About Katmai National Park
Katmai is one of the most famous Alaska national parks given the amount of social media traffic it gets each summer and fall.
We’ve all seen the famous bearcam of the grizzlies savagely hunting salmon at Brooks Falls, and we all want to see that in person (safely behind the plexiglass viewing area) along with the countless other hard-to-fathom landscapes that exist within this amazing park.
The fact of the matter is that it just ain’t easy (or cheap) to do so. Getting to Katmai typically requires multiple flights and thousands of dollars which puts it squarely out of reach for most Americans.
- Accessibility – 1/10
- Recreation – 10/10
- Crowds – 10/10
- Amenities – 4/10
- Scenery – 10/10
Getting to Katmai National Park
Accessing Katmai National Park is expensive. There are no roads that lead into the park which means getting to Katmai requires a flight (and not on a commercial flight).
Small Plane Flight – To get to Katmai one must take a flight to King Salmon or a private charter to another less-traveled destination within the park. Round trip fares from Anchorage to King Salmon, Alaska (the gateway to Katmai) cost between $600 – $700. The flight itself takes about an hour.
Can You Drive to Katmai National Park?
No, you cannot drive to Katmai National Park. The park is extremely remote located in King Salmon.
Entrance Fees to Katmai National Park
Hooray! There are no entrance fees to Katmai National Park. The cost of getting to the park is high enough I suppose.
Best Time to Visit Katmai National Park – Seasons & Weather
The best time to visit Katmai National Park is during Summer months. We recommend July & August for the best chance of catching some days without rain.
Highlights – Best Things to Do Katmai National Park
- Brooks Falls Bear Watching – The world famous Katmai National Park bear camera resides at Brooks Falls. Getting to Brooks Falls is not cheap requiring yet another non-commercial flight. From King Salmon it the cost to Brooks Falls is around $300. Once here, behold the best bear viewing on the planet via a safe viewing platform.
- Fishing – There is a reason the bears congregate in such numbers at Brooks Falls – world class salmon runs down the Brooks River. This makes for world class fishing opportunities.
- See the Valley of 10,000 Smokes – Katmai National Park is home to some epic volcanic landscapes, perhaps none as famous or breathtaking as the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. From Brooks Camp, bus tours are available to this spectacular valley. The tour costs about $100 round trip with lunch included.
- Flight-Seeing Katmai National Park – The best way to get a grasp of the scale and scope of Katmai National Park’s epic volcanic landscape is via the air. Flight-seeing tours from Brooks run just over $200 per person for an hour of flight time.
Where to Stay – Katmai National Park Camping & Lodging
Camping in Katmai National Park
Brooks Camp is the sole developed campground at Katmai National Park located near the Brooks Lodge.
Getting to the campground requires a flight on a small plane.
The campground itself has no designated camp sites, rather a 60 person capacity that is filled (rapidly) on a reservation basis via recreation.gov.
Katmai National Park Hotels & Lodging
We highly recommend the Brooks Lodge located near the famous bear-viewing site, Brooks Falls