Alaska Bear Viewing At The Iconic Brooks Falls

Daily Bear Viewing Flights Available: 7/1 - 8/2

Big River Lake Bear Viewing and Fishing showing a young bear cub

Brooks Falls Location and Bear Viewing

Nestled within the breathtaking landscape of Katmai National Park and Preserve, Brooks Falls is a true gem of the Alaskan wilderness. This remote and pristine location beckons nature enthusiasts, offering a unique and immersive experience with some of the world’s most magnificent creatures. One of the primary draws of Brooks Falls is its renowned bear viewing opportunities, making it a must-visit destination for those eager to witness the grandeur of brown bears in their natural habitat.

Situated amidst the untamed beauty of Katmai, Brooks Falls stands as a testament to the remarkable diversity and abundance of wildlife in the region. What truly sets this place apart is the annual salmon runs that grace its waters, drawing a thriving population of brown bears who gather in great numbers. The spectacle of these powerful and awe-inspiring creatures hunting and feasting on salmon is a sight to behold and a testament to the remarkable balance of nature.

Visitors to Brooks Falls have the privilege of observing these magnificent bears from designated viewing platforms, allowing for a safe and respectful encounter. The experience is not merely about bear watching but also a deep connection to the cycles of life and the delicate ecosystem that supports this thriving wildlife population.


Getting To Brooks Fall From Soldotna

Flying from Soldotna, Alaska, to Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park is an exciting journey that provides access to one of the most remote and picturesque destinations in the state. Your adventure begins at the float plane base near our resort. You’ll board our de Havilland Otter, an aircraft ideally suited for navigating the Alaskan wilderness.

The flight to Brooks Falls offers a scenic extravaganza. As you soar above the rugged terrain, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the Alaskan wilderness, with its snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests.

Upon arrival at Brooks Falls, you’ll have the incredible opportunity to witness brown bears in their natural habitat. The salmon-rich waters of the Brooks River create a unique bear viewing experience, with bears frequently gathering to fish and feed on the abundant salmon.

The salmon runs are a key draw for both bears and visitors. Brooks Falls is a strategic point in the salmon migration, with the fish leaping up the falls as they journey upstream to spawn. The spectacle of bears capturing salmon in the water or mid-air is a sight to behold and a true highlight of the trip.

The journey to Brooks Falls encapsulates the essence of Alaskan wilderness exploration, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife of Katmai National Park. It’s a memorable experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the heart of Alaska’s untamed wilderness.

Big River Lake Bear Viewing and Fishing showing a young bear cub

Brooks Falls Salmon Runs & Wildlife

At Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park and Preserve, the annual salmon runs are a natural spectacle of immense significance. These salmon runs are a captivating and vital event in the ecosystem, drawing visitors from across the globe. The rivers here teem with different salmon species, primarily sockeye salmon, as they embark on their incredible journey from the ocean to their freshwater spawning grounds.

The salmon runs are a crucial event for the local brown bear population, as they rely on this influx of salmon as their primary food source. As the salmon swim upstream to spawn, the bears gather at Brooks Falls, demonstrating remarkable fishing skills as they catch the salmon leaping up the falls. The sight of these massive bears patiently waiting for their next meal or deftly capturing salmon mid-air is a testament to the intricate balance of nature in this unique environment.

Brooks Falls isn’t just about bears, though. The location boasts a diverse range of wildlife, including bald eagles, gulls, and other bird species that flock to the area to scavenge for salmon scraps. The riverbanks also come alive with otters, beavers, and even the occasional fox. 

This harmonious coexistence of different species makes Brooks Falls a remarkable hub for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. The region’s wildlife diversity, coupled with the majestic salmon runs, contributes to an unforgettable and educational experience for visitors to this pristine wilderness.

Brooks Falls Viewing Platforms

The viewing platforms at Brooks Falls within Katmai National Park offer an immersive and secure opportunity to witness one of nature’s most captivating events: brown bears catching salmon in the Brooks River. These carefully designed platforms prioritize the safety of both visitors and wildlife. They allow you to get remarkably close to the bears, ensuring an intimate yet respectful interaction with these majestic creatures.

The strategic positioning of these platforms provides a front-row seat for observing the bears during the height of the salmon runs, which typically occur in July. This is when the bears display their extraordinary fishing skills, leaping into the river to catch salmon as they journey upstream to spawn. Visitors can capture these incredible moments on camera and gain a deep appreciation for the bears’ hunting strategies.

In addition to offering exceptional bear viewing opportunities, these platforms also serve as educational hubs. Park rangers and knowledgeable naturalists are present to share insights into bear behavior, the ecological importance of salmon, and the delicate balance of the ecosystem. This educational component enriches the experience, allowing visitors to better understand the intricate relationships between bears, salmon, and the environment.

The accessibility of these platforms ensures that visitors of varying physical abilities can partake in this extraordinary wildlife encounter. Raised boardwalks and viewing points guarantee that everyone has an equal opportunity to observe the bears in their natural habitat. This inclusivity is one of the key features that make Brooks Falls such a remarkable destination.

Brooks Falls Bear Viewing Platforms
Brooks Falls Visitor Center

Brooks Falls Visitors Center

The Brooks Falls Visitor Center, located within Katmai National Park and Preserve, serves as a vital resource and educational hub for visitors eager to explore this pristine Alaskan wilderness. Inside the center, you’ll find a wealth of information through interactive exhibits and displays, offering insights into the park’s ecosystem, bear behavior, and the cultural and natural history of the area. Knowledgeable park rangers and naturalists are on hand to assist visitors, providing guidance, answering questions, and sharing information about optimal times and locations for bear viewing. Interpretive programs and ranger-led talks delve into various aspects of the park, from bear biology to salmon migration, enhancing visitors’ understanding of the natural world.

The Brooks Falls Visitor Center also emphasizes safety, offering critical information about bear safety and responsible wildlife viewing. Understanding and following these guidelines are essential to ensure a secure and respectful experience for both visitors and bears. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended stay, the center provides resources for trip planning, including maps, brochures, and advice on the best times to visit Brooks Falls. Additionally, the center offers convenient rest areas with seating and facilities, creating a perfect spot for visitors to relax and recharge during their wildlife viewing adventures.

This visitor center is designed to be accessible to visitors with varying physical abilities, ensuring that everyone can access the resources and enjoy the educational offerings. It also encourages visitor interaction, fostering a sense of community and connection among nature enthusiasts who share their experiences and stories. Overall, the Brooks Falls Visitor Center not only serves as a starting point for adventure but also as a place where visitors can deepen their understanding of the remarkable ecosystem and wildlife that make Katmai National Park so unique.

Our Planes

Our de Havilland Beaver is an aircraft that’s bound to get your heart racing with excitement. This legendary plane is a true marvel of aviation, known for its incredible versatility and rugged reliability. The Beaver’s Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) capabilities that make it the ultimate adventurer’s dream.

But that’s not all – the Beaver can handle a hefty payload, carrying both passengers and cargo with ease. Its floatplane capabilities mean you can touch down on water, offering an entirely new world of exploration over lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. This iconic aircraft comes with a rich history, having connected remote and inaccessible regions for decades, and its legacy is carried by its timeless charm. If there were any airplane to deserve the recognition as Alaska’s workhorse if would be the de Havilland Beaver.

Our de Havilland Beaver has 7 passenger seats, and with headsets for every passenger, you’ll be able to clearly hear as your pilot highlights the active volcanos, glaciers and more that you’ll see on your round-trip flight.

De Havilland Beaver used in our Bear Viewing and Fly-In Fishing Trips

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