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a VirtualTourist member from Bournemouth asked on Jan 21, 2008

Katmai National Park and Preserve

Brooks Camp in early July

Hi there, Would be interested to hear from anyone who has visited Brooks Camp in June/July. We are planning to visit this year to do some bear photography (staying at the campground)but read some info that said there are very few bears around in June until the salmon runs in July. We can just about squeeze our visit into the first week of July but no later, does anyone know if our chances of seeing bears are good? We plan to camp for 2 nights. Do you have any other tips for us?

Many thanks in anticipation, Karen

2 Answers

answered on 1/24/08 by
a VT member from Alaska


I was at Brooks Camp the first 5 days of July 2005. I was told that the bears first peak from late June until late July, and there was no shortage of bears. In fact we couldnt even get out of our floatplane for a few minutes because a bear was hanging out on the beach.

I made a Katmai page if youre interested.

Have a great trip


answered on 2/27/08 by
a VT member from Eagle River

You will be fine on the timing of your trip. The best thing to do is since you are camping there is to take advantage of the viewing decks at off peak times. What I mean is that many people fly into Katmai just for a day tour and have there lunch and dinner at a scheduled time and have a scheduled time that they are departing. When it is lunch or dinner time, that is the best time to stay at the decks or venture out to them. My wife and I around dinner time went to the viewing deck and enjoyed 2 hours of noone except for the bears and the ranger that would come and check the bears and then leave. It is one of my most favorite places in the world. We have been in July and in September and July is the best for the falls action. September is when they just feed on the rotting corpses of spawned salmon. After staring at the bears for a while you will not even be bothered with the bugs.
One thing to do is try and talk your price down with a float plane pilot and take a tour of "The Valley of 10,000 Smokes" from the air, it is the best. And you will not spend all day on a bus. It looks like the lunar surface.

If you are staying in Anchorage, there is two places that you must hit food wise. The first is a Pizza/Pub called Mooses Tooth, they brew there own beer and have great pizza. The second is a Reindeer hot dog place on the corner of 4th ave and F street called M.A. Dogs, it has a green umbrella, you will reconise it because the line is always long while the cart next to him does not have anyone at it, he is a popualar local and has a cult following.

Hope your journey is a good one.

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