- Katmai National Park and Preserve is famous for volcanoes, brown bears, fish and rugged wilderness. It is also the site of the Brooks River National Historic Landmark, recognized as having North America's highest concentration of prehistoric human dwellings (about 900).
There are at least fourteen volcanoes in Katmai considered "active," that's more than any other National Park. Brown bear and salmon are also plentiful in Katmai. The brown bear population has grown to more than 2,000, making them the world's largest protected population of these omnivores. The peak of the world's largest sockeye salmon run each July, and during return of the salmon in September, bring the bears to the waters of the park.
A rich variety of other wildlife is found in the Park as well. There are such Alaskan favorites as beaver, moose, caribou, wolves, wolverine, lynx, red squirrel, snowshoe rabbit, mice and voles. Katmai's feathered friends include tundra swans, geese, several types of ducks, gulls, and migratory shore birds, plus warblers, ravens, magpies and a large population of bald eagles. Katmai also harbors a plethora of world class rainbow and lake trout, char, grayling and all five varieties of salmon.
Katmai encompasses more than four million acres of pristine wilderness, with wild rivers and streams, rugged coastlines, broad green glacial hewn valleys, active glaciers and volcanoes and Naknek Lake, the largest lake within a National Park. Except for two short trails and the 23-mile Valley of 10,000
Smokes dirt road (accessible from Brooks Camp) and a short distance of dirt road at the western edge of the Park at Lake Camp, there are no maintained roads or trails within Katmai.
Modern humans are not the first to explore and admire the landscapes of Katmai. Archeologists discovered remains of nomadic hunter's camps dating back 9,000 years in the interior lake region of the Park. Shoreline sites were established along the Katmai Coast approximately 7,000 years ago.
Recreation - The focus of visitor use is at the Brooks River, where brown bear congregate to feed on sockeye salmon, although increasing visitor use is occurring along the outer coast and elsewhere in the park interior. Two bear viewing platforms are located along the Brooks River. The park also offers world-class sportfishing. The Katmai coast also attracts visitors for sportfishing as well as coastal tours and bear viewing. Access to the coast is available by boat tours and charter air taxis from Kodiak, Homer and Anchorage, or from many of Katmai's commercial operators and lodges.
Climate - Summer daytime temperatures are usually in the low to mid 60s (F). Cool, overcast days, with strong winds are common. Be prepared for fluctuations from warm and sunny to cold and rainy, sometimes in the same day. Spring and fall temperatures are cool, with cold nights. Winters are cold with about six hours of sunlight.
Katmai National Park & Preserve is located on the Alaska Peninsula, across from Kodiak Island. Park Headquarters lie in King Salmon, about 290 air miles southwest of Anchorage. Several commercial airlines provide daily flights into King Salmon as there is no road access. Brooks Camp, along the Brooks River approximately 30 air miles from King Salmon, is a common destination for visitors to the Park and is the only Federal Fee Area within Katmai. Brooks Camp can only be reached via small float plane or boat.