5 Reasons to Visit Katmai National Park and Preserve
Katmai National Park and Preserve covers over 1 million acres, making it larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
That’s over 7,000 square miles of Alaska wilderness to explore!
If you’re heading up to Alaska this summer, be sure to check out Katmai National Park and Preserve here are five reasons why you should make the trek out to this park on your next vacation in the Last Frontier.
1) The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes
Katmai is a national park in Alaska, United States.
The valley that is now known as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes was created by a 1912 eruption of Novarupta Volcano.
The name comes from the thick ash cloud that hung over the area for days after the eruption, which reminded observers of an industrial smoke stack with ten thousand smokestacks.
Today, it’s one of only two places on Earth where you can see both active volcanoes and old volcanic rocks.
Besides geology, Katmai has beautiful wildlife like brown bears and puffins, a variety of plant life including wildflowers and lichens, glaciers and waterfalls.
If you’re planning a trip to Alaska anytime soon or are looking for somewhere new to visit in your own state or country, be sure not to miss out on this amazing place!
2) Black Rapids Glacier
The park is an important place for wildlife such as grizzly bears, caribou, moose, wolves, lynx, mountain goats and foxes.
The Black Rapids Glacier is a major attraction in the park, covering more than a square mile of land.
The glacier has receded almost six miles over the past century due to climate change.
In 1987 it was 4.4 miles from tidewater and by 2010 it had retreated 5.6 miles.
It’s expected that by 2050, the glacier will have receded to 15-25 miles from tidewater which could eventually lead to it completely disappearing altogether.
3) The Obsidian Cliff
Kathiai is located in Alaska, the only state in the United States that touches three other countries:
Canada, Russia, and Japan. This park contains one of the world’s largest brown bears populations.
While visiting this park, you can enjoy all types of outdoor activities such as fishing, kayaking, hiking, etc.
This national park is a great place to visit if you want to experience Alaska’s untamed wilderness.
It was originally established by President Woodrow Wilson to protect the area surrounding Mount Katmai from hunting.
The mountain itself is an active volcano which has erupted thirty times over the past 100 years with its last eruption being March 27th, 2008
4) Brooks Camp
This is the most remote backcountry ranger station in the United States.
There are no roads leading to Brooks Camp, just off road trails for hiking or horseback riding.
Visitors can go on ranger-led hikes, kayak tours of tidal waters teeming with salmon, or take a walk on the beach.
This is an extraordinary place for wildlife viewing including brown bears, sea otters, seals and whales. It is home to diverse plant life as well.
The wildflower meadows burst with color during July and August.
The lush forests of Sitka spruce, hemlock and cedar provide habitat for black bear, deer and nesting sites for bald eagles.
The variety of terrain found at Katmai is what sets it apart from other parks.
The coastline offers some of the best fishing in Alaska – halibut, salmon, pollock but also dramatic views over turquoise water towards snow capped mountains along the Alaskan Peninsula.
5) Brown Bear Wilderness
Brown Bear Wilderness is a 1,700 square mile wilderness area that protects habitat for brown bears, caribou, moose and wolves. Visitors are allowed in the area if they have a permit.
The best time of year to visit Brown Bear Wilderness is during the summer months when the bears are out of hibernation.
When you head into this remote wilderness, be sure not to make any sudden noises or approach any bears without an experienced guide by your side.
You’ll need a bear canister to store all food, toothpaste, and scented toiletries. Lastly, always carry bear spray with you!