Forum Index > Trip Reports > Katmai N.P. September 5-8, 2022
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kiliki
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PostMon Sep 12, 2022 1:16 pm 
Our second camping trip to see the bears at Katmai. These are the famous Fat Bear Week/Bear Cam bears so if you've watch the cam for years as I have you know them, their personalities, their relationships, etc. It's fascinating. Camping is by permit--difficult but not impossible to score--and inside an electric fenced campground. Access is typically by float plane. There's no road access. I actually managed to tear myself away one day and do the Valley of 10,000 Smokes tour. It's a day trip to see the reason Katmai is a national park--the Novarupta Volcano. It's 1912 eruption was the world's largest in the 20th century, and it left ash deposits 75' deep. It's about 2 hours away by jacked up school bus (to cross streams and rivers). There was some fall color, and we saw a lynx and moose. But mostly, the trip was about the bears.
747, the biggest bear anyone has ever seen. Notice the gnawed up ears. It's tough holding on to the top bear spot.
Yes, that's a bear rolling on it's back, and the guy is trying to figure out why we are gesturing wildly at him to turn around from inside the little lodge.
My husband took this with his cell. The mama bears of these 2 cubs stashed them under a viewing platform, where they knew they'd be safe from big bad male bears (essentially they used us as babysitters) while they fished. It's one of the many interesting behaviors found at Katmai, where there is such an abundance of food that bears tolerate being close to each other (Katmai has the highest concentration of brown bears in the world) and to people, and have even learned to use people and their infrastructure to their advantage.
Flickr photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/christy319/albums/72177720302040103

ChinookPass, Tom, zimmertr, Alden Ryno, Waterman, jstern, hikerman, jaysway, Bushwacker, half fast, John Mac, Lightning_bug, geyer, Bootpathguy, awilsondc  fourteen410, rubywrangler
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rubywrangler
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PostSun Sep 18, 2022 3:25 pm 
I almost missed this post. Your photos are great! I love the one of Holly. And you guys were lucky to see that cousin wrestling match in person! I caught it on the cam. But man, the weather up there has been terrible all season. Good thinking bringing the tarp. I had decent weather the last week of June, but I didn't get to see as many spring cubs as I'd hoped. So many sows came back later this year!

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Get Out and Go
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PostSun Sep 18, 2022 5:43 pm 
It's all about the bears! Love the photos. tongue.gif

"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go." (Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart) "Sometimes you're happy. Sometimes you cry. Half of me is ocean. Half of me is sky." (Thanks, Tom Petty)
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fourteen410
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PostSun Sep 18, 2022 7:17 pm 
Thanks for the eye candy! This trip has been high on my list for years. Did you fly from Anchorage to King Salmon?

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kiliki
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PostMon Sep 19, 2022 4:25 pm 
rubywrangler wrote:
I almost missed this post. Your photos are great! I love the one of Holly. And you guys were lucky to see that cousin wrestling match in person! I caught it on the cam. But man, the weather up there has been terrible all season. Good thinking bringing the tarp. I had decent weather the last week of June, but I didn't get to see as many spring cubs as I'd hoped. So many sows came back later this year!
I think my next trip will be late June. So many devoted bear watchers say that's a nice quiet time. Was it TOO quiet though, in terms of bears? How were bugs?

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kiliki
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PostMon Sep 19, 2022 4:27 pm 
fourteen410 wrote:
Thanks for the eye candy! This trip has been high on my list for years. Did you fly from Anchorage to King Salmon?
Yes--Alaska Air SEA-ANC and then ANC to AKN (King Salmon), then Katmai Air (float plane) from King Salmon to Brooks Camp. Katmai Air seemed to be the only provider reliably getting in and out. Smaller float plane companies doing day tours, and the water taxi, were largely cancelled due to wind 3 of the 4 days we were there. That's not uncommon.

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rubywrangler
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PostMon Sep 19, 2022 8:32 pm 
kiliki wrote:
Was it TOO quiet though, in terms of bears? How were bugs?
There were plenty of bears, but not as many salmon. Bugs were surprisingly fine - I put picaridin on my feet when wearing sandals only and never needed a headnet. But up until July they were in a drought up there, so my experience may not be typical. I also really liked having 20+ hours of daylight. The only downside was getting COVID. OTOH, there were definitely more daytrippers than when I was there last September. And I think I like seeing fat bears more than skinny bears smile.gif

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PostMon Sep 19, 2022 9:25 pm 
kiliki wrote:
Awesome!!!!!

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kiliki
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PostTue Sep 20, 2022 11:11 am 
rubywrangler wrote:
kiliki wrote:
Was it TOO quiet though, in terms of bears? How were bugs?
There were plenty of bears, but not as many salmon. Bugs were surprisingly fine - I put picaridin on my feet when wearing sandals only and never needed a headnet. But up until July they were in a drought up there, so my experience may not be typical. I also really liked having 20+ hours of daylight. The only downside was getting COVID. OTOH, there were definitely more daytrippers than when I was there last September. And I think I like seeing fat bears more than skinny bears smile.gif
Look at how thin everyone is! It's easy to forget they looked like that just a few months ago.

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