Katmai National Park is home to North America’s largest protected population of brown bears and remains one of the best bear viewing tours available. This Alaskan tour is a once in a lifetime experience where you will get to see brown bears feed on wild Alaskan salmon.
The Brooks Falls bear viewing adventure begins as you depart the Anchorage Aero office in a twin engine Piper Navajo. After arriving in the small town of King Salmon, you will board a floatplane and head to Brooks Falls. The quick 20-minute floatplane flight to Brooks Falls provides breath-taking views of rugged rural Alaska. Once you have arrived at Brooks Lodge, a park ranger will provide a brief orientation to instruct you on proper (and safe) bear country etiquette. Now the real sightseeing begins!
You will now have the opportunity to visit the world famous Brooks Falls. While viewing brown bears feed, the friendly National Park Service rangers will gladly answer all of your questions about this incredible park. You will have a chance to see bears from several viewing platforms, walking on the same trails as you, or even from the front porch of the Brooks Lodge while getting a snack.
Formally known as Katmai National Monument, Katmai National Park and Preserve was proclaimed a National Monument in 1918 after the eruption of Novarupta (now known as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes). In 1950, the National Park Service stationed a full-time ranger in the park and began construction on Brooks Camp ranger station; that original building is now the Visitors Center.
Tourism increased dramatically in the 1950's after aviation pioneer, Raymond Petersen, established several camps around the Katmai region. In the beginning, most visitors were sport fishermen but as word spread of Katmai’s brown bears during the 1980’s, the Brooks River became a popular wildlife viewing destination.
It is estimated that there are around 2,200 bears in Katmai National Park, with the total number of bears exceeding the population of people on the entire Alaska Peninsula. However, there is an unusually high concentration of brown bears around rivers from July to September as they congregate to feed on spawning salmon, making Brooks Falls bear viewing tours the perfect trip for seasonal adventurers.