How large will my group be? Small groups are the best way to witness the Last Frontier! This wilderness trip is limited to 8 guests. And with a guest to guide ratio of 4:1 you are assured of our commitment to risk management and safe operations. Furthermore, it is a best practice to keep groups exceptionally small to minimize our impact on the Alaskan backcountry by following Leave No Trace principles.
What about the mosquitoes? In case you've heard horror stories... the number of mosquitoes is greatly dependent on hatching season, annual weather conditions, specific locations, and time of year. While you are bound to encounter some mosquitoes during the course of your summer adventure, their numbers rarely present major problems. That said, please arrive prepared with insect repellent and a head net to fend off any bugs that are present.
Will bears be a problem? Alaska is bear country! There are both grizzly and black bears in most of the wilderness areas of Alaska we visit. We love seeing bears in the wild, and consider bear sightings one of the most thrilling privileges common in Alaska's backcountry. That said, traveling safely and taking precautions to minimize a negative encounter are considerations we take very seriously. In addition to conducting a thorough pre-trip bear safety orientation, your guides also take many precautions on all of our trips including: 1) all of our food is packaged to minimize odors – we vacuum seal most of our fresh ingredients and sauces, we pack our food in bear resistant food canisters, and we store our food well away from camp. 2) We make noise when we’re hiking in thick brush or when we’re hiking in windy conditions to minimize surprise encounters. 3) We keep an exceptionally clean camp and 4) as a last resort guides travel armed carrying a .44 magnum or a shotgun. Alaska’s national parks allow firearms and our guides are thoroughly trained. Again, using a firearm is a last resort and thankfully we’ve never had to call one into service on a trip!
Will I see wildlife on my trip? It's important to keep in mind that while we do have abundant wildlife populations in Alaska, animals are often obscured by the vastness of the landscape, subject to imprecise migration routes and often affected by Alaska's dynamic weather patterns. While historically wildlife viewing on our trips has been reliable, and we schedule our trips to maximize the chances of seeing wildlife, there are simply too many factors to make any guarantees.
What kind of food might we expect? Our food is excellent – in fact it is something that clearly differentiates us from our competition. We have spent the past fifteen years fine tuning our backcountry menu. And in 2012, we launched Adventure Appetites – an award winning food company focused on bringing our lightweight and packable wilderness cuisine to adventurers everywhere. Breakfasts include pancakes, scrambles, homemade granola and cereal, locally roasted gourmet coffee, assorted tea and cocoa. Lunches could include an Italian club torta sandwich, asiago bagels and Alaska lox, a curried tuna pita, or perhaps crackers with genoa salami with a roasted red pepper goat cheese spread. We also feature house made snack mixes (both savory & sweet), and an assortment of energy bars available throughout the day. Dinners could include pasta carbonara, Alaska reindeer rotini, chicken and chorizo enchiladas, penne pasta with a roasted red pepper pesto, and more. And we ALWAYS experience one of Adventure Appetites home baked desserts after dinner.
What will the weather be like on my trip? Alaska has some of the most dynamic and dramatic weather on the planet. During the summer months in Alaska, average daytime temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees F, nighttime and morning temperatures are cooler, but rarely dip below 40 degrees F. Fall arrives early at these latitudes and you'll experience cooler temperatures and fewer hours of daylight in late August and early September. Throughout the summer season, you may experience rain, sun, wind, clouds and fog on your departure. We live by the adage "prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and you'll likely end up with some of both".
What will the camping be like on my trip? Alaska Alpine Adventures has camped in some of Alaska’s most remote and wild places; from the remote beaches of the Alaska Peninsula, the rugged glaciers of the Neacola Mountains, to the open tundra expanses of the Brooks Range, With literally thousands of nights camped in the Alaska wilderness in all seasons, we have refined camp craft to a science. Expedition quality tents, included trekking poles, group-size tarp shelters, and only the best cooking equipment accompany each and every one of our wilderness trips. Not only does including the finest equipment make camp life more comfortable, it also adds a level of safety to trips that could otherwise be relentlessly unforgiving to the unprepared. In other words, we take our camping very seriously! Don’t be surprised if you find yourself waiting out a storm under the group tarp, out of the weather, enjoying hot drinks, sumptuous meals and excellent company, while your guide fastidiously tensions all of the tent guy lines!
Katmai National Park and Preserve:
Where is Katmai National Park?
The 3.5 Million Acre Katmai National Park it's contained within lies the end of the Alaska Peninsula at the crest of the Pacific Rim of fire. This remote park is over 200 air miles south-west of Anchorage.
How do you get to Katmai National Park?
Access to Katmai National Park is solely by small aircraft or, in some instances, by boat.
Is transportation to Katmai National Park included in the price of the trip?
