Polar Bear

The polar bear is a mighty creature—some can reach up to 10 feet in height and tip the scales at an excess of 1,300 pounds. Even at this size, the bears are surprisingly agile and can run with astonishing speed. Kodiak bears and polar bears, scientific name Ursus maritimus, share the title as the world’s largest bears. The Arctic creatures are especially well-suited for living in the tundras and the cold climate of the Arctic. They’ve become a symbol of conservation as their habitat becomes increasingly threatened. Polar bears also are a symbol of perseverance as much as strength.

Denali Tundra Tours

To see the bears up close, you head to head north (provided you don’t live at the north pole). Polar bears live where it’s cold and there’s plenty of snow. On Denali tundra tours, you’ll find both cold and snow in abundance; it is Alaska after all. A popular option for cruise ship shore excursions, these tours could be packed with as much adventure as you desire. You could sit back and enjoy a guided tour aboard a heated motorcoach or choose to travel via all-terrain vehicle, helicopter or by boat. It’s amazing to see this unspoiled natural scene up close. Polar bears roam the land, also home to moose, eagles, and other amazing creatures who live in the shadow of Mount McKinley.

Polar Bear Tours

Polar Bear Tours
Polar Bear Tours

It’s not safe or smart to stumble upon a polar bear on your own. You need a little distance between you and the bear, so you’ll want to travel with a professional. Many adventure tour companies offer polar bear tours. They’ll take care of all of the logistics involved with getting you up north and keeping you safe and happy once you arrive. They can put together packages with everything you need to enjoy a trip and see a polar bear up close—you can supply the enthusiasm and the parka.

Best Place to See Polar Bears

Best Place to See Polar Bears
Best Place to See Polar Bears

Simply put, the best place to see polar bears is north. These carnivores are found in the Arctic Circle and surrounding lands. The northern most points of the Northern Hemisphere, the Arctic Circle crosses through Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia. All of these locations may be remote, but they are utterly fascinating to visit. It’s also possible to spot a polar bear south of the Arctic Circle along the Hudson Bay in Canada and along the Sea of Okhotsk on Russia’s east coast.

If you don’t have time to time to make it up north, many zoos have polar bear habitats. For example, the Pittsburgh Zoo’s polar bears live in Water’s Edge, an exhibit designed to look like a north coast fishing village. At the Detroit Zoo, you can watch the mighty bears swim right over your head thanks to the clear tunnel overhead.

Polar Bears in Alaska – Polar Bears in Canada

Polar Bears in Alaska – Polar Bears in Canada
Polar Bears in Alaska – Polar Bears in Canada

For those who do want to see the polar bear in the wild, a trip to Alaska or northern Canada is one of the best ways to see them up close. Bears do migrate, so where to see them depends on the time of the year. In Alaska, polar bears congregate along the state’s northern shores along the Chukchi Sea as well as Wrangell Island. If seeing polar bears is a dream of yours, you’ll love a visit to Churchill Manitoba. This small town along the Hudson Bay has been dubbed the Polar Bear Capital of the World. No other place has more bears or more tour options. Many adventure outfitters lead trips up to the town accessible by train or flight from Winnipeg. From there, you can hop aboard a tundra buggy to see the bears up close in their natural habitat.

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