7 of the Best Places to See Bears in North America
Updated: Feb 24
1. Kodiak Archipelago, Alaska, USA
Some 3,500 brown bears inhabit these islands. Hiking, kayaking and camping trips are available in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.
Best time to go: July to September
2. Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA
One of the most spectacular bear-viewing locations in the world, Brooks Falls is leaping with salmon each summer, attracting large gatherings of hungry grizzlies.
Best time to go: July to August
3. Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada
Bella Coola is the gateway to this majestic mosaic of coastal mountains, river valleys and dense forests – home to healthy populations of both grizzly and black bears, as well as the white ‘spirit bears’ of Princess Royal Island. Further north, Southeast Alaska’s Admiralty Island is known by local Tlingit Indians as the ‘Fortress of the Bears.’
Best time to go: Summer, but aim for late August to September for grizzlies fishing Atnarko River.
4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
Grizzly bears are most often seen in the Hayden and Lamar Valleys and around the Dunraven Pass area.
Best time to go: June to September
5. Churchill, Manitoba, Canada
Polar bear capital of the world, offering tundra buggy tours along the shores of Hudson Bay.
Best time to go: October to November
6. Laurentide Wildlife Reserve, Quebec, Canada
Canoe along the Pikauba River, scanning the forested shoreline for black bears.
Best time to go: June to August
7. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, USA
Around 1,500 black bears inhabit this protected swathe of the Appalachians. Your best chances of spotting one are in open areas like Cataloochee and Cades Cove
Best time to go: May to September