Katmai National Park & Preserve

Katmai National Park & Preserve

Bears draw visitors to Katmai National Park

July 19, 2010, 9:20 am

Each year thousands of people from all over the world venture to Katmai National Park and Preserve, a wildlife sanctuary in Alaska's own back yard.

During the summer, air taxis take off daily from King Salmon to visit the most remote national park in the U.S.

Bob Gay and Ken Edlund came to Alaska from Colorado.

"I've heard about it for years and wanted to do it," Gay said.

Katmai is home to one of the nation's greatest wildlife gatherings. Here you'll find the world's highest concentration of brown bears feeding on sockeye salmon, which swim upriver to spawn.

Brooks Falls becomes their feeding grounds. The bears will eat as much as 90 pounds of salmon in a day to fatten up for the long winter. The chance to see this feast is what draws in a variety of visitors from across the globe.

"I would have to say that it's probably the most unusual place I've ever been," Edlund said. "The most exciting type of situation with the bears, and being that close and seeing that many bears."

"Oh, this is phenomenal, this is much more than I could have ever imagined. It's just -- it far exceeds anything I had ever read or heard about it," Gay said.

"Just the allure of the bears, to be able to see the bears in that type of environment is just thrilling and something we've wanted to do for a long time," Edlund said.

Some of the park's visitors come back year after year, as do many of the bears near Brooks Camp.

Read more at ktuu.com.