Bill Maynard

  • Coolwildlife
  • Tours/Workshops
  • Gallery
  • Prints
  • Stories

Search Coolwildlife

All the wonders you seek are within yourself, everything else can be found on Coolwildlife.com

Katmai Grizzly Bear Tour

If you’ve ever dreamed that one day you could feel what it’s like to be a BBC camera crew member on a Grizzly Bear assignment then you are in for a real treat because that’s what this Grizzly Bear photography tour is all about.   The BBC, Disney Studio’s, National Geographic and The Discovery Channel all chose Katmai Alaska to capture their footage of Grizzly Bears and now you can too.

Kent Fredrikssen has over 25 years of experience camping among the Grizzly Bears of Katmai National Park, often solo for months at a time. Camping offers wildlife photographers a unique opportunity to live amongst and photograph the grizzly bears and wolves of Katmai National Park with back drops of snow covered mountain tops, glaciers and meadows.  

Photography Guide: Kent Fredrikssen
What to Bring

The following is a list of the clothing and equipment you will need while camping on your Grizzly Bear tour. The weather in Alaska varies greatly from cold and rain to warm and sunny and everything in between.  Proper clothing is essential for your comfort during the trip.   When selecting your clothing, keep in mind the following principles about staying warm and dry.

Layering. It is very effective to wear layers of clothing to stay warm, as the air trapped between the layers acts as an insulator. Layering also allows you to regulate your body heat by adjusting the number of layers, depending on the temperature and your activity level.  There are 3 main layers: Transfer which is the layer next to your skin; Insulating which is the main warmth layer(s); and, Protective which is the outer layer to protect you from wind, rain, and other elements.

Keeping Dry. Wetness increases the loss of body heat and is uncomfortable, so it’s important to stay as dry as possible. Some clothing is hydrophobic, and therefore, stays dry (i.e., synthetics such as polypropylene, polyester, capilene, and natural fibres such as wool and silk).Clothes made of these materials make great expedition clothing. Be careful of other materials (e.g., cotton and down), because they are absorbent and stay wet. Also, avoid overdressing as it can cause excess perspiration and therefore wetness.

Your Camera Gear: If you wish to discuss specifics regarding which camera bodies and lenses you own and which ones are best suited to the trip, I will  be happy to discuss that with you.

As mentioned above, the weather while you’re on your grizzly bear tour can be all over the map so your camera gear is best kept in a waterproof case or pack. It is crucial to keep gear dry while sitting in the rain. We strongly encourage you invest in a rainproof cover for your camera – both AquaTech and Think Tank Photo make excellent models that fit most cameras.

There will be no access to power during your trip however some participants have brought along solar panels for charging purposes.  You should bring plenty of memory cards and batteries No drones allowed in Katmai! A sturdy tripod is recommended for long telephoto lenses.

Mandatory Items

Every participant must bring the following items:

  • waders although they can be provided by us with advance notice
  • Sleeping bag, ground mattress and pillow
  • water bottle, collapsing style preferred to save space

Footwear:

  • 1 Pair waterproof hiking boots/shoe to be worn around camp
  • Wool or thermal socks
  • Headwear/Handwear:
  • 1 Wool or pile (fleece) hat
  • 1 Sun hat
  • 1 Rain hat
  • 1 Pair Warm, waterproof gloves
  • Upper Body:
  • Synthetic long-sleeved wickable
  • T-shirts – long and short sleeve
  • Light wool/fleece pullover/sweaters
  • Heavier wool/fleece pullover/jackets

Lower Body:

  • Shorts
  • 2 or 3 Pants (1 wool or fleece)
  • Long underwear and short underwear – e.g. capilene

Outerwear:

  • 1 Durable Waterproof Rain Jacket
  • 1 Pair Durable Waterproof Rain Pants
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Please ensure your rain wear
  • will keep you dry for long periods in the heavy rain.
  • Additional Required Essentials:
  • Personal toiletries kit
  • Sunglasses (with neck cord)
  • Sunscreen and lip salve
  • 1 Bug repellent or bug net

First Aid Kit:

  • Kent will have a first aid kit and a Satellite phone however, you should bring the following
  • items for your own personal use:
  • Pain reliever (e.g., aspirin)
  • Mild anti-inflammatory (e.g.,Ibuprofen)

 

What’s Included

Included

  • Round trip airfare, via small plane, from Kodiak, Alaska to our camp site in Katmai National Park.
  • All meals (Kent is all about organic, so you’ll be eating very healthy) Be sure to go easy on the Dave’s Killer bread, very high in fiber if you know what I mean.
  • Accommodations while in Katmai which is comprised of your own personal tent
  • Expert bear guide

Not Included

  • Your airfare TO and FROM Kodiak, Alaska.
  • Meals and accommodations in Kodiak, Alaska.
  • You must arrive at least two days before the tour is scheduled to depart and plan to be in Kodiak at least one day after the trip is scheduled to have you back in Kodiak to avoid possible weather delays. As such you will require accommodations on the front and back end of the trip in Kodiak. I highly recommend staying at the Cliffhouse B&B in Kodiak, Marty and Marion are the best hosts ever.
  • Alcoholic beverages and tips/gratuities.

