forage for grass in the meadows. Patches of lupine, wild geranium, and other wildflowers will add a splash of color to your photos. As you move into the habitat of the bear, you may witness seldom-seen behaviors, such as courting, mating, and nursing. Keep your eye out for wolves and other wildlife that inhabit the park as well.

Birding around Silver Salmon Creek Lodge is excellent with an abundance of shorebirds, songbirds, and birds of prey, such as peregrine falcons and northern harriers. Small islands just off the coast host nesting pelagic birds. Horned and tufted puffins, parakeet auklets, murres, eiders, and more are found here during the short Alaskan summer. If time and weather permits, you will take a half day boat voyage to “Bird Island,” a major nesting ground for horned and tufted puffins and common murres with excellent photography opportunities.

Wildlife viewing and scenic flight to Anchorage

Jun 30

You will have the morning for one last bear viewing opportunity and to take in the wildlife and scenery around Silver Salmon Creek before departing for the flight back to Anchorage. Tonight, you’ll enjoy a farewell dinner together at a local restaurant.

Fly home

Jul 1

Alaska

Take a bush flight to the seldom visited Lake Clark National Park to walk amongst wild brown bears.

61.216579, -149.899597

Cost & Payments

Costs (in US$)

Type Cost Per Person
Trip cost, double occupancy $5,199
Single supplement $700

Costs are per person, double occupancy, not including airfare (except round-trip flights between Anchorage and Silver Salmon Creek Lodge), singles extra. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.

We reserve the right to charge for cost increases that occur between when we set tour prices and the date of travel, for example, changes due to the cost of lodging and transportation. If you are a single traveler and you desire, we will find a roommate for you. If we cannot find you a roommate, we will not charge you a single supplement. Single rooms are subject to availability.


Payment Schedule

Payment Due Date Amount Per Person
Deposit Due now to reserve your space $500
Final January 15, 2021 Remaining balance

Payments are due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space. For reservations made after a due date, all past payments will be due with registration. By sending your initial deposit, you agree to accept our payment schedule and cancellation policy as a contract. If payments are still outstanding two weeks after the due date, your space may be forfeited.


Cancellations

Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $150 per person, which can be applied toward another tour if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip’s departure date. Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.

Included

  • All activities, leaders, transport, park entry and user fees, landing fees and permits unless described as optional.
  • Accommodations for the nights of June 26 through June 30.
  • Meals from breakfast on June 27 through breakfast on July 1.
  • Round-trip flights between Anchorage and Silver Salmon Creek Lodge.
  • Rubber boots at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge.
  • Gratuities to lodge and hotel staff in Anchorage.
  • Trip Materials – information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.

Not Included

  • All airfare (except flights listed as included), airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees.
  • Airport transfers in Anchorage.
  • Gratuities for the guide and staff at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge – tipping is, of course, discretionary. It is customary to tip about $60-$70 per participant for our guide and about $50-$60 per participant to be split among the lodge staff.
  • Additional night(s) and meals in Anchorage or Silver Salmon Creek Lodge if weather delays the flight.
  • Emergency medical and evacuation insurance and trip cancellation insurance. Refer to our website for more information: www.cheesemans.com/travel-insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation Form.

Climate

The Alaska Peninsula, where Silver Salmon Creek is located, generally has warm, dry weather during this time of year, and it lies within a temperate weather zone. Daytime high temperatures can be 50-70°F, with evenings dipping down into the high 40s°F. Bring layers, a rain jacket, rain pants, and sunscreen to deal with the changing conditions. We supply comfortable rubber boots for you to wear on all outings at the lodge.

Fitness Level

At Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, you search for bears by an ATV towing a wheeled cart, and when you spot bears, you will slowly advance on foot. You may walk over a mile each day on flat terrain at a slow pace. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.

Flights

Airfare (except flights listed as included) is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later as we are happy to assist you with any extra overnights that you might want to arrange.

Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) by June 26. If you are arriving from our Cruise Prince William Sound tour, see Flights section in its itinerary for arrival information. Depart from Anchorage anytime on July 1.

Flights we book for you: The round-trip flights between Anchorage and Silver Salmon Creek Lodge in Lake Clark National Park. The cost of this round-trip booking is included in the tour cost.

FAQ

Accommodations

Lodging throughout the tour is very comfortable. Since you travel to remote locations, we do not have many options, but we have found excellent choices in all locations and hope you will enjoy the rustic Alaskan feel and remoteness of the lodges. At Silver Salmon Creek you may have a private bath in your room, but in some cases you will share a bathroom with one other person.

Seasickness

Transportation

Take a scenic round-trip flight in a small aircraft between Anchorage and Silver Salmon Creek Lodge.  Luggage weights will be strictly limited to 50lbs for this flight. This weight limitation is sufficient to bring your needed camera gear and any clothes you need for the three-night stay.

Conditions

  • Non-smoking policy: We have a strict non-smoking policy. Smoking is not permitted at any time or any place during our tours.
  • Maximum time in nature: We try to spend as much time in nature as possible, sometimes resulting in long days but giving you a more in-depth experience.
  • Itinerary route: The itinerary route, stops, and plans are subject to change by unforeseen circumstances beyond our control, such as weather or road conditions.
  • Additional forms: For some of our tours, you may be asked to fill out additional forms (e.g., medical questionnaire).
  • Medical conditions and travel risks: Travel to remote places is exciting, but it is important to understand and accept the risks, both medical and logistical. Minor medical problems can usually be treated, but because we are often far from medical facilities, there can be no expectation for immediate medical treatment or evacuation, even in cases of trauma. Anyone with health problems needing close medical supervision should not consider going on this tour. Bring enough medication for the duration of the trip for any chronic medical needs since pharmacies are usually not available. When you send your deposit and signed Reservation/Release Form, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for other trip participants.
  • Use of drones/UAVs on tours: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), AKA drones, are not suitable for use on most Cheesemans’ Ecology expeditions due to logistical constraints and in many cases, local and national laws or regulations. In some cases, such as on our polar voyages, we operate under environmental regulations that ban the use of recreational drones. Do not bring a drone on safari without contacting us first.