Bear Watching in Katmai National Park and Preserve
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.
A table is provided below to show you the best typical times for bear viewing at specific areas. For guides and/or transportation to bear viewing areas, see the list of commercial operators authorized to provide bear viewing trips in Katmai National Park and Preserve.
Did You Know?
The world's largest run of Sockeye salmon occurs in Bristol Bay, Alaska each summer. Part of those salmon move into Katmai National Park using the Naknek drainage and end up at Brooks Camp. This is why so many bears gather in July on the Brooks River Falls.