Katmai July 3 - 6: Brooks Camp

There is only one Wonderland, but let's also talk about and share photos of other national parks.

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andrew
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Location: Victor, ID
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Katmai July 3 - 6: Brooks Camp

Post by andrew » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:26 pm

Living near Yellowstone/GTNP is the most wilderness exposure I've ever had. Four years ago I moved here from the suburbs of Chicago; never seen a bison, bear, wolf, or pretty much anything other than an urban coyote.

But this summer is a whole other level, because Alaska is being crossed off the bucket list :D

The Logistics & Planning:

The last year or so, I have been reading about Katmai and Brooks Camp. The first time I saw the photo of their electric-fence-perimeter campground, I knew I had to camp there someday.

But I didn't know it was going to happen this year. I had a cancelled trip that left me with a flight to Anchorage that had to be used. Long story short, I decided to do this Katmai trip June 30 and took flight from Bozeman the following morning. To say this trip was impromptu was an understatement.

So in order to get from my apartment in Victor, ID to a tent at Brooks Camp, it's a drive to Bozeman, Alaska Air flight to Seattle, Anchorage. Then a turbo prop to King Salmon, and finally a float plane to Brooks Camp.

The Campground:

The CG is a fenced in area that holds up to 60 people. They aren't designated spots; it's dispersed camping within that area. I setup near the rear up against the fence and away from the cooking areas.

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We'll start the bear photos off with a sow w/ cubs that hung around close to camp, on the beach. That's the perimeter fence in the foreground.

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Hiking to and from camp yielded some of the most intimate photo moments. The first night I got back to camp after 10:30pm, but there is still plenty light for some photos on the beach. There was this sow w/ cubs that frequently slept out on the beach, 75 yds or so from the CG perimeter.

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There was also a particular morning where some playful sub-adults were hanging around. This is all in that 0.3 miles between the CG and visitor center.

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Falls Platform:

Of course I have to get that cliche shot at the falls.

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But there was plenty more going on. The salmon really showed up the second day I was there. My favorite moments at this spot was probably when bear families were around...usually when the large males were away.

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Lower Platform:

There was plenty of action here throughout the week as well. My favorite moment was catching these two in perfect evening light.

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There was fishing going on here too. Here is a moment right before a ranger advised me to move.

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Valley of 10,000 Smokes:

This is a day-tour that explores the area of ash deeper in the park. It starts with a ride on a bus capable of river crossings.

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The hike was sort of meh, but I wanted a break from the camera/bears, and the piles of ash were pretty cool.

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And that's about the gist of the trip. I shot over 540GB / 15K photos, so more in the links below (tried to keep it brief here for a Yellowstone forum). I'll leave you with my saddest picture...when it was time to leave.

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More detailed/chronological account of the trip: https://atw.photo/p/977
Probably way too many photos to scroll through: http://www.tetonmtnliving.com/Katmai/Brooks-Camp-2017/


Formally atw527 | Instagram | GYE Galleries

Alicia
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:00 am

Re: Katmai July 3 - 6: Brooks Camp

Post by Alicia » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:08 pm

These are wonderful! ummm...so you had to be told to move??!! lol



yellvet
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Katmai July 3 - 6: Brooks Camp

Post by yellvet » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:45 am

Andrew, your shots are fabulous! I'm so glad you had such a good trip. Photographing the Brooks River grizzly bear salmon feed and photographing the Spirit Bears of the Great Bear Rain Forest in BC have been on my bucket list for years. Had a chance to go 3 years ago but just when I had enough money for the trip, then I started having health problems. But I haven't given up, yet. Seeing your pix were so inspiring and have really got me motivated to get my health back into shape so I can make the trip a reality. Many thanks for posting your images. BTW, last summer at Slough Creek there was a European couple who had put up an electric fence around their big RV rental and around the entire perimeter of their site. :shock: Guess they didn't want to take any chances with any of the SC bears. ;)



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