I have a few spare days (3 or 4) in Fairbanks at the end of August and am trying to plan a DIY spot and stalk black bear hunt within easy driving distance of the city. I've looked at a lot of options and have not come up with anything really good yet.
One potential lead is to drive the Steese Hwy to the Pinell Trailhead at Twelvemile Summit and hike in and start glassing. I will have the gear and ability to hike way in on the trail and camp for several days. I believe the trail is closed to ORV's so I'm hopeful that this will help limit the crowds. It appears as if the elevation of the trail ranges from 3000 to 4000 feet.
The other option I've found is similar to the first....Drive the Steese to Nome Creek Road and head into the Ophir Creek or Mt. Prindle campground. I could set up a base camp there and then spike camp out from there. I think there is a trail out of the Mt Prindle campground that leads up to Quartz Creek. The elevations seem a little lower than the Pinell trail. Not sure if the berries will be better lower. I also think that this area is open to ORV's and I suspect this could me its more crowded.
The bear will be feeding on berries at the end of August. Are either of these two places likely to have berries at that time? How will the hunting pressure be? are there enough bears in this area to make this trip worthwhile?
I'm coming from Florida so if I'm way off base and should try something or somewhere else please let me know.