Where Can You See Wildlife Right Now: Brown Bears In Katmai National Park and Preserve

July is a great month to watch brown bears in Katmai National Park and Preserve. NPS photo.

Perhaps the biggest stage for bears in the National Park System these days is Brooks Camp at Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska, where July is a great month for viewing bears fishing the Brooks River there.

There are a number of spots in the park to view bears: Brooks Camp, Hallo Bay, Geographic Harbor, Swikshak Lagoon, and Moraine Creek and Funnel Creek. But Brooks Camp just might be the easiest place for most park visitors to reach, and in July the brown bears put on quite a show for those who make it to the viewing platforms there.

While Brooks Camp offers many public services and accessibility options unavailable elsewhere in Katmai's millions of acres of wilderness, visitors must arrive prepared to experience backcountry Alaska. Whether staying for just a few hours or for several days, visitors should expect to encounter wind, rain, cold, mud, uneven terrain, and transportation delays. Be sure to dress and pack in anticipation of diverse and changing weather conditions.

Most Brooks Camp visitors arrive via small, float-equipped aircraft. Click here for directions and other transportation information.

All visitors to Brooks Camp are required to begin their stay by checking-in at the visitor center for a brief "Bear Etiquette" training course and safety talk outlining park regulations.

While bear-viewing platforms and most trails around Brooks Camp are wheelchair accessible, they are unpaved and frequently muddy. Visitors should be prepared to leave the trail in order to avoid a bear.

Download The Bear Essentials, which includes a map and brief guide to Brooks Camp. The same information is also included in The Novarupta, the official Katmai newspaper and a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to planning your visit.

Right up there with July in terms of bear-watching at Brooks Camp is September, according to park officials. You can see what other locations in the park, and which months, are good for viewing brown bears at this page.