In June and July the bears stick to the meadow. By mid-August the action shifts to a nearby stream, where the bears glut on spawning salmon and teach their cubs how to fish. It’s precisely this abundance of food that accounts for Alaska coastal brown bears’ prodigious size (650 to 700 pounds, or 295 to 318 kilograms, is typical)—they are somewhat larger than their interior grizzly cousins. It also explains the remarkable numbers of their congregations. June features the most bears, Mid July and August feature less bears but we see the interactions of bear feeding on returning salmon.
Glamping is a term used to describe tent camping in a glamorous way. BearCamp® is a sustainable tent camp on the site of an original Alaskan Homestead, and it's high tech "Weather Port" extreme whether base camp tents, complete with propane heat and light make your time away from the bears huts more than comfortable. The cap is situated in the trees between the meadow and the bay, where long days permit plenty of time between viewing sessions to gather for meals or a campfire and trade bear stories. Meals are shared in the main dining tent and we feature fresh, healthy fare that is enjoyable for everyone.
The bears of Lake Clark National Park, Katmai National Park and McNeil State Game Refuge all visit Chinitna Bay where our BearCamp is located. They are drawn to the area due the high supply of food each year...starting with the sedge grasses that explode in the spring, the Sows and cubs especially spend the spring in the meadow fattening up and getting ready for the salmon. Because BearCamp® is in the same location year after year, the bears have learned to know where we will be and we are sure to being consistent for them as well....thereby reducing the stress levels for the bears, and allowing them to live their daily lives in a less altered state.
The wild remote seacoast, salmon stream and grasslands around our BearCamp attract coastal brown bears. We get all types of brown bears: sows with cubs, sub-adult bears, and big boars. All of these bears feed on the bounty of the region, beginning with the incredible sedge grasses in the meadow below Mt. Illiamna, and moving on to the Chum Salmon that enter area creeks in late July through the middle to end of August. BearCamp® closes down on the first day of September each year.
Brown Bears and Grizzly Bear are both the same species - Ursus Arctos. The only difference between the two is location. North American Brown Bear have been known as Grizzly Bear forever...but technically Brown Bear are the versions of the bears that are on the coastal areas and have access to the Salmon returning to spawn each year. Of course these Brown bear, due to the high levels of fat's they receive by feeding on the salmon (they can put on 50% of their body weight in the last few months of summer) are a much larger group of Bears than the Grizzy, which are by nature omnivores and feed on a more varied and harder to come by diet.