Absolutely, our Katmai trips are all inclusive from Anchorage.
Where will you meet us? Alaska Alpine Adventures will provide a shuttle to Merrill Field on the morning of day 1. Your guide will meet you at the airplane when you arrive in Port Alsworth - home of our summer base of operations, and the launching point for our Katmai Bear viewing adventure.
Who will I be flying with and what time will we be departing on day one? You'll be flying with Lake and Peninsula Air. On occasion we also use Lake Clark Air. Both air taxis are located at Merrill Field. We usually schedule our flight from Anchorage for 11am after an orientation and gear check on day one. An Alaska Alpine Adventures representative will pick you up at your hotel or B&B between 8 & 8:30am that morning.
Where is Merrill Field?
Merrill Field is located just east of downtown Anchorage. “Bush” flying is an adventure in and of itself and variable weather conditions may cause delays. We will try to keep you informed of any changes or delays as they occur. Remember to please be ready at least 45 minutes before your expected departure.
Is Katmai National Park a good place for viewing wildlife?
Absolutely. Katmai National Park is home to grizzly, coastal brown, and black bears, Dall's sheep, caribou, moose, wolves, and tremendous seasonal populations of migratory birds.
Getting to Alaska
This trip originates in Anchorage, Alaska. Getting to Anchorage is a snap. Alaska Airlines, your travel agent, or the carrier of your choice can easily arrange round trip airfare from the lower 48.
Access to Lake Clark National Park is limited to air travel in a small airplane flown by an experienced bush pilot. This adventure includes bush flights between Anchorage and Port Alsworth and float plane flights to and from Katmai. Have your camera ready, because your trip begins as soon as you board the plane. This may be your first experience in a small aircraft – a memorable one to be sure. The flight to Lake Clark takes you through the southern portion of the Alaska Range with towering peaks and tumbling glaciers right off the wing tips. The 150 mile flight to Port Alsworth, Lake Clark National Park’s gateway community, takes approximately an hour and twenty minutes. Your guide(s) will meet you at the airplane as soon as you land in Port Alsworth.
Lodging on the final night of the departure in Port Alsworth is included in your package. You’ll be staying at the Farm Lodge in a lakeside cabin in the bush community of Port Alsworth. The property is both comfortable and picturesque, and the community of Port Alsworth (Population 200) offers a great portrayal of how people thrive in rural Alaska. Prices are double occupancy. If you prefer your own cabin on the final night of the itinerary you will be asked to pay a single supplement of $110.00. The remaining nights will be spent camping in the wilderness!
- All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
- Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
- Large, backpack-style drybag for transporting and storing personal gear while on trip
- Trekking poles
- Complementary airport transfer
- Ground Transportation to Merrill Field on Day 1
- Roundtrip bush flight transportation from Anchorage to Port Alsworth
- Roundtrip floatplane flights from Lake Clark to Katmai.
- Lodging on the final night at the Farm Lodge on Lake Clark
- Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 client to guide ratio
- All meals from lunch on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary
- Storage for your extra travel items while in the field
- Lodging in Anchorage prior to and after your adventure
- Personal gear (sleeping bags, packs, rain gear, etc.) - See Equipment Lists and rental items
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Additional hotel/lodge nights in Anchorage or Port Alsworth due to weather delays
- Alcoholic beverages
- Guide gratuities
Reservation & Cancellation Policy
A deposit of $1000.00 per person is required to reserve a trip with Alaska Alpine Adventures. The remaining balance is due 60 days prior to the start of the trip. Reservations made within 60 days of the trip starting date require payment in full.
If the participant cancels a reservation earlier than 60 days prior to the starting date, the deposit will be refunded, minus a $100.00 administration fee. If the participant cancels within 59-31 days of the starting date, 50% of the trip balance will be refunded. If cancellation is made within 30-0 days of the trip starting date, there will be no refund of any costs. Alaska Alpine Adventures recommends cancellation insurance available through Travel Guard. Please call or email us for details.
Trip Cancellations or Delays
Alaska Alpine Adventures reserves the right to cancel or change the itinerary of a trip. In the event that Alaska Alpine Adventures cancels your trip and you are unable to participate, the total balance will be refunded. Occasionally, weather or other factors may cause delays or make completing a trip impossible. In these circumstances, there will be no refund of fees. Furthermore, Alaska Alpine Adventures is not responsible for any other costs, (e.g. airline flight changes, additional hotel nights, etc.) associated with trip delays or itinerary changes due to weather or other factors.
In order to assure any Alaska Alpine Adventures departure, a minimum number of participants must sign up. Our Basecamp Bears trip requires a minimum of 3 guests to guarantee departure. However we will operate our adventures at below the minimum required for a modest surcharge. Please see our Reservations Page for more information regarding trip minimums.