Wow! I just arrived home last night after five days of camping out and bear viewing in Katmai National Park & Preserve, to be exact Brooks Camp. While July is the height of bear viewing followed by September, it is also the peak of visitor traffic. I’ll take fewer bears over more people any day, thus August was perfect for me.
Brooks Camp is unique in that you can get close-up (50 yards) and personal with the bears observing their individual traits. While we only saw two bears, Ted and Divot, they provided plenty of entertainment and awesome viewing from the safety of the National Park viewing platforms.
Unfortunately, it’s not like Disneyland that comes with a guaranteed experience. At Brooks Falls, made famous by National Geo and the Discovery Channel, seeing a bear actually catch a fish at the Falls is hit and miss during the off season. We were lucky and I even got a video to prove it.
Divot, a one-year plus sub-adult female who is still getting her footing, was the main attraction. The rangers said that she has not left the area like most of the other bears. Most likely, because the pickin’s are still good in the Brooks River. Plus she has the luxury of not contenting with cranky, territorial competitors.
Ted, an older adult male, knows what fighting is all about. Last year at the falls he was attacked and stripped of a large area of skin and fur on his hip. He’s healed well, but most likely he sticks around to avoid the larger more aggressive males. We’re glad he did as he consistently entertained visitors at the mouth of the Brooks River everyday.