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Katmai National Park, Alaska

From July 5th, 2012 to 8th, we spent 4 unforgettable days in Brooks Camp, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Without being there, there would be absolutely no way one could imagine there is such a fascinating place on this planet. Bears were everywhere and you could see them really up close!

Here is some information I'd like to share. Hope it is helpful for you trips.

We flied from Anchorage to King Salmon with PenAir. From King Salmon, we took Katmai Air seaplane to Brooks Camp. The entire transition was very smooth. All itineraries were almost exactly on time. I know this was probably due to the good weather. Katmai Air is probably the biggest company operates in that area. Although I read some bad stories from time to time, from my experience, I can say it is a reputable company with excellent service.

If you are serious about photography, you will want to bring a long lens. At Brooks Falls, to shoot pictures of salmon jumping into bears' mouth, the lens does not have to be too long, usually 100-400 zoom lens would suffice. But as you could imagine, there are tons of other shooting opportunities that bears are rather far away, which will require a 500mm or 600mm lens with teleconverter.

In my opinion, you should stay multiple days in the park to see the best of bear activities. We spent 3 nights. During the stay, I observed the pattern that bears were usually slow at Brooks Falls in the morning but were far more active in late afternoon and at night. In the morning, it would be good to walk around in the park as the bears are everywhere. The platform is closed at 10 PM and I'd suggest you not to leave before that time. I met a couple from a day trip who stayed there for only 3 hours, during which time only one bear was fishing at falls and it was backlit. Needless to say they did not see the best.

Food in Brooks Lodge is decent. They only serve buffet-style food. The dinner is $35 per person. We were very impressed that at such a remote place the food could be so good, which totally excceeded our expectation.

The last tip, and this is probably the most important one: DO NOT FORGET TO BRING MOSQUITO NET. Besides, you will also need DEET and probably pre-treat your clothes with bug repellent. The density of mosquitoes is unbelievable.

Bear Fishing on Top of Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Fishing on Top of Brooks Falls


Bear Fishing on Top of Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Fishing on Top of Brooks Falls


Bear Fishing on Top of Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Fishing on Top of Brooks Falls


Bear Eating Salmon, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Eating Salmon


Bears Fighting, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bears Fighting


Seaplane by Naknek Lake at Brooks Camp, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Seaplane by Naknek Lake at Brooks Camp


Bear Standing Up, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Standing Up


Bear Eating Salmon, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Eating Salmon


Bear Portrait, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Portrait


Bear and Naknek Lake, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear and Naknek Lake


Bears Fighting, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bears Fighting


Bear Fishing, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Fishing


Bear Jumping, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Jumping


Bear and Seagull, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear and Seagull


Naknek Lake Sunset, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Naknek Lake Sunset


Leaping Salmon, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Leaping Salmon


Bear Shaking off Water, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Shaking off Water


Aerial View of Katmai National Park, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Aerial View of Katmai National Park


Bear and Cub, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear and Cub


Bear Couple, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Bear Couple


Naknek Lake, Katmai National Park, Alaska

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Naknek Lake

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