Katmai National Park

A view of Katmai National Park


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In this RV guide to Katmai National Park, discover the park's top features and get helpful travel tips. Many people venture to this part of Alaska to see brown bears in their natural habitat. You may be able to get up close to brown bears at Brooks Falls, try your luck at fishing in Brooks River, or take a boat or kayak in Naknek Lake, American Creek, or one of the many other waterways. You could also hike in the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a vast landscape that was covered by ash when Mount Katmai erupted in 1912. Given the extreme weather that this region can face in the colder months, consider visiting in the summer. This way, you'll have plenty of daylight, some of the snow and ice will have melted away, and the animals will be more active. RVing to Katmai National Park on your own isn't feasible due to the remote location of the park. You won't find any roads that are suitable for RVs, and RV parking in Katmai National Park isn't available. The good news is that you can first drive your RV to a nearby town, such as Homer or Anchorage, and explore those areas by RV before taking an air taxi or boat to Katmai National Park. Many companies are authorized to operate tours and provide transportation to and from the parks, so you'll have several options. The journey to Katmai can be part of the fun whether you're going by air or sea. There is a dirt road that will take you to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, which is about 23 miles away from Brooks Camp. After learning more about this park, it might not be a surprise that you won't be able to drive on this road yourself. Fortunately, you can take a bus tour and be transported safely to your destination, learning more about the area from a ranger who will lead the tour.

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  • Spring 25-55 F
  • Summer 30-80 F
  • Fall 25-60 F
  • Winter -35-50 F
Location & Hours
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Park Info
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Katmai National Park Hiking Trails

Katmai National Park Hiking Trails

Though this national park is quite expansive, it offers fewer than five miles of maintained hiking trails. The popular Brooks Falls Trail will take you through a forest to a raised platform that offers a view of Brooks River, and the Lake Brooks Road Trail provides scenic views, too. The Dumpling Mountain Trail will prove to be more strenuous due to elevation gain. If you're willing and able, you can walk part or all of the 23-mile dirt road leading to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes or venture out into the backcountry and blaze your own trails. When heading out on your own, be prepared for anything, including animal encounters and extreme weather.

Katmai National Park Brooks Camp Trails

Things to do Outside Katmai National Park

Things to do Outside Katmai National Park

The area outside of Katmai National Park is quite rugged. In the small village of King Salmon, learn more about the region at the King Salmon Visitor Center. Book a seaplane tour or a charter boat excursion, or head to Naknek to see the salmon run in the summer. The Alagnak Wild River and the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge are popular with visitors, and several other parks including Becharof National Wildlife Refuge, the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge, and McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, are not too far away.




RV Resorts & Campsites near Katmai National Park

You have the opportunity to reserve a campsite within the park at Brooks Camp. Since driving to Katmai National Park in a personal vehicle isn't possible, only tent camping is available. Reservations for the summer typically open in January, and Brooks Camp can accommodate 60 campers per day. It costs $18 per person to camp, with a reservation fee per group of $6. Remember, you could also camp for free in the backcountry if you prefer to be on your own.

RV Resorts & Campsites near Katmai National Park

Campgrounds Near Katmai National Park

Find the Best Dumpstations Near Katmai National Park

Find the Best Dumpstations Near Katmai National Park

An unglamorous but necessary aspect of RVing? Dump stations. Knowing where the best dump stations are near you will allow for more ease and less stress in your travels. Dump stations are an easy and convenient way to clear waste from your RV. Use our guides to find dump stations on your route, so you can get back to the good stuff – exploring, relaxing, and making memories on the road.

Dumpstations Near Katmai National Park

How to get to Katmai National Park

How to get to Katmai National Park

You'll have to take a boat or seaplane to get to Katmai National Park. Transportation is available from many towns, such as Anchorage, Homer, King Salmon, Kodiak, and Dillingham. If you're coming to the state by air, you'll probably first fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the largest airport in Alaska. In Anchorage, you'll be able to rent an RV to see some local attractions. There are opportunities for RV rentals near Katmai National Park in other communities as well. Air taxis are common in Alaska, so you'll come across many reputable transportation companies that can take you to Katmai or one of the small villages near the park. One option is to book a commercial flight from Anchorage to King Salmon, which is only 30 air miles from Katmai. From there, hop on a small seaplane or take a boat to Brooks Camp within the park. Another option is to take a plane to Naknek Village and then ride a boat to Brooks Camp.

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Frequently Asked Questions
    Is Katmai National Park accessible for disabled visitors?

    Brooks Camp has several accessible facilities, including restrooms. While the bear viewing platforms are accessible, some disabled visitors may need help navigating the narrow, uneven trails that lead to them. In addition, it may be difficult for some people to get on and off of small planes and boats.

    Are pets allowed at Katmai National Park?

    The park does allow pets in the backcountry. Between May 1 and October 31, it does not allow any pets within 1.5 miles of the Brooks Falls Platform.

    What is the best time of year to visit Katmai National Park?

    Try to time your Katmai visit with the salmon run. The fish start to travel in late June, and the run often extends to September. The bears will be most active during this period.

    What are the top things to do in Katmai National Park?

    Top activities at Katmai National Park include viewing brown bears at Brooks Falls, checking out the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, and fishing for salmon.