Katmai National Park

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Katmai National Park and Preserve is located approximately 290 miles north of Anchorage Alaska. There is no road access to Katmai National Park, but there are a few commercial airlines that fly into King Salmon, the headquarters for Katmai National Park. Approximately thirty miles from King Salmon is Brooks Camp, a popular tourist destination. Brooks Camp may only be reached by boat or a small water plane.

If you are planning on visiting Katmai National Park, King Salmon is typically the place to launch to other destinations within the wide expanse of this National Park. There are other air taxi flights available from Anchorage, Dodiak, Soldotna and Homer.

Visiting Katmai

The Katmai National Park and Preserve is open year round and services are available from June through mid-September. If you are visiting Brooks Camp, the months of July and September are the best months to see bears. There are back county activities available year round in Katmai and visitors are urged to be prepared with suitable clothing and supplies to match their adventure.

Katmai Weather

Like many areas of Alaska the weather at Katmai National Park ranges from cold wind with heavy rain to warm and sunny. The best idea is to always check in advance of your trip and to bring waterproof boots, hats and other rain gear. At the peak of the tourist season the temperature varies from 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and in the winter it can get down to -40 Fahrenheit.

Katmai Services and Lodging

There are few services in Katmai National Park but if you are staying at Brooks Camp during the months of June through mid-September you may buy meals, limited sundry items and the nearest grocery store is located outside Katmai in King Salmon. For lodging you must make reservations in advance. The authorized service is through Katmailand, Incorporated. Katmailand offers overnight stays, food service and transportation based at the Brooks Lodge and Grosvenor Lodge. There are other private lodges that provide tour packages for visitors.

Brown Bears at Katmai

The Katmai National Park is one of the premier brown bear viewing areas in the world. It is estimated that there are over 2000 bears in the preserve and Brooks Camp is one of the gathering places of the Brown Bear. Clearly Bear safety is important. Although it may seem obvious to most, a close encounter with a bear can be extremely dangerous. If you are approaching a bear from behind, it is important to stay back and not surprise the bear. Making plenty of noise and traveling with a group will insure that the bear hears you and is not startled or threatened.

Fishing in Katmai

Katmai National Park is well known for its sport fishing opportunities. There are trophy rainbow trout in the lakes and streams in addition to Salmon, Sockeye and Coho. Please become familiar with the State of Alaska fishing regulations prior to your outing as the prize fish of Katmai are subject to over fishing. You need an Alaska Sport fishing license if you are above 16 years of age.

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