Group of people observing the bears fishing from the viewing platform at the brooks wilderness lodge in katmai alaska
aerial view of a winding river going through the bright green valley surrounded by trees on both sides in katmai alaska
One bear along the river's edge during the evening with low misty clouds on the katmai peninsula in alaska
green hilly mountains in front of larger snow capped peaks in the katmai peninsula of alaska
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North America Alaska Land Tour

Brown Bears of Katmai

Alaska bear viewing in Katmai National Park is one of the state’s greatest wildlife spectacles. From your home base at Brooks Lodge, see the Alaska brown bears of Brooks River, one of the most famous congregations of brown bears in the world due to its prolific salmon runs. Arrival is by seaplane, making this 5-day trip extraordinary and scenic. This independent travel package includes hotel accommodations in downtown Anchorage, two nights in a rustic cabin at Brooks Lodge, plus round-trip airfare on a seaplane from Anchorage to Katmai.

Roughly 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, in Alaska’s Bristol Bay area, lies Katmai National Park. Each year millions of salmon burst from the Bering Sea into the lakes and streams of the area. These fish provide a food source for the world’s largest population of brown bears. This is Alaska’s famous bear viewing country. At Brooks Lodge, as many as 50 bears can be seen fishing along the 1.5-mile-long Brooks River during the peak of the salmon season. Many visitors see bears within minutes of arrival.

Aside from bear viewing from the lodge’s well-known platform, enjoy other included activities like fishing, nature walks and a guided bus tour to Katmai National Park’s Valley of the 10,000 Smokes. Learn from National Park experts during educational slideshows, films and experts. Other optional activities can be added on, such as flightseeing, canoeing, kayaking and fishing. 

The best Katmai bear viewing is available from mid-June through early September. Ask our experts more about tours in Katmai National Park and Alaska bear viewing on our small ship cruises that can complement this tour.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Alaska land tours.



Itinerary

Brown Bears of Katmai Itinerary

This 5-day Alaska adventure focuses on seeing brown bears at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park and begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska.

Brown Bears of Katmai trip route map.
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Day 1
Arrive Anchorage, Alaska

Arrive independently at the Anchorage airport where a complimentary transfer brings you to your Anchorage hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore this cosmopolitan city on your own.

Accommodations

Westmark Anchorage, The Lakefront Anchorage or similar

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Fly to Katmai National Park & Bear Viewing

An included transfer takes you to the Anchorage Airport. Fly from Anchorage to King Salmon and transfer to a seaplane for the short scenic flight to Brooks Lodge. This afternoon is free to explore the surrounding area. After a brief orientation by the National Park Service you may want to go fishing or join the afternoon nature walk. The big attraction is a visit to the bear viewing platform above Brooks Falls. Each year bears congregate here because of the prolific salmon runs. Because the platform is well managed by the National Park Service, bears are habituated to visitors and behave in a natural manner, providing the experience of a lifetime for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. This evening and the next there are slideshows, films, lectures, sunsets and a bar for evening enjoyment. Overnight in a double cabin.

Accommodations

Brooks Lodge

Meals

n/a

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Day 3
Alaska Bear Viewing & Valley of 10,000 Smokes

Today explore the Valley of 10,000 Smokes on a guided natural history tour. This all-day bus and hiking tour to Katmai’s volcanic lava flows features an opportunity to view a variety of wildlife and walk upon the ash and pumice moonscape of the Valley of 10,000 Smokes. Other added-cost options include flightseeing excursions, canoe/kayak rentals and fishing. With additional free time, view brown bears at Brooks Falls.

Accommodations

Brooks Lodge

Meals

n/a

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Day 4
Return to Anchorage

Spend one final morning in Katmai persuing your own interests. Most visitors take one last chance to visit the platform and view bears. Return to Anchorage by way of King Salmon. Upon arrival in Anchorage an included transfer brings you to your Anchorage hotel.

Accommodations

Westmark Anchorage, The Lakefront Anchorage or similar

Meals

n/a

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Day 5
Depart Anchorage

This morning, an included transfer brings you to the Anchorage airport for your journey home or you may continue your exploration of Alaska with a trip extension or one of our small ship adventure cruises.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

n/a

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Accommodations as listed or similar, roundtrip flights from Anchorage to Brooks Lodge, entrance fees and permits.

Exclusions

Airfare to Alaska; Anchorage room taxes (please inquire for current tax rate); airport taxes, excess baggage charges; any additional hotel nights in Anchorage; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, and insurance of any kind. Please note meals are not included at Brooks Lodge in Katmai National Park. Buffet dining is available and may be purchased in advance or upon arrival.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 50% of the total trip cost is required per person at the time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days – $400 fee
31-90 days – 50% of total trip cost
0-30 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Brown Bears of Katmai adventure begins and ends in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC). Plan flights to arrive to Anchorage anytime on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Anchorage anytime on day 5. Transfers will be provided both upon arrival on day 1 from Anchorage International Airport and on day 5 for your return flight home.

Internal Flights

All internal flights on this trip are included in the rate, including round-trip Anchorage-King Salmon and King Salmon-Brooks Lodge flights. The flights between Anchorage and King Salmon allow 1 checked bag up to 50 pounds and one carry-on bag per person; an additional checked bag is $25 and a third checked bag is $50. The flights between King Salmon and Brooks Lodge are booked aboard small planes. While these are regularly scheduled flights they are almost like a flightseeing excursion and we feel this is part of the Alaska experience. Baggage limits on these flights are 50 pounds per person and travelers will be charged $1 per pound for additional luggage.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include bear viewing, fishing, nature walks, a guided bus tour, flightseeing, canoeing and kayaking.

Room Configuration

Cabins and prices are listed for single, double, triple and quarduple use.

Families & Children

Child discounts are not offered.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, National Park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

From early June through late September. Contact us for current rates and availability.

Prices for this tour must be authorized by the National Park Service at Katmai National Park. Prices for the following year are usually not confirmed until October of the preceding year. Trips booked before this time must understand that any increase in price determined by the National Park Service will be passed on to our travelers. Price increases are usually no more than 2-3% each year. If you have questions please call to speak with an Adventure Specialist.

Accommodations

Learn About the Lodges & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Brooks Lodge

Originally conceived as a fishing camp, Brooks Lodge overlooks the world-famous Brooks River in the heart of Katmai National Park and offers the best access points for watching brown bears fish for sockeye salmon in Katmai National Park in southwest Alaska.

Hotel
Westmark Anchorage

With majestic views of the Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet, the Westmark Anchorage Hotel offers guests top-rated customer service and convenient, comfortable accommodations in the heart of downtown Anchorage.

Hotel
The Lakefront Anchorage

This lodge-style hotel is known for its hospitality and upscale yet comfortable amenities. Set on the shore of Lake Spenard, The Lakefront Anchorage offers modern décor accented with classical hints of Alaska. Daily flightseeing and fishing pickups from the hotel dock offer specialized opportunities for Alaska-based adventures.

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Brown Bears of Katmai

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