Katmai National Park is one of those places in Alaska that you have to visit. Read on to learn about the top things to do in Katmai National Park.
In 2016, almost 38,000 visitors spent over 58 million dollars in Katmai National Park. This wild and rugged place has numerous things for you to enjoy. But plan ahead, because the spending comes out to roughly $1500 a person. To put that in perspective, a few days in Las Vegas can set you back more than $1200. However, Katmai won't give you a pampering experience. It will tax your body and emotions sometimes. There will be many stressors unlike those found anywhere else. But at the end of the trip, you will grow in your knowledge of the outdoors. And you will come back more physically fit than when you left.
What all can you do while there? Keep reading to find out.
Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.
Well, 1 of 3 isn't so bad anyway. Katmai is a very popular place to see and watch bears. But, give them a wide berth. In July, you can find even more bears than usual. Wherever the salmon and other tasty fish are, the bears gather there too. Bears catching fish in their mouth holds its place as one of nature's most spectacular sights.
Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
For the geographer, the curious and the outdoorsy types, this valley cannot be missed. Built by natural and destructive causes. The explosion which created it was 30 times more powerful than Mt. Saint Helens. For many years the valley looked like the setting of a post-apocalyptic world. Fumaroles spewed volcanic steam into the air. Many believed it would develop geysers to rival Yellowstone. But things cooled off, and today, a prismatic wash of colors paint the earth where a mountain once stood. You won't see any smoke there today, but you will enjoy sights unlike any you have seen before.
This is a very popular place to see bears. Salmon make their way upstream to the spawning pools in Brooks Lake.
For the salmon, this is the most perilous part of the journey. Not only do they have to travel up the falls, but also must do so while bears wait to eat them. If you plan your trip around the highest concentration of bears, look at mid to late summer. Bears come out in droves during this time. But that's not to say you can't see bears at other times of the year too.
Camping Here, There and Everywhere
Katmai National Park contains a huge amount of land. It covers more square feet than all of Connecticut. But unlike the New England area, the land is wild and untamed. You won't have the option of driving around much. But you will have plenty of places to camp.
Make sure you take a look at leave no trace rules. These aren't laws so much as guidelines. But part of enjoying nature means leaving it for future generations of enjoyment. In general, try not to camp too close to other people or running water. If you can, set up your camp where others have camped before.
If roughing it for a few days or a week sounds like your bag, Katmai is your place. No matter what, bring a few extra days worth of food and fuel. And you will be in violation of the law if you do not have bear boxes for food. Along with bear boxes to keep food safe, most recommend having an electric fence. This will deter bears from entering your site. As always, please don't try to feed the bears.
Hiking in Katmai National Park
Again, this is a wild and untamed piece of land. With that in mind, Katmai has very few miles of maintained trails. Brooks Camp is one of the most popular places to visit. This may be largely due to its proximity to Brooks Falls. But it sits as the trailhead for many hikes in Katmai. When hiking, try to stick to areas which appear to have been disturbed before. If you cannot stay to areas trod by humans, look for game trails next. When neither is available, proceed with care.
Yes, we know it sounds like a name a toddler made up but this site begs to be seen. It is the largest lake in the US to be found with its entire volume inside one park. The acres and acres of water urge you to take an early kayak trip. If mornings aren't your thing, have a mid-afternoon canoe ride. Either way, drop on by to these still waters framed by mountains.
But if you aren't interested in the tranquility of a still lake. A wild adventure summons you and you answer the call. Katmai has several rapids popular with rafters. Among them, American Creek and Funnel Creek stand out. These trips won't finish in an hour and a half. Rather, these trips tend to last 3-6 days. Also, you will go thru spots of tranquil water and stretches of rushing rapids. Make sure to bring a heavy-duty sleeping bag rated to 0° F. And store it in a water-tight container. Otherwise, you will have several uncomfortable nights.
Katmai's landscape has so much variation largely due to the many mountains. Maybe you want some time to hike to the top of one and take in the scenery. Broken Mountain, Baked Mountain and Falling Mountain all invite you to climb them. Once there, take in the unique and majestic scenery.
Start Planning Your Trip
Remember, Katmai Nation park won't mimic the state parks near you. Rather this land is wild and untamed. Respect it and fear it when necessary. But admire the beauty of it from safe distances. Alaskan trips will awaken your soul in a way nothing else can. Contact us to start planning your trip to the wild lands of Alaska. Our experienced team will guide you every step of the way.
The Ultimate Alaska Packing List (Including Camera Gear)Alaska is like no where else in the world, so you need an Alaska packing list to start your trip off strong. Here's everything you need including camera gear.
