Is sustainable travel in Alaska a thing? With the majority of visitors burning jet fuel from a vast distance just to get here, there may be no easy answer....but Great Alaska Adventures believes that the answer is yes. We've been in continuous operation at the same location for over thirty-five years, and we've followed a "leave no trace" ethos for all of our remote camps over the years. We've also worked hard to continuously improve our recycling, energy reduction, and overall carbon impact. Our guides and staff hope to increase customer awareness within our sport fishing, wilderness recreation, and wildlife viewing programs, while still focusing on the fun and exhilaration the Alaskan wilderness provides. Working to operate with the environment rather than just off of it, we have promoted minimal harvest for salmon for over 2 decades, and have been officially catch-and-release for all native Trout and Char species for over 30 years. In addition, we are proud to support and practice Catch and Release Kenai King Salmon fishing. All Kenai kings caught by our clients or staff are released since 2018, regardless of current regulations.
Wild Alaska salmon stocks are one of America's most prized resources...and the Sockeye, Chinook, Coho, Chum, and Pink salmon runs that return each year to Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet, and Southeast Alaska are one of nature's most enduring legacies. Great Alaska's home river, the mighty Kenai River, is the crown jewel of Alaska salmon fisheries. Our commitment to protecting all of our salmon returns is ingrained in each staff member. Each and every guide is licensed with the state of Alaska and has completed the Kenai River Guide Academy- the most extensive and thorough training program for freshwater salmon guides in the world.
In addition to promoting Catch and release for native species like Rainbow Trout, and threatened species like our incredible Kenai River Kings, we attempt to educate all of our guests on the inter-connected nature of species, environment, and traveler. Co-Founder Kent John was honored to serve for 5 exciting years as the president of the Alaska Wilderness Recreation & Tourism Association (AWRTA). AWRTA (R.I.P.) was a members-driven trade association advocating for the sustainability of Alaska's natural and cultural resources and promoting ethical, responsible tourism in Alaska and abroad. Great Alaska Adventures believes that travel is the antidote to racism, and we are proud to be a sustainable small business in America.
In recognition of our commitment to the environment, Great Alaska was awarded a Silver Level certification from Adventure Green Alaska (AGA), Alaska's only sustainability certification program. AGA is a certification program for tourism businesses operating in Alaska that meet specific standards of economic, environmental, and social sustainability. Administered by an independent, Alaska nonprofit corporation, AGA encourages tourism businesses to evaluate their operations and determine whether they use - or could be using - best management practices.
Great Alaska Adventures is also a member of the Adventure Travel and Trade Association a global consortium of ethical and professional adventure travel operators. To learn more about them follow the link. The world summit was in Anchorage, Alaska in 2016, and we were excited to be a part of it!
Great Alaska supports our local commercial fishing industry, and purchases all of our Wild Alaska salmon from a local commercial fisherman who works the drift net fishery (the one with the least bycatch) and most targeted species, avoiding the King salmon that are harvested in too large a percentage by the shoreline nets of set-net fishermen. It's not just us that counts on those salmon, to be sure!
Alaska BearCamp® is one of a kind, sustainable fly-in Tent Camp in Lake Clark National Park Sitting in a copse of trees between the Mt. Iliamna and the Cook Inlet shoreline, BearCamp® was originally an Alaskan Homestead (just like our Kenai River Adventure Lodge) . It's a 13-acre enclave within Lake Clark National Park. The camp runs on Solar panel electricity and features state-of-the-art composting toilets. Our vision is for our guests to experience what it is like to be a Bear in Alaska...and a glimpse of what it took to explore and settle this country, and finally how important it is to maintain it for future generations. And hopefully, do it with a bit of style and comfort - but always minimizing our impact on the land, and on the magnificent animals themselves.