Below is information pertinent to trip planning for the 2021 season. If you encounter discrepancies between other parts of our website and this information, this supersedes all other trip planning information during the pandemic.
While Katmai National Park is accessible for visitors to enjoy, a return to full operations will continue to be phased, and services may be limited. Please follow local area health orders and recreate responsibly. Maintain social distance, avoid high risk activities, and stay home if you feel sick. For those not fully vaccinated, wear a face mask when required (inside buildings, on elevated platforms and walkways, during the bear orientation) and when social distance cannot be maintained. The CDC has offered guidance to help people recreating in parks and open spaces prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
The following visitor capacities have been established:
Maximum Number of Household Groups
Maximum Number of Individuals
Brooks Camp Visitor Center- Bookstore
Brooks Camp Visitor Center- Orientation Room
Brooks River- Brooks Falls Platform
Brooks River- Treehouse Platform
Brooks River- Riffles Platform
Food and Gear Caches
The health and well-being of visitors and employees remains our top priority. We continue to work closely with the NPS Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public areas and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, and partners. Our operations are continually evaluated and adjusted as necessary to ensure public health and safety. Updates will be posted on the park website and social media.
Mask Mandate for those not fully vaccinated and Hand Sanitzer
Masks are also required for anyone who is not fully vaccinated on NPS-managed lands when physical distancing cannot reasonably be maintained and in the following outdoor areas when others are present:
All elevated platforms and walkways in the Brooks Camp developed area.
Any area at Brooks Camp being used for the required NPS bear orientation for the duration of that orientation.
The porch areas of the Brooks Lodge and Three Forks Visitor Center.
Masks must fully cover the nose and mouth and fit snuggly. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.
Visitors are also encouraged to use the hand sanitizer stations throughout Brooks Camp.
By exhibiting good judgment and recreating responsibly, you help protect yourselves, other visitors, and park staff.
Brooks Camp Campground
Following guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local public health authorities, Brooks Camp Campground is open at 50% capacity. For more information, see the earlierpress release.
There are three covered cooking shelters which may only be used by one family group at a time. No eating, drinking, or cooking may take place away from the cooking shelters. In addition, only one family group at a time is allowed in the food and gear caches.
There are no public showers available either at the campground or at Brooks Lodge.
Bear Viewing Platforms
The Brooks Falls, Treehouse and Riffles platforms have specified capacities. Each platform is operating at 50% capacity (20 individuals per platform at a time).
The Falls Platform has traditionally been staffed during periods of high visitation. Rangers manage a wait list and limit visitors to one hour on the platform to ensure equal viewing opportunities. If visitor demand taxes platform capacity, rangers will work to adjust operations accordingly to accommodate the most visitors. The one-hour time limit at the Falls Platform may further be reduced but all groups should expect a minimum of 30 minutes of viewing time. In addition, visitors may be required to wait at the Bridge South Platform until additional space becomes available. Expect long wait times during the July peak season.
The Bridge North and South Platforms also offer excellent bear viewing opportunities. Visitors should still practice social distancing.
Masks are required for those not fully vaccinated on all platforms when others are present.
Park staff will continually evaluate changing conditions and adjust operations as needed to follow current health guidelines.
Ranger Programs and Other Brooks Camp Area Activities
The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
The Valley Tour will run this summer with the bus at half capacity and with every other row empty. Windows will be kept open as frequently as possible to aid in ventilation. Masks will be required for all regardless of vaccination status on the bus. Reservations must be made in advance by contacting Katmailand or calling 1-800-544-0551. Visitors already at Brooks Camp may inquire at Brooks Lodge.
Visitors are invited to follow an easy .25 mile trail to a reconstructed traditional Alutiiq/Sugpiag home. Stop by the visitor center beforehand to borrow the printed publication of “Story of a House” which recounts the discovery, excavation, and reconstruction of this home. Ranger-led walks are not offered at this time.
Hike to Dumpling Overlook
This moderately strenuous hike climbs 800 feet (244 m) over 1.5 miles (2.4 km) and offers expansive views of Naknek Lake, Brooks River, and Lake Brooks. The trailhead is located in the Brooks Camp Campground. More adventurous hikers have the option to continue beyond the overlook to the summit of Dumpling Mountain. Beyond the overlook, there is no maintained trail.
While evening programs are not currently offered, check the visitor center for additional programs and activities in the area.
Dining services at the Brooks Camp Lodge will operate at a reduced capacity. Sit down breakfast is limited to Lodge overnight guests. The primary dining area for lunch and dinner is reserved for Lodge overnight guests with the side table area open on a first come first serve reservation basis for all guests. Reservations begin at the start of meal services. Options are available for those who wish to eat in the campground and picnic areas. Inquire at Brooks Lodge for more information.
The Lodge also maintains the Brooks Camp Trading Post which sells limited snacks.