National park photo ops: This trail takes you to bears, salmon and white water

The brown bears in Alaska's Katmai National Park & Preserve grab the fish from the Brooks River and devour them by the dozens.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The brown bears of Katmai National Park & Preserve are the star attractions here while they feed on the salmon in the Brooks River.

There are several viewing platforms in the park, but the most famous and most crowded platform is at the falls where the bears sometimes snatch the fish in mid-air. To reach the platforms, you must hike down Brooks Falls Trail with your camera gear -- and sometimes yield the trail to wandering brown bears, which mostly leave the humans alone.

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.