Our People
  • Amy Waters snow biking Our Team

    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

  • William Dalrymple Our Tour Experts

    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

  • Liz Bonnin Heroes and Heroines

    The people who lead the way when it comes to those things which matter to us: exploration, the environment, women’s empowerment and education.

Grizzly Bear, Kodiak Island, Alaska

Bear Country: Katmai & Kodiak

The island of Kodiak is where the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is found, an area of wilderness that covers two-thirds of the island with rugged mountains, alpine meadows, wetlands, spruce forests and grassland.

The refuge is fantastic for fishing and a reason why over 2,000 bears are found here. Katmai National Park and Preserve is an active volcanic region surrounding Mount Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, and it is also an important habitat for salmon and home to the largest population of protected brown bears that come to feed.

Kodiak Brown Bear, Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA
Kodiak Brown Bear, Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA

Highlights of Alaska: Mountains & Bears

Our classic journey through Alaska incorporates the jewels in the crown of the sprawling state that packs a punch – from scenic railway trips and remote bear viewing to alpine float plane journeys and native learning experiences.
Combining Denali National Park with Kodiak Island in a wonderful blend of culture, wildlife and history, this highly customisable route is bursting with extraordinary experiences for solo travellers, honeymooners and families alike.

12 days

from £7,000 pp

See holiday idea

Alaskan Brown Bear, Brooks River ,Katmai National Park ,Alaska, USA
Alaskan Brown Bear, Brooks River ,Katmai National Park ,Alaska, USA

Watch the Salmon Run

Whilst bears can be found throughout the state, Katmai and Kodiak offer the best opportunities for viewing brown bears in Alaska and in fact the world. Here, prolific bear populations thrive and offer generous viewing experiences throughout the season – the wild and untouched nature offer sanctuary to bears and an abundance of other wildlife. The best time to view the bears is between June and September, with no roads in the refuge viewing is done by air or from a remote wilderness lodge.


Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Watch Bears Catching Salmon

Observe as the largest predators in North America gather along rich streams to catch and feast on the annual salmon run, and observe newborn cubs interacting with their mothers.

See related content

Explore the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

Walk atop the ash flow in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a landscape created by a volcanic eruption in 1912.

See related content

Adventures in Katmai National Park

After arriving in Katmai National Park by exhilarating floatplane, embark on outdoor adventures that include rafting, hiking and even back-country camping.

See related content

Discover the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge

Head out with an expert naturalist guide to the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, home to around 3,000 Kodiak bears, to explore its rugged mountains, alpine meadows and glacial valleys.

See related content


Below is some of the wonderful accommodation to include on your journey.

Kodiak Brown Bear Centre £££££

  • USA
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Set on the southwest side of Kodiak Island, the Kodiak Brown Bear Centre offers one of the best and most exclusive bear experiences. This small intimate lodge offers prolific bear viewing, whether on foot or by boat, in an environment only accessible by float plane. Located on the edge of the remote and stunningly beautiful Karluk Lake, the largest lake on Kodiak Island. It is home to all five species of the Eastern Pacific salmon and thus 2,500 Kodiak Brown Bears – the highest density of brown bears in the world. The Kodiak Brown Bear Centre has just four en-suite cabins – thus a maximum of six clients at any one time. The rooms are comfortably furnished and spacious; each has a small deck overlooking the lake.

View Property

Ultima Thule Lodge £££££

  • USA
  • Wilderness

Ultima Thule Lodge is an exclusive wilderness lodge within the wild and remote lands of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Preserve, the largest protected wilderness on earth. It offers the opportunity to explore this untamed landscape of glaciers, mountains and rivers that are grand, even in Alaskan terms. The specialist activity at the lodge is adventures by plane, with no agendas, each day is determined by the weather, your mood and interests. The five cabins at this intimate lodge are handcrafted with local timber, each with two bedrooms, a sitting area and superb views of the Chitina River and surrounding mountains.

View Property

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

In his travel to the USA, New York has remained at the top of Paul’s list. It is certainly not a one-stop destination, and Paul knows the little-visited hot spots and behind-the-scenes experiences that make a visit to this bustling city truly memorable.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 601 784

Sue Grimwood

I was inspired to travel south from an early age. My form teacher when I was nine made us listen to tapes from Shackleton’s expeditions, I didn’t know it at the time, but it obviously left a deep impression on my psyche.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 601 784

Roxy Dukes

Roxy has had many adventures throughout the USA, and has a passion for exploring the spectacular National Parks. Roxy’s tip is to invest in a private guides that take you off the grid, transforming your experience of these epic landscapes.

Talk with our experts
  • 01285 601 784

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


Everything went smoothly with minimum effort on our part. We really felt Roxy take all of the arrangements off our hands, making our trip so easy, allowing us to completely concentrate on enjoying the experience.

Destination: Alaska
Travel Expert: Roxy

Roxy was incredibly good at assessing what we wanted from our trip to Alaska, and advising us of exactly where to go and when.

Destination: Alaska
Travel Expert: Roxy

Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

Read More