Bear Viewing in Valdez

Black and Brown Bear Watching
Major Ursa

Bear Seasons

Valdez typically has good viewing of both black and brown (grizzly) bears, though 2019 was a rough year for bear viewing.

Typically the soonest you see bears in Valdez is April. April and May bears are emerging out of their dens and ending hibernation to go look for food. As this point of the year bears are mostly on a veggie diet.

Beginning in July the salmon start to run and bear viewing picks up as bears move out from the forest and come out to the coast looking to feed on spawning salmon. Peak bear viewing is the beginning of August.

Be sure you brush up on bear safety before entering bear country or viewing bears outside your vehicle.

Bear Viewing in Valdez, Alaska
Duck Flats

Duck Flats along the base of the hillside right off the highway is a great place to view bears with cubs in April and May in particular. Most of the bears will be black bears with one to three cubs. During this time they are leaving their dens from hibernation and eating grass shoots as that area is one of the first to free of snow and provide fresh vegetation.

Basin Cove

Located down Dayville Rd, Basin Cove is fed by a creek that drops into a basin. The creek flows roughly a hundred feet before crossing under Dayville Rd and out to Port Valdez. The rainier it is the more the creek flows the more fish are able to spawn in there. 2019 the creek dried up for a couple of weeks having an adverse reaction to salmon spawning and therefore bear viewing.

Solomon Gulch Hatchery

The hatchery is a great place for bear viewing once the salmon begin to run, often as early as late June. Generally brown bears will be found here and some black bears. Your best chance to see bears around the hatchery is evening about an hour before sun down.