Katmai National Park and Brooks Falls
Brown Bear viewing is available at Brooks Camp in Katmai National Park and adjoining areas throughout the summer months and is a special addition to any fishing adventure. This is the greatest wild concentration of Brown Bears on earth. It is well worth an extra day to view and photograph these bears. We like to make this a part of all of our trips and it is considered the highlight of most people’s trips.
Katmai National Park http://www.nps.gov/katm/index.htm, one of the largest National Parks in Alaska, is also one of the most unique. It was established a National Monument (and later a National Park) in 1918, after the massive Mt. Katmai/Novarupta volcanic eruption of 1912 https://www.avo.alaska.edu/Katmai2012/ which was the largest eruption of the 20th century. Prior to the eruption, the volcanic activity and tremors caused local Natives living in the Brooks River area to move their village to present day Naknek. The force of the eruption was so great that it created the Valley of 10,000 Smokes http://www.nps.gov/katm/planyourvisit/exploring-the-valley-of-ten-thousand-smokes.htm and dumped several feet of ash on Kodiak Island, and some even as far away as the Western United States.
In addition to the geological and volcanic wonders of the area, Katmai Park is home to world famous Brooks Falls. The Brooks River drains out of Brooks Lake a short distance into the Illiuk Arm of Naknek Lake (third largest lake in Alaska), out of which flows the Naknek River into Bristol Bay. Each year a large portion of the 1 – 2 million Red Salmon that swim up the Naknek River and into Naknek Lake then travel their way up the Brooks River and are forced to jump Brooks Falls to complete their journey to the spawning grounds. It is here that one of the largest gatherings of Brown Bears in the world takes place. It is easy to see 15 – 20 adult brown bears in a single day of viewing at the falls. This makes for amazing brown bear viewing, in one of the most widely recognizable and a unique of all places. Very few places offer the fantastic bear viewing that you can see on a regular basis at Brooks Falls. Best of all, it is only 20 minutes by float plane or just over an hour by boat from our fish camp!