Katmai National Park in southern Alaska was established in 1918 in order to protect the area surrounding a major volcanic eruption in 1912. Home to fourteen active volcanoes, part of the park is known as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, which was created by the pyroclastic flow from the 1912 eruption. In addition to a stunning natural setting, Katmai Alaska offers an abundance of activities and things to do while visiting the park including hiking, skiing, and watching wildlife.
In 1912, Mount Katmai, also known as Novarupta, spread a layer of ash over more than 60 square miles and released 30 times the volume of magma as Mt St Helens did in 1980. Although the eruption itself was a destructive event, volcanic soil is rich and creates a good environment for flora and fauna. Thus, in addition to being well known for its volcanic peaks, this is one of the Alaska national parks that’s particularly well known for its lush vegetation and prolific wildlife, which makes it especially appealing to adventurers and admirers of nature. Unspoiled rivers and waterways traverse the rugged countryside, inviting guests to enjoy superb fishing opportunities.
Fishing, hiking, bear watching, kayaking, backpacking, camping, and outdoor tours are among the many activities that can take place at the Katmai National Park. For those who are interested in canoeing and kayaking, the Savonoski Loop is a featured backcountry paddle that begins and ends at Brooks Camp. Salmon and trout, as well as many other types of fish, are abundant in the streams, lakes, and other waterways in Katmai Alaska, which helps make this a prime area for both trophy and sport fishing. There are trails and plenty of hiking, backpacking, and camping opportunities; however, because the area contains free-roaming wildlife, trekkers and adventurers must be aware of potentially dangerous animals such as bears that are featured on many wildlife tours.
Bear-viewing tours are available from a variety of locations, both within and outside of the park boundaries, and as with many other Alaska national parks, guests are prohibited from feeding the bears or having too much contact for the animals’ own protection. Thus, tour members are able to see these amazing creatures in the most natural environment possible. Tours of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes are available as well, including a guided bus tour through forests, across streams, and into tundra, followed by an optional hike descending to the valley floor, where visitors can view the ash up close.
Overnight trips to Katmai Alaska can take place at one of the lodges or campgrounds at the park create a variety of unique experiences, whether you want to relax in the simplest possible setting or enjoy the pristine wilderness in style. Tour packages are often offered at the lodges in and around Katmai National Park, including Brooks Lodge and Grosvenor Lodge, both of which are within the reserve boundaries.
Touring the volcanic peaks, paddling the waterways, and watching the wildlife in its natural setting all make for an unforgettable pleasant experience amid one of the most stunning Alaska national parks. From adventuring to touring to enjoying the scenic beauty, Katmai offers plenty of diverse things to do and see that will appeal to every type of adventurer, experienced and inexperienced alike.