For those who love to see brown bears up close and personal, there is a magical place called Brooks Camp, which is located in Katmai National Park in northern Alaska. This hot spot for bear watching has become quite a popular area now that the word is out on how exciting it is to see these gorgeous creatures fishing for salmon and caring for their young.
These animals come out of winter hibernation to make their way to Brooks Falls to fill up on tasty salmon. There is a platform at Brooks Falls for visitors to stand on to see the brown bears trying to catch the jumping salmon. There is also another platform across the river from where the cabins are located for people to peek at a bear or two swimming in the water or playing together right in front of you. As long as you give the bears that stroll through their space, they are almost always tolerant of people who pay them a visit.
Visitors to Brooks Camp have the opportunity to fly in a small aircraft, which is the only transportation that will get you there, to be able to take in all of the beauty and bountiful nature of Alaska. Inside of Brooks is a whole new world. It is not out of the ordinary to see a huge bear walking towards you on a path or see a mom with a couple of cubs swimming nearby.
July through September is the best time to experience nature at its best. Bear watching has become almost as popular as whale watching and the Alaskan bears at Katmai seem to not mind that they have an audience trying to snap the perfect photo.
In addition to the bears, there is also sport fishing, kayaking, and ranger tours that are fun and educational. Once you arrive at Brooks Camp, a mandatory training session is required on bear safety and how to respect the bear’s space. There are always rangers nearby to make sure people are safe, but knowing what to do in case there is a bear encounter is imperative.
Katmai is a nature lover’s paradise for both young and old, and everyone in between. It is a special place with very special bears that return every year in hopes to fill their bellies full of fish. It is also a perfect trip for the whole family to experience.