 

 

Travel Details

Katmai National Park is a truly jewel in the wilderness where grizzly bears have not been hunted for decades.  As such they are fairly habituated to man which often times brings them in close proximity to photographers so you’ll want to be carrying a long lens and wide angle most of the time.  The landscape is breathtaking so the backdrops for your images are amazing, from snow covered glaciers to fields of grass and streams.

Your trip will depart from Kodiak, Alaska and you should plan to arrive there two days in advance of your scheduled departure date to allow for weather.  From Kodiak you’ll be catching a smaller prop plane on your way to Katmai National Park but don’t be in too big a hurry to get to your destination, you’ll be flying over some amazing landscape including Kodiak Island, mountain ranges touched by fall foliage in September and ice fields, and if you’re really lucky you’ll spot hump back whales and moose so don’t fall asleep on the ride over.

After a relatively short flight you’ll be dropped off in proximity to the area you’ll be camping in and make your way to camp where you get settled in and briefed on what to expect from the adventure that lies ahead.  You will be sleeping in a tent and there will be a larger dining tent provided for group gatherings and meals.  The perimeter will be lined with efence for your safety.

Kent’s been camping with the bears and wolves of Alaska since 1994, He’s been a licensed outfitter and bear viewing guide since 1999.  Thus it is safe to say that if you had to choose a guide to camp with in Katmai National Park who could show you all the choice locations that these bears frequent Kent is your man.  In addition to being an expert Grizzly Bear guide Kent is also an accomplished photographer where he has had his wildlife photography published on the cover of Alaska magazine, Outdoor Life magazine and in National Geographic kids books from 2008 to present.  That means he knows what you’re looking for and can get you in to the right positions to capture the best images possible.

 

Dates and Cost

Grizzlies go where the fish are and fish move with the tides, as such Kent bases trip locations based on the tidal charts to select the best possible opportunities for bear viewing.  Actual dates below will be updated once Kent determines the best locations based on the tidal information.

All Grizzly Bear tours are 9 day camping trips

Dates:

Trip #1 : August 19th to August 27th, 2021 –  Hallo Bay, Katmai Alaska

Trip #2: September 4th to September 12th,  2021 –  Hallo Bay, Katmai Alaska

Cost: $5300 USD  from Homer, Alaska

Deposit: $1500 USD (Deposit due at time of registration)

$3,800 due 45 days prior to the day we fly out (Cash or Bank Transfer)

4-6 guests per trip (6 guests maximum)

 

Testimonials

“A trip to Katmai to photograph the Coastal Brown Bears of Alaska with Kent Fredriksson was an extraordinary experience that I’ll never forget. Kent’s wealth of experience as both a bear guide and camper in Alaska proved to be the perfect combination to photograph the bears in such a beautiful environment while feeling safe, comfortable and very well fed. An added and unexpected bonus was listening Kent’s amazing stories of the bears and Alaska over a morning coffee.”

Peter Derrington

“The anticipation, excitement and fulfillment of photographing the Coastal Brown Bears of Alaska (wolves too) are high on the list of any wildlife photographer. However, you need to be prepared. A week to ten days camping in the wild with the possibility of all sorts of conditions confronting you, necessitates particular gear, knowledge and experience: Kent has it all. I’ve participated in two trips with him so far and he would always be my go-to guide for these Alaskan ventures. He has high quality tents, great food and did I mention the coffee...? Kent treats its preparation with reverence, a quality you are thankful for in the wild. He’s a talented photographer himself but perhaps his highest qualities are the levels of safety and confidence he inspires in the close company of these wild animals and the respect you need to have for them”

Marcus Slade

“The Hallo Bay workshop guided by Kent Fredrikssen was a beautiful adventure. Having a mother bear with two spring cubs walking within touching distance of the group is an experience I’ll never forget and all this possible because of Kent’s familiarity with the bears and his calm influence.”

Mao Ouyang

“Kent’s experience in the Katmai area and with the bears is significant. Because of this he is able to safely put you in the best positions to capture images and create a safe enjoyable wilderness camping experience. ”

Todd Mintz

Fellow Royal Canadian Geographic Society, Explorers Club Member
“Truly a rarified experience which I will never forget. Kent’s extensive knowledge of the bears and their habitat has allowed us to confidently capture these magnificent creatures in our minds and memory cards. Watching mom and her cubs play, nurse and just laze around in the rain has been a life changing experience. ”

Peter Roberts

Get In Touch

Interested in this trip, giving us feedback or perhaps putting together a private, custom adventure?

Whatever the case, please use the short form below to get the conversation started.

    You have successfully subscribed to our mail list.

    Too many subscribe attempts for this email address.

    You have successfully subscribed to our mail list.

    Too many subscribe attempts for this email address.