Alaska families — have you picked all the berries yet? It’s late August in the Last Frontier, and that means the annual frenzy to stock the freezer or pantry with residents’ favorite, nature-sent treat: blueberries. But why not take your experience up a notch? How about, instead of taking the kids to the same places everyone else goes to find blueberries, you head south to meet up with Kenai Backcountry Adventures for their new “Bears and Blueberries” day trip.
The Kenai Peninsula is well-known for blueberries this time of year. It’s also the place to see Alaska’s big brown bears and their smaller cousins, black bears, enjoying the best of summer before they head into their dens.
Kenai Backcountry Adventures owner Kyle McDowell created this tour with Alaskans in mind. For $99/pp throughout the month of September, we can float upper Skilak Lake and surrounding areas, hop off to pick some berries, and hop back on again to look for bears. All. Day.
McDowell and his guides will also make sure you have a boxed lunch, knowledgable folks who know the best spots for both bears and blueberries, and plenty of time to let the kids amble along the extensive trails within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, an incredibly beautiful section of Southcentral Alaska.
Kenai Backcountry Adventures has online reservations available and a list of important items to bring. I’ll add a few more:
- Hiking shoes or boots (this is a good XtraTuf experience)
- Warm layers, and a hat that won’t blow off your head during the boat ride (gloves, too)
- Waterproof rain jacket and pants
- Plastic, zip-type bags for berries
- Bug spray, just in case the little buggars haven’t gone away yet
- Snacks, water bottles for each person
- Sunglasses, as even a cloudy day is bright out on the water
Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) will be available for all ages, but double-check with Kenai Backcountry Adventures when you make reservations.
You’ll meet guides at the Upper Skilak Lake boat launch shortly before 10 a.m., and will return to the same place around 4 p.m.
Curious about the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge? You can check out the details HERE.
Get out there and enjoy one last adventure.