National park tips: Come here to watch bears fishing

When July comes to Katmai National Park in Alaska, bears take to the Brooks River, where they grab salmon from the falls and occasionally spar with each other.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Because it’s pricey and remote and access is limited, Alaska’s Katmai National Park & Preserve got just 37,818 visitors in 2015. But what a setting!

Anglers love it in June, August and September. And if you score a booking in July, you’ll commune with wild brown bears grabbing at salmon, wandering the beach and frolicking in the lake.

Up to 60 guests at a time share the park’s Brooks Lodge, neighboring the Brooks River and Naknek Lake. Access is by float plane.

To share a tiny four-person cabin for two nights, with round-trip flights from Anchorage included, guests in July 2016 paid $1,124 each, meals extra. The lodge often often fills up 18 months in advance.


In Katmai National Park, Alaska, up close with bears pursuing salmon »


A visit to Katmai National Park in Alaska to see the coastal brown bear pursue salmon.

In honor of this year’s National Park Service centennial, the Travel section is posting 100 park travel ideas and tips based on trips staff travel writer Christopher Reynolds has taken, along with photo-op advice from Times photographer Mark Boster. We’ll post one per day through Dec. 31.

Follow Reynolds on Twitter: @MrCSReynolds


See travel videos by Reynolds from around the world.


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