An example of the beauty of Alaska

Alaska is the reason I have become so interested in traveling. It sparked my interest in the outdoors, experiencing new things, and adventure, so I decided I could not justify making a blog about my interests that was not centered around this beautiful area.

Katmai National Park and Preserve, King Salmon

A famous sight, one of the most commonly used pictures of Grizzly Bears, taken at Brooks Falls

Katmai National Park, the park I have previously visited, has two things to offer. The most beautiful and diverse wildlife I have ever seen, and the most beautiful and interesting sights I have ever seen.

The reason I went to Katmai was the Grizzly Bears. This park has one of the highest concentration of Grizzly bears in the world, and the setup of the park makes it extremely easy to see them in their natural habitat. Tourists are able to walk anywhere in the park, except at 2 locations where bears congregate and people are kept on a platform a safe distance away. Besides these places, people can go everywhere in the park. This adds a very realistic aspect to seeing these bears. It is by no means a zoo. These are wild animals, very dangerous, and not behind fences. You navigate the trails at your own risk. Newcomers are given a bear safety course at the beginning of their visit, and then given free reign of the park.  Many people have heard of this park without ever knowing. Grizzly Man, a book and movie about Timothy Treadwell that depicts the life and gruesome death (eaten by the bears he studied) of a man obsessed with the bears of Katmai. He lived for several months out of the year in one of the most remote regions of the park’s 4,725,188 acres, studying the bears that eventually killed him.

I had one of the best times of my life watching the bears at Katmai. I saw them snag with snakelike precision some of the individual salmon out of the colossal pods that swim up the river with lightning fast speed, watched them bicker amongst each other about feeding areas and territory, and enjoyed several close and surprising calls with the very dangerous and agile creatures. It was an experience I never will forget.

The Valley of 10 Thousand Smokes

What Katmai is most world renowned for: A geographical wonder, and a very intellectually and visually stimulating area.  The valley was discovered 4 years after the Katmai Volcano erupted, covering the whole area with ash flow, when Robert Griggs explored the aftermath of the eruption. What he found was a valley, still smoking out of thousands of fissures years after the eruption had subsided, and a very distinct rock formation. The ash, when it dried, formed some of the most beautiful and unique formations anywhere in the world. Geographers from everywhere on the globe come to study it, and, the best part about it in my opinion, it is still amazing to the untrained eye.

I was unable to visit the Valley, and have regretted it ever since. From what I have heard and read, it is a breathtaking sight.

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for DENALI National Park!