I love bears! This trip came to be when I googled “bear watching” back in November and looking to do something memorable to celebrate the “big 4-0” this year. This trip was so much more than just bear watching, but to be able to watch bears munching on grass while being perfectly aware of seven people watching them from a zodiac was definitely one of the highlights.
To give you some perspective, this is how far this male grizzly was from us…
The inlet where we saw this bear (actually we saw three bears in this inlet) is protected from hunting, which is likely why the bears seemed comfortable with us being so close as they may have not had bad experiences with humans. Trish and Eric, our guides, are fairly frequent visitors to the inlet, and have such a deep respect and admiration for these animals, so the way we approached them in the zodiac was always very slowly, quietly (we were strongly encouraged not to talk if we were in an area where we might see a bear) and on the bears’ terms. The bears certainly knew we were there, but there was never a hint of aggression towards us being there.
To give you a little more perspective of what the inlet looks like and where we were when we saw this bear (and a female grizzly close by the following day), here we are floating back down the river. I love bears, but the scenery was pretty awesome, too.