Alaska Bear Viewing & Fly-In Fishing At Crescent Lake

Sockeye Salmon Fishing & Bear Viewing: 7/10 - 8/10
Silver Salmon Fishing & Bear Viewing: 9/1 - 9/30
Dolly Varden & Lake Trout: 6/20 - 9/30

Two Bear Cubs at Big River Lake

Our premier bear viewing fly-in experience unfolds in the breathtaking Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, an untamed paradise characterized by active volcanoes, ice fields, glaciers, and abundant wildlife. Here, you’ll witness the spectacular migration of sockeye and silver salmon to Crescent Lake, drawing a remarkable concentration of brown bears, making it the perfect starting point for your adventure.

A swift 40-minute flight from our Kenai Airport seaplane base, just outside the town of Soldotna, will take you past the awe-inspiring Mount Redoubt, famous for its 2009 eruption. While here, you’ll encounter various bears, from playful cubs to awe-inspiring adult bruins. These bears congregate at the lake’s edge, where thousands of salmon spawn. As spawned salmon return to the river outlet, more bears arrive in search of an easy meal.

Lake Clark Park, spanning 4 million acres, is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including fish, bears, moose, caribou, Dall Sheep, and wolves. 

Crescent Lake, cradled within the stunning backdrop of Lake Clark National Park and at the foot of the awe-inspiring Redoubt volcano, is truly a natural masterpiece. Its glacial-fed waters resemble the stunning turquoise hue of the Kenai. This area is renowned for exceptional bear viewing and supports multiple salmon runs, along with a healthy population of lake trout and dolly varden.

Crescent Lake is a hidden gem within a remote wilderness, accessible primarily via small planes that make water landings on the lake’s surface. This pristine location lacks suitable beaches or traditional runways for conventional airplanes, making floatplane travel a necessity for summer visitors. During winter, landing options include wheels, skis, or wheeled-skis, contingent on prevailing snow and ice conditions. Our flights conveniently depart from the Kenai Airport float plane base just a few minutes outside of Soldotna, Alaska. 

For fly-out fishing in Crescent Lake, Alaska, target sockeye in mid July to mid August when they are large and tenacious. The silver salmon run, peaking in late August, features big, bright, and aggressive fish. Successful fishing methods include cured salmon eggs, spinners, and flies.

What sets fishing in Crescent Lake, Alaska apart, in addition to its rugged beauty, is the opportunity to target multiple species. Dolly varden are abundant, often reaching sizes of 10 pounds or more, making them a frequent catch using small spinners or egg patterns. Additionally, you’ll find ample lake trout while casting from the shores of Crescent Lake. Combine these fishing opportunities with the breathtaking scenery, incredible bear viewing, and you’ll understand why fly-out fishing in Crescent Lake, Alaska is a highly sought-after destination.

Crescent Lake Brown Bear Cubs

Crescent Lake Bear Viewing & Fly-In Fishing Salmon Dates

Sockeye Salmon Fishing & Bear Viewing: 7/10 – 8/10
Silver Salmon Fishing & Bear Viewing: 9/1 – 9/30
Dolly Varden & Lake Trout: 6/20 – 9/30

The prime time for iconic bear sightings at Crescent Lake is from mid-July until the end of September. The peak bear concentration typically spans from July 15 to September 30. 

Two different species of salmon migrate into this watershed, and the lake has year round Lake Trout and Dolly Varden.

Our Planes

Our de Havilland Beaver is an aircraft that’s bound to get your heart racing with excitement. This legendary plane is a true marvel of aviation, known for its incredible versatility and rugged reliability. The Beaver’s Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) capabilities that make it the ultimate adventurer’s dream.

But that’s not all – the Beaver can handle a hefty payload, carrying both passengers and cargo with ease. Its floatplane capabilities mean you can touch down on water, offering an entirely new world of exploration over lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. This iconic aircraft comes with a rich history, having connected remote and inaccessible regions for decades, and its legacy is carried by its timeless charm. If there were any airplane to deserve the recognition as Alaska’s workhorse if would be the de Havilland Beaver.

Our de Havilland Beaver has 7 passenger seats, and with headsets for every passenger, you’ll be able to clearly hear as your pilot highlights the active volcanos, glaciers and more that you’ll see on your round-trip flight.

De Havilland Beaver used in our Bear Viewing and Fly-In Fishing Trips
Big River Lake Bear Viewing Boat - 24 ft Custom SeaArk

Our Boats At Crescent Lake

Once we land at Crescent Lake we will transfer to one of our 24′ river sleds. We operate some of the finest boats for our bear viewing and fly-in fishing trips. These boats lets us get up close to the bears and maintain safety and appropriate distance. Our boats feature a number of amenities to make sure your experience is as pleasant as possible.

  • 24 ft. in length comfortably carries 6 passengers along with your guide
  • A covered canopy for those rainy days keeping you dry during the bear viewing portion of your trip
  • The canopy is easily unzipped and folded down to make plenty of room for fishing
  • Chairs with proper backrests for comfort. Chairs can be easily added or removed from the boat based on the number of passengers.
  • Heater for any rainy, cold, days.

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Crescent Lake Introduction Video

The National Park Service has created a fantastic introductory video Crescent Lake in the Lake Clark National Park to see the bears and fish. The video photograph alone is extremely well done. 

 In this video, the audience will have the opportunity to explore the awe-inspiring beauty of Crescent Lake, nestled within the pristine wilderness of Lake Clark National Park. This immersive experience will showcase the magnificent brown and black bears that call this place home, offering a thrilling bear viewing adventure like no other. As the video explores the incredible fishing opportunities in this remote haven, it will also provide essential insights into bear safety.

Beyond the remarkable wildlife and fishing, the video will emphasize the vital importance of conserving this unique and fragile resource for future generations. Join the National Park Service as they delve into the captivating world of Crescent Lake, where nature’s wonders await around every corner.

Crescent Lake Panoramic Image