Katmai National Park offers incredible Alaska bear viewing. Watching these massive animals stake their territory against other bears and catching leaping salmon out of mid-air never gets old. These trips get you very close to the bears yet always remaining safe.
The Katmai National Park and Reserve is situated about 200 miles southwest of Soldotna. Katmai National Park and Reserve is one of Alaska’s most remote national parks and yet easily accessible with the use of floatplanes. It is world-renowned for its Alaska brown bear population estimated at more than 2000 bears.
At the mouth of the Brooks River and the shore of Naknek Lake is the Brooks Camp which has what is probably the best Alaska bear viewing platforms in the world. It’s about a 1 mile easily walked trail to the viewing platforms over the falls where the bears are doing their fishing.
The Katmai National Park and Reserve visitors center is open seasonally from June 1 to September 17th and includes ranger-led educational discussions. and programs. They also have services and amenities such as meals and lodging for those interested in an overnight stay. Even though there are amenities as mentioned, it’s still important to remember this is Alaska and prepare accordingly. This means planning for a variety of weather and prepared for changing conditions – like everywhere in Alaska.
Katmai National Park and Reserve is almost exclusively accessed by boat or plane. You will arrive in Katmai National Park after about a 1-hour float plane flight across cook inlet with breathtaking views of Mt. Redoubt Mt. liamna and endless spans of glaciers and Alaska wilderness.
After viewing the bears there are guided bus tours to the Valley of 10,000 smokes which is an incredible landscape created by the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century that took place in 1914.
This trip is extremely popular and if considering an overnight stay please let us know as soon as possible so that we can add this trip to your itinerary and secure lodging. It’s possible to make this a day trip but if you would like to have a more relaxing longer experience watching the bears for an extended time, enjoying dinner in this wilderness, and seeing the Valley of 10,000 smokes we recommend an overnight stay before returning and continuing your trip with us.
There are so many great resources available about this park that we’ve made an effort to include many of them here for your convenience: