All About The Bears

One of the biggest reasons people visit Kodiak Island is to see the Kodiak bears.

Considering they’re found here exclusively, and are truly impressive to watch, it’s certainly no surprise that they’re a popular attraction.  Get to know more about them before you visit!

Evidence of the Kodiak bears has been found dating back twelve thousand years.  They’re a subspecies of brown bears, but much larger, even bigger than grizzly, and closer in size to polar bears.  They can stand up to 11 feet tall, weighing 15oo lbs.

The bears are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they can eat meat or plants as the opportunity arises.  They can eat blueberries and other fruits, but most often are viewed fishing for salmon or shellfish.


If you want to see the bears while you’re in town, your best options are to go to Frazier River or to join a guided tour.  The Kodiak Brown Bear Center offers some tours that take you to Karluk Lake and river, and Thumb River.

Whether you’re on your own or with a tour, make sure you follow some basic safety rules.  Keep all food safely contained – as big as these bears are, they need to eat a lot, and won’t hesitate to take advantage of your lunch.  If and when you see them, keep your distance and move slowly.  The bears won’t cause problems with you unless they think you’re a threat to them, so by respecting their space, you’ll avoid issues.  Do not sneak up on them.  While you don’t want to yell as you walk through the trees, a quiet word can let them know you’re there so that they aren’t caught off guard.  And if you see cubs, stay away.  As adorable as they are, you cannot win a fight against a mother bear.

Only 3500 Kodiak bears are still in existence, so come see them in their full glory!