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Katmai National Park & Preserve

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Katmai is famous for volcanoes, brown bears, fish, and rugged wilderness and is also the site of the Brooks River National Historic Landmark with North America's highest concentration of prehistoric human dwellings (about 900).

Katmai National Monument was created to preserve the famed Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep, pyroclastic ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano.

There are at least fourteen volcanoes in Katmai considered 'active', none of which are currently erupting.

Brown bear and salmon are very active in Katmai. The number of brown bears has grown to more than 2,000. 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 in Brooks Camp along the Brooks River and the Naknek Lake and Brooks Lake shorelines. Brown bears along the 480 mile Katmai Coast also enjoy clams, crabs, and an occasional whale carcass.

A rich variety of other wildlife is found in the Park as well.

There is plenty room for great diversity of wildlife in Katmai which encompasses millions of acres of pristine wilderness, with wild rivers and streams, rugged coastlines, broad green glacial hewn valleys, active glaciers and volcanoes, and Naknek Lake.



Email - Kristi_Bergeron@nps.gov

Fax- 907-246-4286

Write to
Katmai NP&P Field HeadQuarters
P.O. Box 7, #1 King Salmon Mall
King Salmon, AK 99613

- or -
Katmai-Lake Clark HeadQuarters
4230 University Drive, Suite 311
Anchorage, AK 99508-4626

Headquarters - (907) 271-3751
Visitor Information - 907-246-3305


Operating Hours, Seasons
The park is open year around. NPS and concessionaire services are offered at Brooks Camp from June 1 through September 17. Backcountry activities are also best during this time. 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.

Getting There
PLANE - Katmai National Park Preserve is located on the Alaska Peninsula, across from Kodiak Island. Park Headquarters is in King Salmon, about 290 air miles southwest of Anchorage. Several commercial airlines provide daily flights into King Salmon as there is no road access. Brooks Camp, along the Brooks River approximately 30 air miles from King Salmon, is a common destination for visitors to the Park. Brooks Camp can only be reached via small float plane or boat.

Weather & Climate
Summers in Katmai are cool with frequent high winds and rain. Insects can be intense and headnets are recommended.

Most of the public buildings in Brooks Camp, including the restroom facilities, are accessible, via ramps, to those with limited mobility; however, the narrow dirt paths in Brooks Camp are rough and can become very muddy and slippery during the frequent rainy days. The lower bear viewing platform, which is over 1/4 mile from the Visitor Center across a floating bridge, is also accessible, but we caution those with physical difficulties that inadvertent very close encounters with brown bears are possible and may require visitors to move quickly. The trail to Brooks Falls and the Falls bear viewing platform are not accessible to those with physical disabilities. This area is also not appropriate for any visitor unable to move quickly off the trail and into the woods, especially during high bear density in July.

Getting Around
Viewing brown bears in their natural habitat and fishing are very popular activities in Katmai. Safety and preparation for varying conditions are the most important considerations when visiting a wilderness area like Katmai National Park & Preserve.

Although a bear may be encountered anywhere in Katmai from late May into December, the best times for bear viewing at Brooks Camp are late-June through July and September. There are few, if any, bears around Brooks in June and August, though they are seen occasionally during these times.

July and September are crowded with both bears and people. Delays in getting to and from the bear viewing platforms are common and can occur at any time, although such delays offer opportunities for viewing other wildlife and the spectacular scenery all-around Brooks Camp.

Katmai is bear habitat, and they always have the right-of-way. Weather and bears are always a factor at Katmai, so plan extra time to work around delays. There are occasions, especially in July, when visitors are unable to get to the Falls Platform due to time constraints and flight schedules.

Extenuating circumstances may necessitate closure of any portion of Brooks Camp, including trails and bear viewing platforms for safety reasons without advance notice.


Brooks Camp Campground (KAT#)
Make Reservations by Phone at 1-800-365-CAMP
Brooks Camp is the only Federal Fee Area within Katmai National Park & Preserve. Advance campground reservations and fee payment are required for Brooks Camp. For those coming to Brooks Camp as part of a lodging, touring, or fishing package provided by the many commercial operators to Katmai, reservations may have already been made through your provider. Please check with your provider at least three weeks prior to your arrival.


Brooks Lodge
A private concessioner, Katmailand provides additional accommodations and food service at Brooks Camp's Brooks Lodge and two other lodges within the Park. Reservations are necessary. Contact Katmailand for further information. Many other lodges and resorts offer tour packages for Katmai and the Alaska Peninsula area as well.
For More Information on this lodging please call 1-800-544-0551


Visitor Centers
Location - On Naknek Lake near the mouth of Brooks River, 30 air miles from King Salmon.
Special Programs - All visitors to Brooks Camp are required to attend the Brooks Camp School of Bear Etiquette offered at the Visitor Center. This fifteen to twenty minute orientation provides visitors with basic information to help keep themselves safe and bears out of trouble. A variety of interpretive programs are available at Brooks Camp throughout the summer. Evening programs are presented nightly by Park staff. Each afternoon, a Ranger led cultural walk takes visitors to a re-created archeological site from the Visitor Center. Each day Rangers also join Brooks Lodge staff to offer a guided bus tour to the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. Reservations for the bus tour must be made in advance at Brooks Lodge. Other special ranger guided hikes and activities occur on an unscheduled basis throughout the season.
Exhibits - Books, cards, posters, and videos are just some of the items available at the Alaska Natural History Association (ANHA)Bookstore.
Available Facilities - Backcountry Planners and bear resistant food canisters (no charge) are also available for those challenging Katmai's trackless backcountry.

