dsa1115 I fish and hike real close to Girdwood in a small town called Cooper Landing. And let me tell you, there are plenty of coastal browns and black bears in the area. I hike the Russian River Falls area near there, and never go in the woods without my 12 gauge loaded with slugs, a Ruger Redhawk on my hip, and a bottle of Counter Assault Bear Spray. While hiking it's also a good idea to wear a bell bracelet so a bear could hear you. Bears are pretty solitary, and if they can hear you or smell you, they "normally" aren't interested. The worst thing however is surprising one, especially a sow with cubs. But statistically speaking, moose kill a lot more people than bears do.
Dear dsa1115, my dad had an a-frame cabin in Girdwood when we were kids up in Alaska and he used to go hunting with a friend of his from Cooper's Landing back in the 1960's. We spent quite a bit of time in that area especially Alyeska right around the corner. We went fishing for salmon down near Hope more so than the Russian River. Bears seemed to be more scared of us in those days because we never really considered bear protection when out fishing and other things. We just never saw them in those days.
Wouldn't go there without some big bore guns now.