bear viewing Alaska, bear photography, bear safety, bear behavior
Diving Bear Cove
at Wolverine Creek
One of the most popular places in Alaska to see bears is Diving Bear
Cove.  It lies at the mouth of Wolverine Creek, where it enters Otter
Lake.  Otter is the largest of the seven Big River Lakes.  

the summer from the second week of June through late August.  By
The Cove is unusual in having an abundance of salmon throughout
the summer from the second week of June through late August.  By
contrast, in most other streams, salmon are available to bears and
anglers for only a few weeks annually.

The three major gateway communities for Wolverine Creek are
Anchorage, Nikiski, and Soldotna.  The latter two towns lie on the
Kenai Peninsula
Flying From Anchorage
You can reach Wolverine Creek by flying from
Anchorage via
Rust Aviation, which is based at
Lake Hood.

Day-trip Costs:
After deducting for the 15% discount that BVA
has negotiated for IBA members and their
companions, flight costs are ~$550/person for a
6 hr trip, of which 2 hrs will be spent flying, 30
min receiving an orientation, 30 min for lunch,
and 3 -3.5 hrs searching for bears.  For a
full-day trip, with about 7 hrs searching for
bears, the cost is ~$700/person.  

Costs of day trips are governed primarily by the
expense of flying.  As a general rule of thumb
any excursion by bush plane in this region,
the cost will be about $300/person per hour
flying.  However, the more people sharing a trip,
the lower the cost per person.
You will land at Redoubt Bay Lodge, receive a short orientation, then travel by pontoon boat ~1 mi to Diving Bear Cove at the mouth of
Wolverine Creek. If you arrive on the morning flight (around 9 am), you will be served a gourmet lunch inside the lodge around noon. Or, if you
arrive on the afternoon flight (around 1 pm), you will receive lunch immediately, before starting your excursion.  

If you prefer, your trip doesn't have to be limited to just a half-day or a full-day visit.  You can stay overnight, enjoy a gourmet dinner by the lodge
chefs, and perhaps spend the evening doing more viewing from a pontoon boat, an open-topped skiff, a canoe, or a kayak.  Or, you can join the
bears to catch your own salmon -- using a hook and line.  
Wildlife at Diving Bear Cove and Wolverine Creek
Weather permitting, the AWA pilot normally provides an extra 15 min of flight- seeing over the spectacular
volcanoes and glaciers near Wolverine Creek.  This option is normally not available for clients
flying directly from Anchorage on a
Rust Aviation plane, but we can try to negotiate for that bonus.  While
passing over Cook Inlet, on either the Anchorage or Nikiski routes, you might see beluga (white) whales or
humpback whales.  
The driving routes are mapped below:  The Kenai Peninsula
begins just south of the Portage train depot.  You continue south
through the mountains for about 50 miles to Tern Lake, then turn
right (west) onto the Sterling Highway.  Stay on the Sterling
Highway until it starts into Soldotna up over a hill, then down
again.  Pass through the first traffic light (Fred Myers store will be
on your left).  At the second signal light (there will be a
Walgreen's store to the left of that light), turn right onto the Kenai
Spur Hwy.  Continue roughly 10 mi (16 km) to the town of Kenai,
and then through it.  Once past Kenai, continue on the Spur Hwy
roughly another 5 miles (8 km) as it swings north towards Nikiski.  

Alaska West Air (AWA) is the air taxi service closest to
Wolverine Creek, and thus offering the best deals about
$350/person.  All of the viewing tours originating on the Kenai
Peninsula are conducted in open-air skiffs, so pack good rain
gear just in case.  Bring lunch.
Based on Lake Hood in Anchorage, Rust Aviation, flies viewers to  Wolverine Creek
in its fleet of Cessna 270's, Dehaviland Beavers, Dehaviland Otters and Caravan
Flying From the Kenai Peninsula
You could roughly halve the distance and thus the cost of visiting Wolverine Creek if, Instead of flying there directly from Anchorage, you
drive from Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula and fly from there.
Bear Viewing Association
To watch, to wonder, and to conserve
Ph/Fax (907) 260-9059 (Office)
39200 Alma Ave.    Soldotna, AK  99669
Beluga whales - a Threatened population
Humpback whale