REMOTE ALASKAN WILDLIFE
High-End Travel To See The Best Wildlife Viewing The Alaskan Wilderness Has To Offer
There are many ways to see Alaska. I’ve done two of them:
1) knocking around on my own all summer in a pickup truck fitted with a camper shell on the back, and,
2) Staying, and taking side trips out of, a high-end wilderness lodge.
Both were terrific experiences. I spent a lot less money and met many more different types of people doing it the pickup truck way. But, I saw way more wildlife and caught far more fish—rainbow trout and silver salmon—when I visited Crystal Creek Lodge for a week. When I went there, Crystal Creek was located near the Bristol Bay town of Dillingham; it has since relocated to a site near King Salmon, but Dan Michels, expert pilot and angler, is still running the place.
Certainly, Crystal Creek has fine food and luxurious accommodations, as you would expect from a place charging many thousands of dollars per week. But, the main thing was, every single day, weather permitting, they would fly you out to a different stream or river to go fishing. And, it was some of the finest trout and Pacific salmon fishing in the world.
Or, if you weren’t into fishing—several of the other guests were not—they would take you sightseeing and wildlife viewing. You could watch bears or walruses, or go hiking or kayaking. For my part, I was fishing rather than indulging in a pure wildlife-viewing trip, but I still saw plenty of wildlife other than fish, such as eagles and bears—including the young grizzly that insisted we vacate his favorite fishing hole. Following a brief discussion with him about it, we prudently complied.
All in all it was a trip of a lifetime. However, I still wouldn’t mind doing the pickup truck thing again, sometime.
Would you like to learn more about Crystal Creek Lodge and the wilderness experiences it offers? —Paul Guernsey