On the majestic Kodiak Island, nestled in Uyak Bay, which is the largest fjord on the island, lies the scenic Larsen Bay. There, the raw, rugged, and untarnished landscape makes travelers feel like time has stopped in this mesmerizing part of the world.
From jagged mountains and alpine meadows to spruce forests, sapphire blue bays, and rugged cliffs, the diversity of terrains is a godsend for photographers and nature lovers.
But the landscape isn’t all you can snap while on Kodiak Island.
The land of bears boasts some of the best fishing grounds in the world and is a prime spot for whale-watching.
And all these natural treasures make Larsen Bay the perfect spot for a wildlife photography workshop in Alaska!
In this guide, we’ll explore life in Larsen Bay and the main activities and landmarks to see before telling you everything you need to know about our Alaska wildlife tour.
How To Get From Kodiak To Larsen Bay?
Larsen Bay is located 60 miles southwest of the city of Kodiak.
The easiest way to get from Kodiak to Larsen Bay is to take a local air taxi with Island Air. The airline operates a fleet of small planes used to deliver passengers and cargo to small villages around the island. The flight takes 30 min, and you’ll find the schedule for flights up to 9 months ahead on the website of Island Air.
The great thing about flying to Larsen Bay is that the trip in itself becomes a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the plane flies over spectacular emerald mountains and crystal-clear waters, you might even spot a whale or two on your way to your destination!
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Step Into Awe-Inspiring Territory
A Bit Of History
The Uyak (name given to the community by the native people Alutiiq) have been inhabiting the area for over 2,000 years.
In the mid-1700s, the area attracted Russian fur traders, and one of them, Peter Larsen, even gave his name to Larsen Bay. This explains the numerous Russian Orthodox churches and cemeteries in the area.
In 1991, the Smithsonian Institution returned the remains of over 700 Alutiiq people thought to be from the area, drawing international attention to Larsen Bay.
What To Do In Larsen Bay, Alaska
Larsen Bay is home to abundant wildlife. That’s why many curious travelers and passionate wildlife photographers come to this remote part of the world every year. Kodiak Island is particularly famous for its unique Kodiak bears, a subspecies of the brown bear.
And guess what? Larsen Bay is one of the best destinations for Kodiak bear viewing in Alaska!
In summer, visitors regularly spot bears strolling down the beach in the village. That’s because the fishing waters around Larsen Bay Lodge abound with salmon, a bears’ favorite 😉
Another popular bear viewing spot in July and August is Frazer Lake.
Frazer Lake is only a 25-minute flight from Larsen Bay, and tours can be arranged with the lodge. Once at Frazer Lake, you’ll be able to observe bears catching salmon in the surrounding prolific waters.
Fishing and Whale-Watching
As mentioned, Larsen Bay is one of the best fishing grounds in Alaska. The pristine waters brim with all five species of Salmon, Halibut, Lingcod, Sea Bass, Crab, Steelhead, and Rockfish.
And if you’re more of an ocean wildlife tour kind of traveler, you can also embark on one of the local tours for an incredible whale-watching adventure! Once aboard, get your camera ready!
Larsen Bay’s marine life is plentiful. In addition to various whale species, you’ll be able to see seals, sea lions, puffins, and sea otters
Larsen Bay’s sheltered waters are the perfect environment for kayakers. That’s why most lodges in the area provide kayaks to their guests. Once comfortably seated in your kayak, you’ll not only be rewarded by majestic shoreline scenery but also views of the incredible wildlife that still thrive in these pristine waters.
Picture this; the sun is rising over a remote bay nestled in a majestic fjord. As the sun rises, the mountains on the horizon become emerald, donning their lush green velvet coat.
The peacefulness of the magical spot is only occasionally interrupted by a salmon jumping out of the water. Suddenly, you notice a brown mass slightly rising above the water line. As you paddle in this tranquil setting, you recognize the shape. A Kodiak bear swimming to reach the shore!
This is exactly the kind of experience you’ll be able to enjoy if you decide to go kayaking in Larsen Bay.
World Class Hiking
Larsen Bay offers prime hiking to adventurers and nature lovers.
There are many incredible hikes around Larsen Bay but some of the most epic trails include:
• The 53-mile hike from Old Harbor to Larsen Bay
• The 90-mile hike from Alitak to Larsen Bay
During these scenic hikes, you’ll see quaint Russian Orthodox churches with wooden walls and contrasting blue steeples, meander along the spectacular Uyak Bay with sapphire blue waters.
Hike lush mountains, walk on rocky deserted beaches and encounter mountain goats, bears, deer, and many other wild animals.
Take Incredible Wildlife Photos
Larsen Bay is one of the few remaining untouched places on Earth. And as such, it provides passionate photographers with a fantastic ground to snap raw wilderness and thriving wildlife. But as with any remote location photography adventure, knowing exactly where and when to go to capture amazing scenery and wildlife can be tricky.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind Alaska wildlife tour with experienced photographers, we might have just what you need!
A wildlife photography workshop in Alaska that includes:
• 1-day marine life boat tour
• 2-day world-class bear-viewing tour (flyouts included)
• All food and drink for the entire trip
• Sea kayaking
• Two professional wildlife and landscape photographers
Sounds like a dream?
So, book your spot now for a true Alaskan adventure, or get in touch with us to discuss the workshop. Note that we have limited single room availability so if you’re traveling solo, get in touch as soon as you can so we can add you to our single traveler waitlist.