Most of my experience with blackies is here on the peninsula. In the spring just about anywhere you get above the tree line on the peninsula will have blackies running around plan to do a lot of glassing, and a lot of hiking.
One good area close to you is around hope there are areas where you can glass from the road and go up after it when you find the one you want. Hunting lower in the trees is really tough without a bait but if you get above the trees you will see bears, sometimes the tough part is getting to them.
Thanks for your service I am a fellow Iraq vet USMC