Brooks Camp Brown Bear Viewing Opportunities
Katmai National Park & Preserve
Katmai National Park is located on the northeast coast of the Alaska Peninsula. It boasts the largest population of protected brown bears in the world. During the July salmon runs, Katmai's Brooks River & Falls is the focus of bears feeding in the park, providing visitors with unparalleled views of Alaskan brown bears.
Brown bears are very active in Katmai. The number of brown bears in the Park has grown to over 2,000, making them the world's largest protected population of these bigger cousins of the grizzly. Calorie rich seafood is the reason they get so big. During the peak of the world's largest sockeye salmon run each July, and during return of the "spawned out" salmon in September, forty to sixty bears congregate along the Brooks River near Brooks Camp.
Brooks Camp Campground is the only established campground in the Park. Overnight visitors to Brooks Falls bear viewing area must stay in Brooks Camp campground or in the nearby commercial lodge. Day Use visitors fly in by floatplane from several different locations. The prime bear viewing months at Brooks Camp are July and September, although a few bears may be in the area at any time between late May and December.
Unlike the state managed McNeil River Brown Bear Sanctuary which limits the number of visitors each season to around 185 with an additional 95 standby permits, Brooks Camp allows between 14,000 and 16,000 visitors each summer to view the bears of the Katmai with the majority of visitors coming from early June through mid September. July is always the most crowded month. The permiting and reservations process is also much different between the two areas.
Bear Viewing Areas | Home | Outdoors Activities
Original Content Copyright �1996-2000
Visual Media Design & Alaska Outdoor Journal
All Rights Reserved