Brown Bears of Katmai: Brooks Lodge

Our lodge-based Brooks Falls trip! Embark on the journey of a lifetime to the remote wilderness of Katmai National Park, Alaska to photograph Grizzly Bears up close and personal! Katmai is one of the largest National Parks in the United States at over 4 million acres and is arguably the single best place on Earth to photograph Grizzlies in their natural environment. Situated on the Alaskan Peninsula, Katmai is some 300 air miles to the Southwest of Anchorage and 170 miles from Homer. There are no roads into Katmai and so the only access is by float plane or boat.

On this 5 day Tour / Workshop we will be immersed in Grizzly Bear Photography from the beginning until the end. The bears congregate around Brooks Falls in September and July as they attempt to catch Salmon leaping out of the river. On this trip we stay in rustic cabins at the world famous Brooks Lodge. Brooks Falls is the highlight of this trip where one can spot over a dozen bears at a time fishing for salmon. If you’ve ever seen a photograph of a bear catching a salmon from a waterfall it was most likely captured at Brooks Falls.

We’ll spend three nights at Brooks Lodge to maximize our photography during peak lighting conditions. Being right there gives us excellent access to the action going on at Brooks Falls and you will be able to capture thousands of excellent Grizzly Bear Photographs in just a few short days. Fantastic, full-frame images are possible with lenses ranging from 300mm to 400mm. Aside from Grizzly Bears we may also have the opportunity to photograph other species such as Moose, Fox, Wolf and Bald Eagles.

Ready for Katmai? Join us this fall for the most spectacular Grizzly Bear Photography Experience in Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Highlights

  • Stay at historic Brooks Lodge
  • Small groups
  • World Famous Katmai Brown Bears
  • Photograph Grizzlies at Brooks Falls
  • Visit Katmai during peak Bear times

Brown Bears of Katmai: Brooks Lodge

5 Days

Trip Price: from $4895 shared occupancy (Brooks Lodge cabins are dormitory style. Same-sex cabins with four to a room & shared bunks – no single supplement available for cabins)

+$200 single supplement (King Salmon only)

Deposit: $2000

Fitness Level: Moderate – “Daily hikes on dirt trails with your camera gear to view & photograph bears. Wading in the river for eye-level bear photography.”

Meals: Most meals included (see itinerary)

Lodging: 4 nights lodging

Start/End: King Salmon, Alaska

Open Daily: 6am-6pm MST

928.478.1521


*trip difficulty ratings


Other Bear Trips

Brown Bears of Katmai in the Fall

Brown Bears of Katmai in Summer

Brown Bears of Alaska – Lake Clark

Polar Bears of the Alaskan Arctic

Trip Extensions

Dates & Pricing

The earlier you book, the more choices you’ll have on dates and you’ll lock-in our lowest prices! Plus you can always change your mind – you won’t be charged to switch to a different trip before your final payment is due!

2021 dates will be published in early 2020 - please check back often or subscribe to our newsletter if you would like to be notified. 

Trip Extensions

We offer an optional Northern Lights Extension immediately after our Brown Bears of Katmai in the Fall trip (please note that this is not available during our summer sessions as it doesn’t get dark enough to view the Northern Lights). The extension can be reserved with the main trip while making your online reservation or it can be booked as a standalone trip.

Trip Extension #1: Northern Lights Extension

A post-trip excursion to Fairbanks, Alaska to photograph the Aurora Borealis

Learn More

Trip Details

Physical Requirements

All participants must be in good physical condition and have the ability to hike with a daypack. Typically backpacks weigh between 15 and 20 lbs.

Participants must also be able to hike several miles each day between three and six miles per day for several days in a row. These hikes will be on a flat dirt road and a dirt trail.

Group Size
This trip is limited to twelve participants

Accommodation
We will be staying at the Antler’s Inn in King Salmon, Alaska on the first night of the trip and three nights at Brooks Lodge while in Katmai National Park.

Meals

All meals are included during the trip dates. We’ll have a group dinner in King Salmon the first night and then be eating fantastic meals at our camp after that.

Weather
The weather on the Alaskan Peninsula is variable. In past years we have had everything from beautiful, sunny days to overcast with light rain. Daytime temperatures are usually in the 60s and evenings are usually in the 50s. Remember some of the best photographs are made before, during and immediately after a storm cycle. There is no such thing as bad weather just poor layering and gear choices – please plan accordingly! For more info on what to bring please email or call us.

Price Includes
Meals, ground transportation, float plane to/from Brooks Falls, accommodation during the trip dates, professional photography instruction, medically certified wilderness guide.

Price Does Not Include
Airfare to/from King Salmon, alcoholic beverages, accommodations before or after the trip dates, guide & staff gratuities

Itinerary – Most meals included – (B,L,D) denotes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1 (Travel Day) (D)

Arrive in King Salmon, Alaska by 7:45pm for orientation and welcome dinner.

Day 2 (B,L,D)

Today we will board a small float plane or boat for Brooks Falls. After a safety briefing we will begin photographing Grizzly Bears! We’ll spend the entire rest of the day photographing the bears as the run, swim, fight & fish the stream for Salmon.

Days 3-4 (B,L,D)

Full Days of hiking & photography as we witness the spectacle of the great bears at Brooks Falls!

Day 5 (B)

We’ll have a morning session of photography during magic hour lighting before we board the float plane or boat for King Salmon. You can book flights home (or to Anchorage) from King Salmon any time after 4pm.

Please note that the exact sequence of the itineraries on all photography trips will be based on weather and lighting conditions. The goal on these trips is to make sure we are at the right place at the right time for the perfect light on our subjects. Also, itineraries can change for a variety of other circumstances including floods, forest fires, national park closures, road closures and more. Due to the nature of wildlife and nature photography we do not guarantee any specific sightings or specific compositions regarding wildlife or natural phenomena. 


Looking for our camping trips? Checkout Brown Bears of Katmai in Summer or Brown Bears of Katmain in the Fall

“This was an adventure of a lifetime! Communication pre-trip was great! Russ was very helpful in recommending the right camera equipment to have for the trip. The packing list that was included was extremely helpful in making sure I had everything I needed. Russ, Crystal and Chris were amazing guides and hosts. Loved the wilderness camping experience! I got absolutely amazing pictures! I definitely will do another trip with Backcountry Journeys!”

Kim LOakland, CA

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Other Recommended Trips

Polar Bears of the Alaskan Arctic

Brown Bears of Alaska – Lake Clark National Park (Wilderness Eco-Lodge)

Brown Bears of Katmai in the Fall (Wilderness Camping Trip)