Keyword(s): alaska packing list
Are you ready for the most fantastic experience of your life? Do you love photography, nature, and adventure?
Alaska is a wild frontier that attracts more than 1.8 million visitors each summer. Cruise ships are a popular way to see the state, but custom adventure tours offer an up-close and personal view of wildlife.
If you're planning on going to Alaska, this article's for you. We'll help you plan the perfect Alaska packing list and help you get started on finding a wildlife tour.
Layer, Layer, Layer!
Every vacation packing list must include light, warm layers. Summertime in Alaska can be surprisingly warm, peaking in the mid-70s or even getting up to 80 degrees. You'll need to bring shorts, t-shirts, and a bathing suit. You might have the chance to take an invigorating swim out in nature, so don't forget to pack summertime basics. In addition to light clothing, you'll want to bring long-sleeved shirts and pants. If you're going to Alaska in the summertime, you can skip the -30-degree parka. You should definitely bring a medium-heavy coat to wear at night, though.
If you're planning on going on a wilderness adventure, make sure that you bring quick-drying layers. You can find them in hiking and fishing catalogs. It's important to make sure that you stay healthy, even if you're sloshing through the mud. Finally, pack some lightweight thermal underwear. You'll be able to stay warm, even if you're spending hours in one spot watching the bears.
Shoes and Boots
When you're going on an Alaska vacation, it's important to pack several types of shoes. You should pack waterproof hiking boots for walking and hiking, but you should also include sandals for your hotel.
Rain boots are also a good choice because you never know if you're going to be splashing through puddles. If you've got a tour company lined up, check with them about the kinds of shoes you'll need.
In addition to hiking boots and rain boots, try to bring one pair of walking shoes. You may need to walk from your hotel to your cruise pick-up zone.
If you can find a pair of walking shoes that is also good for hiking, just bring one pair.
If you're going to waterproof your shoes, try to do it at least one week in advance of your trip. That way, you can put on a few coats of waterproofing and let them dry in between. Another pro tip is to break in your hiking boots a few months before your trip. You don't want to end up with blisters on the first day of your vacation.
At the very top of your Alaska cruise packing list should be camera equipment. Before you invest in a camera, talk to your cruise company about the kinds of sightseeing you'll be doing. Will you get up close or will you primarily be shooting from the deck of a ship? If you're just going to be taking landscape shots from a distance, you can stick with a low-aperture lens with a focal length up to 100mm. Make sure you invest in a tripod to get those action shots without blurring them. If you're going to be shooting pictures of wildlife from a closer vantage point, try to get a teleconverter lens. It'll help you get those candid shots, even from your cruise ship's observation deck.
In addition to the basics, make sure that you bring enough media cards and batteries. You should have a camera backpack or bag that will allow you to be mobile, and a remote picture release. If you can, try to bring your laptop along. You can leave it at the hotel, but it'll let you download your pictures every day. Finally, remember to bring some camera lens cleaning solution and rags.
When you're making your packing list for your Alaska cruise, make sure that you're bringing charging cables for your laptop and phone.
Bring your binoculars, but pack them in your carry-on luggage to make sure they don't get broken.
If you can, try to get a small first aid kit. Your tour company will have medical supplies on hand, but it's always nice to have a few band-aids handy. If you take medication, make sure that you've brought enough for your entire trip. In fact, it's a good idea to bring a few extra days' worth, just in case of an unexpected delay. Make sure you pack some insect repellent but try to get one that's hand pumped rather than an aerosol container. You can bring aerosol cans on flights, but they have to be smaller than 3.4 ounces.
As you start packing, give your tour company a call to see what they recommend. They might want you to include a raincoat, a winter hat, and a pair of gloves. Ask them if they have laundry service on the cruise ship. If they don't, just pack extra clothing and socks.
Get a Head Start on Your Alaska Packing List
You can start buying clothing for your Alaska packing list a few months before your trip. If you're ordering from catalogs, make sure you leave enough time for the packages to arrive. It's a good idea to start packing your luggage a few days in advance of your trip. You don't want to rush the packing process because that's how most people forget essential items. To save space, try packing phone cords and other small items into your shoes. Put them in a plastic bag and tuck them inside. Always put the shoes in their own plastic bags so that they won't ruin the rest of your clothing on the way home. We offer custom tours to people who love photography and nature. Our ship is safety-rated to Coast Guard standards, and we can take you on an immersive trip into the heart of bear country.
Check out our website and send us an email for more information. We're looking forward to meeting you and going on a true adventure with you.