Brooks Camp

people standing on a wood structure over a river full of bears
Brooks Camp is a popular destination for people and bears.

NPS Photo / R. Wood

Situated at the mouth of the Brooks River and the shore of Naknek Lake, Brooks Camp attracts people from all over the world to view brown bears, enjoy world-class fishing, and learn about the long human history of the area. It is also a starting point for many backcountry adventures.

Daily bus tours from Brooks Camp provide easy access to the geologic splendor of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, site of the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. Hiking opportunities also exist.

From June 1 to September 17, the National Park Service operates a visitor center, ranger station, campground, and auditorium with daily ranger-led programs. Additional services and amenities including meals and lodging are available at Brooks Lodge through September 17. Only very limited visitor services may continue through September 30.

Visiting Brooks Camp

While Brooks Camp offers many public services and accessible options unavailable elsewhere in the park, visitors must arrive prepared to experience backcountry Alaska. Whether staying for just a few hours or for several days, you should expect to encounter windy, rainy, and cold conditions. Be sure to dress and pack in anticipation of diverse and changing weather conditions.

  • Most people arrive at Brooks Camp via small, float-equipped aircraft. Please visit Katmai’s directions and transportation page for more information.
  • All visitors to Brooks Camp are required to begin their stay by attending a brief bear safety talk outlining park regulations. Please visit the Brooks Camp Bear Safety page and Katmai bear safety page for more information.
  • New in 2022, you will need a permit for any activities within in the Brooks River Corridor, with the exception of redfish fishery subsistence activities. This corridor includes the river itself and 50 yards from the water's edge on either side along the banks of the river from the Lake Brooks inlet downstream to the elevated bridge and boardwalk. This does not include graveled roads trails, boardwalks, or wildlife viewing platforms. A permit is also not needed for any travel to or from villages or homesites. Permits are needed from July 1 until October 31 when the salmon are spawning. Each permit will be valid for 7 days with a maximum group size of 6 individuals. Permits are free but there is a $6 booking fee that will be charged. Commercial Users and Visitors will be able to obtain permits before arriving to the Brooks River on www.recreation.gov. Alternately, a one day only river permit is available at the Brooks Camp Visitor Center during posted hours the day of a visit. See the official press release to learn more.

  • Most facilities around Brooks Camp are wheelchair accessible, but assistance may be neccessary. Trails are unpaved and frequently muddy. Visitors should be prepared to leave the trail in order to avoid a bear.

Download The Novarupta, the official Katmai newspaper and a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to planning your visit. Trip planning advice can also be found in the Brooks Camp Trip Planning Hangout. Many blog posts about Brooks Camp also provide helpful trip planning information.

 
Yield sign
Bear Jam!
Bear activity may delay crossing the bridge near the outlet of Brooks River (see map below). Be prepared for delays and budget extra time to cross the bridge.
 
Map of the Brooks Camp Area
 
table showing distances in Brooks Camp- Visitor Center to: Brooks Camp Campground - .3mi, Cultural Site- .25mi, South Platform- .3mi, Falls Trail Outhouse- .6mi, Falls Platform- 1.2mi, Lake Brooks- 1.2mi
This table displays approximate distances between points of interest at Brooks Camp.
 

Last updated: August 24, 2022

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King Salmon , AK 99613

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907 246-3305

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