Katmai National Park & Preserve

Katmai National Park & Preserve

Quick Facts

Katmai National Park & Preserve

Alaska

(907) 246-3305

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Katmai National Park and Preserve is justly famous for volcanoes, brown bears, fish and rugged wilderness. The park also has some noteworthy historic features, since it is the site of the Brooks River National Historic Landmark, with North America's highest concentration of prehistoric human dwellings (about 900). If volcanic activity was what originally sparked the interest of the National Park Service, population of brown bears continues to be one of the area's most salient features and major attractions.

Map of Katmai

Latitude, Longitude: 58.681362, -156.491137

READ MORE

Activities

  • Boating

    Boats can access the Katmai coast from villages and towns along the Pacific Ocean coastline. Brooks Camp and other locations along the Naknek River drainage can be reached by power boat from the villages of Naknek and King Salmon, located just west of park boundaries on the Naknek River.

    The Savonoski Loop is a popular canoeing and kayaking route in the park. Many people choose to start and end the loop at Brooks Camp. A public use cabin, Fure's Cabin, is available at the start of the portage trail between Naknek Lake and Lake Grosvenor.

    A public boat ramp is available at Lake Camp, which may be reached by road from King Salmon or Naknek. From Lake Camp, boaters may reach Fure's Cabin in the Bay of Islands or explore other parts of Naknek Lake, the fourth-largest lake in the United States.

  • Camping

    Brooks Camp Campground is the only developed/improved camping area in Katmai National Park and Preserve. It is located on the shores of Naknek Lake, about a quarter mile from the Brooks Camp Visitor Center. There are 400 million acres in the park that are open for backcountry camping.

  • Climbing

    Contact the park for climbing information.

  • Fishing

    Trophy rainbow trout are found in many lakes and streams as well as grayling and dolly varden. Strong seasonal runs of salmon are also found in particular areas of the park, including both sockeye (red) and coho (silver) salmon.

    Although the fishing is exceptional, these prized sportfish are still vulnerable to overfishing. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) carefully monitors the populations to ensure that the present regulations maintain the long-term stability of the Katmai sport fishery. Visitors intending to fish should become familiar with these regulations specific to the Bristol Bay area.

    An Alaska sport fishing license is required of all nonresidents 16 and over, and most residents 16 to 59. You may also need a harvest record card and/or king salmon stamp before you fish.

  • Hiking

    There are few designated hiking trails within Katmai National Park and Preserve, but the park offers more than 4 million acres of wilderness for exploration. The Brooks Camp area offers opportunities for day hiking. The most popular destination for backpacking trips is the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

    Katmai is one of the premier brown bear viewing areas in the world. The most recent bear survey documented over 2000 brown bears in the park and preserve. At Brooks Camp, the most visited area of the park, brown bears congregate to feed on sockeye salmon at Brooks Falls or elsewhere along the Brooks River. Viewing platforms along the river accommodate visitor numbers while minimizing the effect on bear behavior. Outside of Brooks Camp, other areas along the Katmai coast and in the preserve also provide bear viewing activities. On the coast, Hallo Bay and Geographic Harbor are two popular areas. In the preserve, Moraine Creek and Funnel Creek attract bear viewers. Bears frequent specific areas at different times, primarily related to food availability.

  • Hunting

    Sport hunting and trapping are permitted in Katmai National Preserve, but not in Katmai National Park. To hunt and trap in the preserve, you must have all required licenses and permits and follow all other state regulations. Hunting and trapping within Katmai National Preserve requires extensive planning. Access in most cases will involve air taxi service via float plane from King Salmon or one of the other surrounding villages. It is highly recommended that you contact any of the several permitted commercial operators who provide taxi and hunt transport services throughout the local area.

  • Picnicking

    Help keep wildlife wild! Eat and drink only in buildings or designated picnic areas. Put garbage in designated indoor receptacles.

  • Water Sports

    Canoeing and kayaking are available in the Savonoski Loop.

  • Winter Sports

    Contact the park for winter sports options.

Seasonality/Weather

The park and preserve are open year-round. At Brooks Camp, National Park Service and concessioner services are offered from June 1 through September 17. Prime bear viewing months at Brooks Camp are July and September, although a few bears may be in the area at any time between late May and December. Backcountry activities are best during June through September.

Park Partners

Alaska Geographic

Alaska Geographic's mission is to foster the public's understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of all national parks in Alaska, including Katmai. Alaska Geographic provides funding and educational products and services.

(907) 274-8440

Katmailand, Inc.

Katmailand, Inc. offers overnight accommodations, bus tours, food service, and guide and transportation services based at Brooks Lodge and Grosvenor Lodge.

(800) 544-0551

Directions

Driving

Katmai National Park & Preserve is located on the Alaska Peninsula, across the Shelikof Strait from Kodiak Island. Park Headquarters is in King Salmon, about 290 air miles southwest of Anchorage. Several commercial airlines provide daily flights into King Salmon as it cannot be reached by road. Brooks Camp, approximately 30 air miles from King Salmon, is a common destination for visitors to the Park. Brooks Camp can only be reached via small float plane or boat.

Boats can access the Katmai coast from villages and towns along the Pacific Ocean coastline. Brooks Camp and other locations along the Naknek River drainage can be reached by power boat from the villages of Naknek and King Salmon, located just west of park boundaries on the Naknek River.

Flying

Most destinations in Katmai National Park & Preserve may be directly accessed via air taxi flights chartered from Anchorage, King Salmon, Homer, Iliamna, Kodiak, Soldotna, or other nearby Alaska towns and villages. Regularly scheduled commercial flights to King Salmon (AKN), which serves as NPS administrative headquarters and the starting point for most Katmai adventures, are available from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) via PenAir and Alaska Airlines.

Brooks Camp, located on the Brooks River approximately 30 air miles from King Salmon, is a common destination for visitors to Katmai. Brooks Camp can only be reached via small float plane (chartered from many of the towns and villages listed above) or boat.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(907) 246-3305

Links