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  • Amy 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.

  • Chris Packham 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.

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

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Knowledgeable, approachable, enthusiastic, and keen to make sure we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. I was so impressed with Roxy's hard work.

Destination: Alaska
Travel Expert: Roxy

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


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay 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.

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Ultima Thule Lodge £££££

  • 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.

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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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?

Why Steppes