Open All Year 8 am to 5 pm
Phone - 907-246-4250
Location - Next to the airport terminal in King Salmon
Special Programs - The King Salmon Visitor Center is an interagency facility. Partners include the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bristol Bay Borough, and Lake & Peninsula Borough.
Exhibits - The visitor center has exhibits of the local area as well as interpreters who will provide information on the entire Katmai region. The Visitor Center serves as an outlet for books, postcards, and other interpretive material offered through the Alaska Natural History Association (ANHA).

Wilderness Information Centers
Location - Located 23 miles from Brooks Camp on the only road within Katmai National Park & Preserve. The Three Forks Station overlooks the famous Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and is the starting point of the Ukak Falls Trail.
Exhibits - New exhibits on the geology and history of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes will be installed for the summer 2001 season.

Detailed Map

Contact Info
contact info
Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates

Campgrounds Nearby
List of Nearby Campgrounds

Local weather forecast

These outdoors activities are available near Katmai National Park & Preserve.
 Campgrounds Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
John's RV Park and Motel, Anchorage, 0 miles away
Golden Nugget RV Park, Anchorage, 0 miles away
Golden Nugget, Anchorage, 1 miles away
Golden Nugget RV Park, Anchorage, 1 miles away
Golden Nugget RV Park, Anchorage, 1 miles away
Golden Nugget Camper Park, Anchorage, 1 miles away
Finger Lake Resort, Anchorage, 3 miles away
 Marinas Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
Burkeshore Marina, Big Lake , 12 miles away
Big Lake Powersports & Marine, Big Lake , 12 miles away
South Port Marina, Big Lake , 14 miles away
 Hotels Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
Aptel Studio Hotel, Anchorage , 1 miles away
SpringHill Suites Anchorage University Lake, Anchorage , 1 miles away
Alaskan European B And B, Anchorage , 2 miles away
Residence Inn Anchorage Midtown, Anchorage , 3 miles away
Best Western Golden Lion Hotel, Anchorage , 3 miles away
My Place Hotel - Anchorage AK, Anchorage , 4 miles away
Embassy Suites By Hilton Anchorage, Anchorage , 4 miles away
 Trails Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
Bull Rock Trail, Kenai Peninsula Borough , 8 miles away
 Beaches Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
Patricks Beach (not official), Anchorage Borough , 8 miles away
 Ski Areas Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
Hilltop, Alaska , 6 miles away, 294 foot drop, 3 lifts, 10 runs
Alpenglow At Arctic Valley, Alaska , 11 miles away, 1400 foot drop, 4 lifts, 25 runs
Alyeska, Alaska , 50 miles away, 2500 foot drop, 9 lifts, 68 runs
 Whitewater Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
Whitewater Outfitter - Alaska Downstream, Anchorage Borough , 3 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Whitewater Outfitter - Alaska Whitewater, Anchorage Borough , 5 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Campbell Creek, Anchorage Borough , 12 miles away, Class V - 2.5 miles long (Powerline pass to Hilltop Ski area)
Whitewater Outfitter - Alpacka Rafts, Anchorage Borough , 14 miles away, Whitewater outfitter
Ship Creek, Anchorage Borough , 17 miles away, Class IV - 4 miles long (Artic Vally Road to bridge)
 Public Lands Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
Denali National Park & Preserve, Denali Park - AK , 33 miles away
Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward - AK , 44 miles away
Nancy Lake State Recreation Area, Alaska , 24 miles away
Chugach State Park, Alaska , 36 miles away
 Golf Courses Near Katmai National Park & Preserve:
Russian Jack Springs, Anchorage , 2 miles away
Anchorage Golf Course, Anchorage , 3 miles away
Tanglewood Lakes Golf Club, Anchorage , 4 miles away
Full Swing Golf Of Alaska, Anchorage , 4 miles away
Par T Golf, Anchorage , 5 miles away
 Lakes Near Katmai National Park & Preserve
Goose Lake, Anchorage Borough , 0 miles away
Lake Hideaway, Anchorage Borough , 6 miles away
Campbell Lake, Anchorage Borough , 8 miles away
Lower Fire Lake, Anchorage Borough , 20 miles away

Copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. - Pictures of park and text about park by the US National Park Service. Operating hours and fees are valid at the date of publishing and are subject to change, please contact park directly for current information.