Anchorage is the best spot to start a visit to Alaska’s iconic bear viewing locations. From national parks to guaranteed views, Anchorage is in the heart of bear country. Find the best bear viewing spots by season.

The nearby Chugach is home to many bears, and Anchorage has fantastic access to spots famous for views of bears fishing for salmon, snacking on sedges or even digging for shellfish.

Lake Clark and Katmai national parks and the surrounding private lodges are among the most popular bear viewing areas. On the opposite side of Cook Inlet, each is just a short flight away from Anchorage. Perfect for day trips, spots like Brooks Falls, Redoubt Bay and Chinitna Bay are in easy reach.

Alaska is the only U.S. state with three species of bear: black, brown and polar. Anchorage is one of the few places to easily see all three. Anchorage is part of the natural range for black and brown bears, and the Alaska Zoo is home to several polar bears and an expanding effort to study their life and habitat in the changing Arctic. Guaranteed viewing for black and brown bears can also be found at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in nearby Portage.