Katmai National Park
Guide

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Introduction

Originally established to protect the region around Novarupta and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes which had been devastated by volcanoes, Katmai National Park is home to beautiful wildlife, most notably brown bears. This 14 sq. mile national park in Alaska features wilderness areas that offer opportunities to enjoy adventurous pursuits.

Besides the unique bear watching opportunities in the park, campers and visitors can also enjoy boating, canoeing and kayaking on the waterways in Katmai National Park. Moreover, rainbow trout, dolly varden, and lake trout are some of the commonly caught fish species by anglers in the park. Flightseeing opportunities in the park allow visitors and campers see the park’s landscapes from a unique vantage point.

Participate in ranger programs at Katmai National Park to learn about the history and features of the park in exciting and refreshing ways through various activities. If you possess the appropriate license/permits, you can hunt at the preserve.

There are no RV campsites or facilities at Katmai National Park. Brooks Camp is the only campground in the park.

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RV Rentals in Katmai National Park

Transportation in Katmai National Park

Driving

Located northwest of Kodiak Island and southwest of Homer, on the northern Alaska Peninsula, Katmai National Park is essentially accessible by boats and planes only. As a result, there is no way to drive to, and within the park.

Parking

There are no parking areas available at Katmai National Park.

Public Transport

Ferry services and air taxi flights offer services to Katmai National Park.

Campgrounds and parking in Katmai National Park

Campsites in Katmai National Park

Reservations camping

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Brooks Camp

Brooks Camp sits on the shore of Naknek Lake and is a unique campground in that it does not have any designated campsites. It can accommodate up to 60 campers and you can pitch a tent wherever you find space. The campground is not accessible by vehicles and RVs and does not have any RV facilities.

Facilities in the campground include cooking shelters, fire rings, potable water and vault toilets. Reservations are accepted and recommended for the campground.

Seasonal activities in Katmai National Park

Spring

Boating

Katmai National Park is ideal for paddlers and boaters who want to the enjoy the isolated lake or the running whitewater in the park. A popular kayaking and canoeing route in the park is Savonoski Loop. Some other routes include Funnel Creek, Moraine Creek, and American Creek.

With long stretches of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, the waterways in Katmai National Park are beautiful travel corridors for campers and visitors who wish to explore the park’s wilderness.

Bear Watching

Katmai National Park is a premier bear watching destination and is popular with campers and visitors for that reason. The brown bears in the park offer one of the most amazing sights in the world, with more than 2,200 estimated brown inhabiting the park. Want to know a fun fact? More bears live on the Alaska Peninsula than people. Because of the declining bear populations around the world, Katmai National Park is even more relevant for its preservation of these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.

Summer

Ranger Programs

Katmai National Park has, since its inception, offered ranger programs which allow campers and visitors learn about the history and features of the park. Through programs like talks, guided walks and campfire programs, rangers in the park share their knowledge with participants. You could join a ranger for a live chat on bearcam, explore the Brooks River on cultural walks, hike on Knife Creek, or can explore Katmai’s volcanic landscape on a day-long tour. Learn and have fun!

Fall

Hunting

Katmai National Preserve is open to sport hunting and trapping opportunities. Hunting is however not allowed within the park itself. If you wish to hunt in the preserve, you should have all the required licenses and permits and abide by the regulations in place.

The commonly hunted species in the preserve are brown bear and moose. When you set out to hunt, pay attention to areas that are private lands and ensure you do not enter them without permission from the landowner.

Fishing

The entire Katmai region has a rich history of sport fishing, as the area is equipped with fishing facilities specially designed for tourists and visitors. As a result, campers at Katmai National Park enjoy wonderful sport fishing opportunities. Fish species available in the park include rainbow trout, dolly varden, arctic char, lake trout, and arctic grayling. Pacific salmon species are also available in the park. State regulations are in effect in the park to prevent overfishing.

Winter

Flightseeing

A spectacular way to see the beauty and magnificence of Katmai National Park is from above in a small airplane. From the air, you’ll get the chance to view the landscape of the park as well as its diversity and enormity. As you fly over the vast freshwater lakes, lowland tundra, and steaming volcanoes of the Aleutian Range, remember to take photographs. You should also get glimpses of schools of salmon, bears roaming the park’s landscapes, bird swarms, and some marine organisms.

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