Katmai National Park

Katmai National Park was our destination for today and it was quite an adventure! It is located in southwest AK and the only way to get there is by boat or float plane, so we booked a guided tour with Emerald Air.

The park is known for its many brown bears and for the Valley of 10,000 Smokes (named after the 1912 eruption of Novatupta. Following the eruption, thousands of fumeroles vented steam from the ash).

We were given hip waders to wear because when we landed on the water, we had to walk to shore. Plus, many times during the day we walked across streams. We walked 4 miles while enjoying the beautiful scenery and looking for bears.
We saw at least 18 bears, but my cellphone didn’t capture how magnificent they were.

IMG 6459

Here we are at the dock waiting to board our float plane. Please notice the fashionable waders we are wearing.

IMG 5324IMG 6461

There were ten of us on the plane.  Our pilot does this as a side job.  His real job is with special ops in Panamal.  We were definitely in very capable hands!

IMG 6477

Katmai np 00

This sign is a picture from the internet.  Where we landed was so remote there were definitely no signs!

IMG 5338

We landed in the water and had to walk to shore.  When the first men with our tour got out of the plane, the water was so deep that it when into their waders.  They got back up on the float and paddled the plane a little closer to shore.

IMG 6489

Notice with Tom’s long legs he’s higher out of the water than the rest of us.

IMG 6490

Here is a picture of the rest of the group walking to shore.  Three of these were from North Carolina and four were a family from Poland.

IMG 6492

We’ve sighted some bears!


IMG 6487

When I saw these streams from the air, I didn’t realize we’d be walking across some of them in search of bears!


One of the streams we walked acrosss.

IMG 6497

IMG 6496

Tom is literally sitting in a bear’s bed!


We spent several minutes watching this male bear watch the female and cub on the other side of the water.

IMG 6502

This bear print was huge!

IMG 6503

We found this set of teeth from a beaver that one of the bears ate.

IMG 6506

IMG 6508

IMG 1221

Our group picture with a glacier in the background.

IMG EAA186EDC546 1

Here’s the plane coming back to get us!

IMG 1228

Ready to board the plane for our 1.5 hour trip back to Homer.

IMG 6519

Some beautiful views from the sky!

IMG 6721

This was definitely a huge bucket list experience.