Embark on an epic adventure in the untamed wilderness of the Ayakulik River!
Imagine walking in the footsteps of GIANTS in an isolated land where raw nature still reigns supreme. Imagine waking up to the peaceful sound of the river and songbirds. As you step out of your tent, you notice a majestic Kodiak Brown Bear fishing for salmon.
Welcome to the enchanting region of the Ayakulik River, where sockeye salmon runs draw Kodiak Brown Bears to its banks to feast on the bountiful catch over summer.
As you strap in for the adventure of a lifetime, we’ll introduce you to these majestic creatures. This unique subspecies of the Alaska Brown Bear has been genetically isolated for over 12,000 years and is renowned for being the BIGGEST BEAR ON THE PLANET!
This is your chance to witness these mighty giants in their natural habitat and capture their essence through the lens of your camera.
The Ayakulik region is also the perfect place to hike unspoiled land allowing you to enjoy solitude and tranquility and be at one with nature as you soak in the breathtaking views stretching around you for miles.
For an authentic yet comfortable Alaskan outdoor adventure, the camp features cozy and waterproof WeatherPort tents perched on sturdy wood platforms.
This allows our guests to enjoy a rustic experience while relaxing after a long day capturing wildlife action. Each tent, measuring 8×10 feet, can comfortably accommodate two guests and features cots, sleeping bags, a propane lantern, and a heater for added warmth.
When you’re ready to socialize, head to our main tent, a heated 10×30 WeatherPort, where we all gather for cooking and conversation, no matter the weather. After a long day of exploring, you’ll also be able to rejuvenate with a relaxing steam bath in our special insulated WeatherPort. And if you’re feeling brave enough, you can even take a quick dip in the river beforehand!
Toilet facilities are conveniently separated from the main camp.
During your stay, you will not only experience the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness in a way that few have before, but you will also be mentored by two experienced professional photographers.
Dan has spent years exploring Alaska and capturing the majesty of grizzly bears in Halo Bay and Kodiak Island. His passion for the region and his long-standing wildlife photography experience will allow you to capture some unique and memorable shots.
Jessica’s stunning photography has been published worldwide and showcases her exceptional travel photojournalism and film skills, which she will teach you.
With a combined 48 years of experience, you can expect personalized mentorship and a stunning portfolio at the end of this once-in-a-lifetime trip.
We like to eat! And that’s why we only use high-quality, locally sourced ingredients to craft our meals at the camp.
Start your day with a delicious breakfast spread of juicy fruit, crunchy cereals, eggs, potatoes, and crispy bacon. Come lunchtime, you’ll be treated to tasty sandwiches paired with fresh fruit and snacks.
And for dinner, prepare to be transported to a world of pure culinary Alaskan bliss as you enjoy local seafood, juicy chicken, melt-in-your-mouth steaks, and classic burgers
You don’t need to be an athlete, but a lot of walking will be involved, so a good fitness level is a plus.
You can decide how often or how long you want to walk as the trip is tailored to your needs and preferences. However, to fully experience this magical adventure, we recommend that you be able to hike with a daypack and cameras for up to 8 miles.
If you want less walking or hiking, then our other Wilderness Workshop might be best for you.
Expect there to be no access to a mobile phone service. There will be a satellite phone on board for emergencies.
If you want to bring your own, then you can also grab a Garmin Inreach handset, which you can buy before you come (subscription rates will apply). You can buy them on Amazon here. Garmin on Amazon
YES ! Absolutely. If for any reason we are unable to run the tour due to adverse weather then you will need to make a claim on your travel insurance.
We recommend using AIG Insurance Travel Guard. Check your policy has trip cancellation insurance covered. Travel Insurance is a good idea anyway in case of injury or additional costs which can occur from basic travel. We also suggest travelguard.com for good insurance too.
Ensure all travel insurance covers cancellation.
The Ayakulik area is a really beautiful and diverse place to explore. Nowhere else will you be able to hike a 12,000-year-old bear trail, surrounded by stunning mountain views, while listening to the sounds of vocal ptarmigans.
During your adventures, you will encounter many wild animals, such as bears and eagles feasting on salmon, and possibly even a large group of caribou sprinting across the tundra.
The river is also a bustling hub of activity! You’ll see all sorts of feathered friends flitting about, from graceful swans to playful ducks and curious otters diving in and out of the water.
You will see many animals and such during your visit, keep an eye out for . . . Kodiak Brown Bear, Red Fox, Bald Eagles, Sitka Black Tail Deer, Short-Tailed Weasel, Beavers, River Otter, Red Throated Loon, Tundra Swan, All sorts of waterfowl, All sorts of birds, Rose, Bog, Lady’s Slipper, and other exotic orchids.
Edible Blueberries, Cranberries, Cloud Berries, Nagoon Berries, and more growing in the wild.
Flowers of all colors blooming June-August
Carnivorous plants such as Sun Dew too.
Every day after you’ve enjoyed your delicious breakfast, we’ll get moving.
Boarding jet boats or rafts, we’ll gently navigate the river to fish or explore the surrounding areas. What we do every day is entirely up to you!
You’ll be allowed to bring up to 1 full limit of fish back to the camp. The reason being we’re primarily a catch-and-release camp.
This trip will be an off-the-grid adventure meaning there will be no phone signal. However, you’ll have access to electricity to charge your electronic devices.
Note that we will be in the wild, and everything is powered locally.
You will be provided with your flight schedule from Kodiak City to our cozy camp on the upper Ayakulik. Naturally, flights and tours are highly weather-dependent, so we might have to adjust to compensate for layovers or delayed flights.
Want pure Alaskan wilderness? Here it is!
No need to over pack. You will be traveling in small float planes so it is necessary to limit each person to 75 pounds of gear. Loads will be weighed at the seaplane base in Kodiak. To comply with FAA regulations and for your own safety, charter services will not overload their airplanes.
If you are having trouble coming in under 75 pounds of baggage, consider leaving a bag in Kodiak. The charter service will be happy to store it for you. You can leave your formal travel clothes, street shoes and other items that will not be of use to you in the field. Soft luggage or duffel bags are preferred (such as Think Tank Photo Retrospective Duffel) as they are more easily stored in small or awkward baggage spaces.
If your necessary baggage simply will not allow you to make the above mentioned weight limit, we can arrange special charter flights to accommodate you, at your own expense.
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