Katmai National Park and Preserve
In 1912 a tremendous eruption occurred in the wilderness that today is Katmai National Park and Preserve. The blast in which Mount Katmai collapsed was one of the most violent ever recorded. Afterwards, in what would become known as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, fumaroles by the thousands issued steam hot enough to melt zinc. Only a few active vents remain, and the crater holds a lake.
Katmai?s scenery boasts lakes, rivers, glaciers, waterfalls, and a coastline of plunging cliffs and islets. This is the home of the huge brown bear -- Earth's largest terrestrial carnivore -- which in summer fishes the park and preserve's streams to feast on migrating salmon. This area is critical for the brown bear's survival on the Alaska Peninsula. It also boasts some of southwestern Alaska's best sport fishing.
Camping at Brooks Camp
Campground reservations are required for Brooks Camp Campground between June 1 and September 10. Reservations may be made through the address shown on the Park Office page. Length of stay is 7 nights In any 10-day period.
Scheduled jets from Anchorage serve King Salmon on the park's west boundary from June through Labor Day. Daily commercial flights operate between King Salmon and the Brooks River area June through Labor Day. Air charters from King Salmon or Iliamna are available from May through October.
4 million acres.
Photos by Leona Hassmann and Kai Pauselius