Ruth and Nathan's RV Trip to Alaska 2012 travel blog

Lot's of snow covered peaks going south west from Anchorage

Another view between Anchorage and King Salmon

Bristol Bay from the air

Pen-Air plane from Anchorage to King Salmon

King Salmon terminal to switch to float plane

Transfer location to the float plane

Our first float plane

Ruth in the float plane

River in route to Katmai

shoreline of lake from the air

Camp sign

Camp Sign closeup

Our tent for 4 nights, first two nights were cold!

First Katmai Brown Bear - asleep by the lake

Bear near campground, we didn't even have the tent up yet

Big bear on peninsula

Bear searching for food , from viewing platform

Walking bear - looking for food or fun

Bear teaching canoers to paddle backward - quickly

Are the salmon here yet? bears in spring are skinny and have...

fishing at the Brooks River falls

View from the platform - less than 10 yds.

Wet bear

trying hard for a salmon

The bank is getting crowded with bears

The water was too deep to stay on top of the falls

Brooks Falls from the viewing platform

"Big Bear" means 700 lbs. and more! after hibernation loss of 1/3...

Finally a salmon!

The bear wanted a little privacy to eat his salmon

Working the far bank

Fishing has improved

Dinner is everywhere

standing in the water looking for the salmon or other bears

Salmon in the air!

Meal time

A discussion of who can fish where

Eagles were ready to pick up scraps or injured fish

This one started eating in the current, didn't take the time to...

Waiting for the big bears to leave so he could catch fish

Another bear coming to catch fish at the falls

On the platform at the falls with the bears - I am...

The biggest bear of the trip, but another one was about equal...

bear passing right below the viewing platform

one of the larger bears coming to the falls, note the lighter...

resting before going back to fishing

Electric fence like the one around the campground, Lunch area for fishermen

Bear near the floating bridge

Bear in the opening

Bear taking a walk

Bear looking for salmon

Bear on small island near platform

Photogenic bear, right profile

Photogenic bear, left profile

Bear chasing salmon

Waiting for a spot to fish

Walking above the falls - too much water to sit down

Wet bear

Wet bear

Big Bear

taking a break to dry out

walking near the viewing platform

new cut between the eye and ear, fight was over mating, generally...

fur gone due to scratching

big bear with worn out fur coat, it fills in again before...

"White ears" needs to put on some weight

standing up to look around was common

maybe we should call this one "Standing Bear"

big headed bear

break time below the falls

He's grooming his head

Dual fishing bears

climbing up the waterfall to look for salmon

Three bears fishing

floating bridge over Brooks River, we saw one bear swim under it

fish trying to jump the falls

two bears

Right below the platform at the bridge

White claws often indicates an older bear

Lunch! right in front of the falls platform

not much left

eating in the stream

Brooks Lodge Office and Store

Brooks Lodge Cabin - 4 bunk beds and a bathroom; and a...

Brooks Lodge, very popular location for fishermen and bear viewing

one of the original cabins at Brooks Camp

Bear scat on trail near the lodge

Floating bridge over Brooks River near the lake

bear near the floating bridge

Fishermen had to constantly move to stay away from the bears

Bear right below the viewing platform at the bridge

Fisherman and bear closely watching each other

Glaciers on trip back to Anchorage

Standing bear

Sleeping bear, we saw the same bear by the lake each day

bear on peninsula searching for food

bear about 20 yards outside of the campground

bear searching the riverbank for salmon

prowling bear

nap time is over

taking a walk along the shore of the lake

big wet bear

bear in the grass and trees

sitting near the viewing platform

searching for a fresh salmon

did you ever see such an ugly fur coat? scratching/rubbing removed the...

there seems to be a lot of wet bears

it doesn't look like he lost much weight during hibernation

he isn't happy, fishing spot dispute

Beach bear in the morning

taking a break on the small island in mid river

always good to have dinner

view from floating bridge over the Brooks River downstream from the falls

searching for salmon in the riffles below the falls

mouthfull of success!

naptime in the brush near the falls


Our plane for the return trip, lined up on the edge of...

Installing the "dock"

Nathan was the "co-pilot" for the return

aerial view

Bristol Bay sign at King Salmon

View of Brooks River Falls with 3 bears

A trip of a lifetime! We camped 4 nights with temps in the low 40's. I could not put on enough clothes to stay warm. But so worth it to see the bears at the Brooks River Falls catching the salmon. The is a national park so there are rangers on duty to keep the humans from interfering with the bears natural habitat. There are a few basic rules to keep you safe, the most important is to always stay 50 yards away from any bear. The other key rule, is absolutely no food allowed on the trail or platforms. The falls platform closes from 10pm to 6am but the(non elevated)bridge and platform that cross the river which is close to the lodge is open 24 hours so you can see bears where the salmon first enter the river from the bay. From Anchorage we had to fly to a small fishing town, King Salmon where we made a connection to the sea plane that lands on the lake at Brooks Camp in Katmai. The 30 minute flight in the sea plane was a new experience for us and Nathan sat in the co-pilot seat on our return trip. When we arrived at the campground (which is protected by an electric fence) there was a bear sleeping on the beach near the campground. Since the salmon were just starting to come into the river, this bear sighting was the event of the day. But by the second day when more salmon started coming into the river we started seeing more and more bears each day. By the end of the second day the salmon where starting to jump up the falls and the bears started to notice and then the bears started appearing at the falls. We had to hike one mile to get to the Brooks River Falls platform where you can safely view the bears at a very close distance. It is common to encounter bears along the 1 mile hike since the bears use the trail to get to the river. It is so cool to watch the bears catch the fish at the falls. To read additional information about this wonderful national park you can go to this link to the website where they also have a webcam of the bears at the Brooks River Falls.

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