Katmai National Park & Preserve   5 comments

Katmai NP 00Where Is It: The Park is located on the Alaska Peninsula, on the southern coast of the state. Park Headquarters is in King Salmon, about 290 air miles southwest of Anchorage. Several commercial airlines provide daily flights into King Salmon as it cannot be reached by road. Brooks Camp, approximately 30 air miles from King Salmon, is a common destination for visitors to the Park. Brooks Camp can only be reached via small float plane or boat.

The Birth: Katmai National Monument was created in 1918 to preserve the famed Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The park includes the Brooks River National Historic Landmark, a site that contains about 900 prehistoric human dwellings, the highest known concentration in North America.

It Happened Here: From Wikipedia:

The most significant volcanic event in historical times was the simultaneous eruption of Mount Katmai and Novarupta in June 1912. Novarupta’s eruption produced a pyroclastic flow that covered a nearby valley with ash as much as 300 feet (91 m) thick. At the same time the summit of Katmai collapsed into a caldera. As the valley deposits cooled, they emitted steam from fissures and fumaroles, earning the name “Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.” As heat has dissipated from the deposits the steam vents have subsided and the valley has been eroded. At present streams have cut canyons as much as 100 feet (30 m) deep, but only 5 feet (1.5 m) to 10 feet (3.0 m) wide. Katmai is a stratovolcano, 6,716 feet (2,047 m) in height, with a large summit caldera. Several glaciers originate from the mountain, and one in the caldera is the only glacier known to have formed in historical times. The caldera floor is about 250 metres (820 ft) below the rim. The mountain stands on Jurassic sedimentary rocks, and its volcanic components are less than 1,500 feet (460 m) thick. Apart from the 1912 eruption, no significant activity has occurred in historical times. Novarupta is described as a Plinian pyroclastic vent with a plug dome, a 2,000-metre (6,600 ft) diameter crater with a 65-metre (213 ft), 400-metre (1,300 ft) diameter dome in the middle. Its only historical activity was the 1912 eruption.

Size: 4,093,077 acres

# Visitors: 39,818 in 2012. Attendance peaks in July and is negligible in the winter months.

Plants:

Animals: There is a high concentration of brown bear in the Park, and they grow to an immense size after voracious feeding during the salmon run. Katmai also provides a protected home to moose, caribou, red fox, wolf, lynx, wolverine, river otter, mink, marten, weasel, porcupine, snowshoe hare, red squirrel, and beaver. Marine mammals include sea lions, sea otters, and hair seals. Beluga, killer, and gray whales can be seen along the coast of the Park.

Choices: From National Geographic:

From Anchorage, scheduled jets fly the 290 miles to King Salmon, park headquarters; from there, June to mid-September, daily floatplanes fly the last 33 miles to Brooks Camp, site of a summer visitor center and the center of activity. Air charters can be arranged into other areas. You can drive the 9 miles from King Salmon to Lake Camp, at the western end of the park on the Naknek River, then go by boat to Brooks Camp, the Bay of Islands, and other areas of Naknek Lake.

Fees: Under the requirements of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, there is no entrance fee for Katmai National Park.

Staying There: Brooks Camp Campground is the only developed campground in the park, with a maximum capacity of 60 campers per night sharing the area inside the electric fence. You will not have a designated site. The Campground is near capacity from late June through July each year during prime bear viewing at Brooks River, so reservations are recommended. The cost is $12 per camper, per night (from June 1 to Sept 17).

Contact Info:

#1 King Salmon Mall
P.O. Box 7
King Salmon, AK 99613
 
(907) 246-3305

Current Issues: From Friends of Katmai:

A fundamental difference in wildlife management philosophy divides state and federal government. What state officials calls “intensive management,” federal biologists call “aerial wolf control.” The two are pretty much the same thing viewed from different directions.

Read more coverage in the Alaska Dispatch.

Don’t Miss This: The Park has a live bear cam … see it here.

More

National Park Service: Katmai National Park & Preserve

Survival Of The Fattest

National Park Service: Katmai National Park & Preserve – Ranger Blog – What We Did On Our Summer Vacation

National Parks Traveler: The Bears of Katmai

TerraGalleria.com: Katmai

5 responses to “Katmai National Park & Preserve

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  1. Gorgeous!

  2. Thanks for introducing me to this park. And to a bear cam. I couldn’t get it to work this morning, but I’m going to try again!

  3. Pingback: Survival Of The Fattest | MowryJournal.com

  4. Pingback: The Bears Of Katmai | MowryJournal.com

  5. Pingback: “Velcro, I’m DONE Waiting!” | MowryJournal.com

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