Take this incredible opportunity to spend several days camping in a remote area of Katmai National Park, home to wild Alaskan brown bears, wolves, and other majestic wildlife. On this 3- or 4-day guided excursion, you get to be in the heart of one of the largest populations of brown bears in the world!
Fly into Katmai National Park on a small plane and set up a temporary base camp in a strategic location. On day hikes from the base camp, you’ll explore the protected habitat that many animals call home; identify the flora and fauna of Katmai; and examine seaweed, sea grass and intertidal animals at the Halo Bay. Throughout your trip, your guide also shares the history and culture of the natives who inhabited the area for centuries. See the Itinerary below for more details.
You must be in good shape to walk for several miles along both level and uneven trails each day.
On this camping tour, the group works together to operate a safe camp using Leave No Trace techniques to minimize your impact on this pristine natural setting. Each evening, the entire group discusses the next day’s activities, taking into consideration sunrise, sunset, and lunar and tidal cycles.
As for meals, you won't be served a 5-star menu, but rest assured that you’ll eat healthy, energizing food throughout your trip. All dinners are prepared at the camp site; your guide supervises all food preparation and clean up to ensure a safe environment.
Once each day is over, you retire to tents surrounded by a portable electric fence. There are no bathroom facilities other than the great outdoors. Your guide will make sure that you are safe and warm, but expect the bare necessities when it comes to accommodation.
Day 1: Homer – Katmai National Park (D)
Depart from the Homer airport in the early afternoon in a 6-seater plane, passing over glaciers and active volcanoes jutting from the coastline. The flight takes 1 to 1.5 hours to reach Katmai National Park, depending on the weather conditions.
After you land and set up camp with your guide, you'll get a safety briefing and tips for interacting with the bears. You’re likely to see some bears this afternoon, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos of the magnificent scenery. After dinner, relax and make a plan for the following day with your small group.
Overnight: basic tent camping
Day 2: Katmai National Park (B, L, D)
Get an early start with breakfast, then hike out into the meadows, beaches, and forest along the coast. Follow your knowledgeable guide along paths near the rivers where the bears spend their days. You’ll see bears munching on sedge grass, digging clams from the muck, fishing for salmon, playing together, courting and mating.
Each day is different, but you’ll usually hike in the morning then return to camp for lunch and a rest at midday. You’re not the only one taking a break: bears and wolves are generally less active in the middle of the day.
After lunch, head back out to explore in the afternoon and early evening when the bears and wolves are more active and the lighting is very good. Each night, you’ll return to camp for dinner and the next day’s planning session.
Overnight: basic tent camping
Day 3: Katmai National Park – Homer (B, L)
You’ll spend the morning watching bears and wolves, and depending on what your group decides the prior evening, you can head back to areas that interested you most from your last hike. Alternatively, blaze a new trail to see flora and fauna. Learn what’s edible as well as the many medicinal uses of the plants found in Katmai from your guide.
If this is your last day, return to your campsite after the morning portion to pack up and take your 1-hour flight back to Homer, which departs in the late afternoon or early evening. Departure times will vary to accommodate the tides. Say farewell to your guide and take home incredible memories of your time among the wild bears of Alaska.
Overnight: basic tent camping (if you select the 4-day option)
Day 4 (if option selected): Katmai National Park – Homer (B, L)
Enjoy one more day of the sights and sounds of Katmai National Park. After a full morning of spying on bears and wolves, pack up and take off on your 1-hour flight back to Homer.