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Famous for its population of Alaska Peninsula Brown Bears, and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Katmai National Park is a spectacular protected park. If it is the view of the wet gigantic grizzly bear catching salmon by the river, or one lazing on the beach, or maybe it is the view of a mother and her cub that you want to enjoy, this is the only place where you will find all of these experiences.

About Katmai National Park

Bear running in water

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There are many areas within the park that remain protected. While visiting some of them may be possible, it is best to check the rules before you plan your itinerary. While there may not necessarily be an entry fee, there are lodging and camping fees. The climate changes in the park are dynamic, and it is best to be prepared for some showers. In case of any showers, the level of the river rises quickly.

Area: 4,093,077 acres
Established: 1980

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Best Time To Visit Katmai National Park

Best Time To Visit Katmai National Park

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Six out of twelve months are the best time to visit the park. Depending on the highlights of the month, you can choose when to go and what to enjoy. The best time to see the mothers with their cubs is from mid-May to mid-July, after which the salmon runs begin, and continue for two months. Mid-September to mid-October is a treat for the eyes as you can watch the bears lazing around on the beaches.

How To Reach Katmai National Park

How To Reach Katmai National Park

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A perfect blend of history and nature, there are a number of ways to reach Katmai National Park in the USA. Here are a few of them. Take a look:

By air: The nearest airport is at King Salmon, from where rides are available to the park. Daily flights to King Salmon from Anchorage are available. This is the best way to get to the Katmai National Park.
By road: Jeeps, cars are available at private lodges too.

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Where To Stay In Katmai National Park

Staying place

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Like any other National Park, lodges are available inside the premises. There are some protected areas where camping and lodges are not allowed. One of the most popular lodges in the Brooks Lodge. Also, Brooks Camp Campground is where you can camp for a couple of days. 18 sites for around 60 people are available here. They have all the necessary camping facilities.

Things To Do In Katmai National Park

1. Brooks Falls: Take a tour

Brooks Falls View

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A waterfall, and the river, also known as Brooks River, is probably the most important site in the park. Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park is a must! The river has a huge population of fish, and bear sightings here are the best. Note that there are viewing platforms near the river, so as to not alarm the bears and other animals.

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2. Katmai National Park: Bear viewing

Bear viewing

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Since the park is famous for housing the largest population of the mighty grizzlies, bear viewing is probably the prime reason why people visit the park. The population of bears is at a striking number of 100. There are many sites all across the park where this activity can be enjoyed. The most famous site the Brooks falls and Brooks river, but apart from this too bear can be viewed from many other places.

3. Katmai National Park: Check out the volcanoes

Check out the volcanoes

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Katmai National Park has another popular site, and that is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Still filled with the ashes of the 1912 Novarupta, the smoky valleys are known by that name itself. Daily tours are offered in this area and it is best to visit the site with a guide. The bus ride is also an incredible experience, as the forest, streams and woods make for a paradise of a tour.

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4. Katmai National Park: Go fishing

Go fishing

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The Katmai National Park has a number of rivers and streams have the best fish species for fishing including Coho salmon, grayling and dolly varden, sockeye salmon, and even rainbow trout. Before the park was established and protected for the bears, people used to frequent it for fishing. There are designated areas for the same. Be sure to fish only in these areas.

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5. Katmai National Park: Visit the beach

Visit the beach

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The coastline of this park in USA is simply spectacular. The setting sun escaping the blonde beach and sinking into the purple water is a mesmerizing sight, not to mention the wonderfully cool waters. And so, beaching is also a great activity to do while here. During the best season, bears enjoy the sun on the beach too. So, plan this activity according to the season, and the areas too.

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6. Katmai National Park: Trek


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The terrain of the Katmai National Park is dynamic. Beaches, rivers, lakes, mountains, volcanoes… this paradise is simply beautiful. If you are planning to visit the volcanoes then trekking is an important part of the tour. Either way, if you want to enjoy the beautiful park, trekking is a must! Trekking can be a different activity here, as the terrain is different. It is recommended that you pack all the essentials including medication, repellents, and clothes, not to mention water and food.

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7. Katmai National Park: Take a walk through history

Take a walk through history

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There are some sites near the old Katmai Village that have artifacts that range back by at least 6000 years! Listed in the National Register of Historic Places is a site that is located near the Brooks Camp. Since it is close to the lodging areas, a visit here is quite manageable. Make sure to leave for this sites in advance to avoid the afternoon crowd.

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The Katmai National Park offers an experience of a lifetime. From the giant bears to the colossal mountains, there are a number of activities for you to enjoy in this park. And here is all the important information that you will be needing! Now that you are set to plan your next vacation to USA , what are you waiting for? Jet set go!

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Category: National Parks, USA

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