• Women skiers, this is the place for you -- an online community without the male-orientation you'll find in conventional ski magazines and internet ski forums. At TheSkiDiva.com, you can connect with other women to talk about skiing in a way that you can relate to, about things that you find of interest. Be sure to join our community to participate (women only, please!). Registration is fast and simple. Just be sure to add webmaster@theskidiva.com to your address book so your registration activation emails won't be routed as spam. And please give careful consideration to your user name -- it will not be changed once your registration is confirmed.

Katmai National Park

Christy

Angel Diva
#1
I had such an extraordinary trip to Katmai National Park last week. If you've ever seen a photo of a bear catching a salmon in its mouth on top of a waterfall, that's Katmai. This is the famous place where people and brown bears coexist like no other place on earth. People are trained to act in predictable ways and move in predictable areas (there are very strict rules), and since the bears have such an abundance of food--perhaps like nowhere else on earth--they ignore us. (That's not to say humans don't have an impact on them; we do of course). I scored campground permits the day they went live, in March. I've been a devoted bear cam watcher years (explore.org has a cam at the falls and 5 other spots in the park) and so "know" many of the bears; the amazing thing about the cam is that it gives people a chance to understand these wild animals as individuals, with personalities, habits and relationships. I felt like that person that has dreamed of seeing the Eiffel Tower all her life then finally does. It was actually kind of emotional. It was also the kind of experience where you bond with your fellow bear watchers/campers--I met so many great people. Anyway. Photos. Even more at https://www.flickr.com/photos/christy319/albums/72157710098367496

1565041233036.png

1565041472769.png

1565041542851.png

1565041287852.png

1565041342604.png

1565041388451.png
 

Christy

Angel Diva
#3
On a trail you should never be closer than 50 yards, 100 yards for mommas/cubs. But if you are on a platform, some will come right under or in front of you. And they surprise you at closer than 50 yards. All of those shots are zoomed/cropped. This one with my friend in it shows the relationship to the platform at the falls to the river/falls. You can see the bear trail on the ground.

1565045209348.png
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
#5
Amazing photos!

My husband and I were supposed to go to Katmai early July. Also reserved a campsite on the opening day.

Weather didn’t cooperate and clouds were too low to fly in/out of King Salmon, so our flights ended up being cancelled. We were in Alaska for a wedding, and had other things planned, so unfortunately couldn’t push it back a day.

We ended up having some time the following week to book a guided trip to Lake Clark NP to watch the brown bears. It’s such a surreal experience watching them in their world, and seeing how they behave and interact.

Glad you got to experience this, and your post is making me want to go back to AK and make it to Katmai (I’ll build a contingency plan into my trip next time!)
 

Christy

Angel Diva
#6
How high up is the platform from the trail?
Maybe 6 feet?

Weather didn’t cooperate and clouds were too low to fly in/out of King Salmon, so our flights ended up being cancelled. We were in Alaska for a wedding, and had other things planned, so unfortunately couldn’t push it back a day.
Was this on Pen Air, or Alaska? Alaska usually gets in and out with fog as they have the technology, but I'd be interested to know if it was them that cancelled. I just saw post from a sad person on the Bears of Brooks River Facebook page (I just sound nerdier and nerdier, don't I) that had the same thing happen. I hope you make it there sometime though Lake Clark is not too shabby. :smile:
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
#8
Was this on Pen Air, or Alaska? Alaska usually gets in and out with fog as they have the technology, but I'd be interested to know if it was them that cancelled.
We booked on Alaska, but it was operated by Pen...when I booked that was the only option, unless I booked directly thru Pen. Two planes went out that morning (one of them being mine), circled King Salmon for 20 minutes, then had to turn back to Anchorage. All of the morning flights were cancelled (I think there were 4). The float plane we reserved said that they were having trouble getting anyone out as well. It was just really thick, really low clouds.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
#9
That is good info for my next trip, thanks. We chose the water taxi over a floatplane because they say they will still run in fog or wind. Alaska has one flight to King Salmon on a 737 per day, and we took that really only because I used my $99 companion fare, and we had to do the whole trip on Alaska itself. But I have to think that's the better bet for getting in poor weather since those planes have the technology that lets them fly in most fog. Gosh that must've been disappointing on the plane headed back to Anchorage. :(
 
#10
That is good info for my next trip, thanks. We chose the water taxi over a floatplane because they say they will still run in fog or wind. Alaska has one flight to King Salmon on a 737 per day, and we took that really only because I used my $99 companion fare, and we had to do the whole trip on Alaska itself. But I have to think that's the better bet for getting in poor weather since those planes have the technology that lets them fly in most fog. Gosh that must've been disappointing on the plane headed back to Anchorage. :(
Good move on the water taxi...I'll definitely consider that one on my next trip. Same with the Alaska flight on the 737. Good tip!

It definitely was a brutal start to our trip...delayed getting out of Boston, got into Anchorage at midnight, slept in the airport since it was supposed to be a 7am flight out, King Salmon flight delayed, took off, back to Anchorage, flight cancelled. Murphy's Law at it's finest. All you can do is laugh about it...Everyone told me when going to Alaska to always have a Plan B...they were all right!

Still...with all of that, Alaska is up there with the best trips I've ever taken. Seeing the bears was my favorite part. I completely understand why you watch the bear cams!

Here's one of the 100s of photos from Lake Clark...

IMG_0739.JPG
 
#11
Oh my gosh that trip start does sound brutal. But you saw bears! Lake Clark is on my list. Would you recommend the company you used, and if so what was it?
 
#12
@Christy - We went with Alaska Ultimate Safaris. I would definitely recommend them, they were amazing. They’re based out of Homer, and one of the few operations that uses a helicopter, which provides more accessibility to more places than a bush or float plane does.
 

MsWax

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
We are trying to pick a summer vacation for next year (after spending 2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies this year), and Alaska is on our list. Can you please share some recommendations for locations and activites to do there? We are hikers who love to be outside and in nature, but like access to a restaurant or 2 (nothing fancy) when on vacation. We have 3 kids (11, 9, and 6) who a great hikers, but haven't done more than 10 miles/day regularly. Thanks!
 
#14
We are trying to pick a summer vacation for next year (after spending 2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies this year), and Alaska is on our list. Can you please share some recommendations for locations and activites to do there? We are hikers who love to be outside and in nature, but like access to a restaurant or 2 (nothing fancy) when on vacation. We have 3 kids (11, 9, and 6) who a great hikers, but haven't done more than 10 miles/day regularly. Thanks!
Oh gosh, that's such a big question. There are so many possibilities. I'd recommend getting a guidebook or 3 and getting a lay of the land, and see what speaks to you. Guidebooks also usually have suggested itineraries. I like to watch travel shows too when I'm just starting to plan--search Amazon, Netflix and your cable on-demand and there are bound to be shows. If you google Alaska itineraries you get a lot of suggestions as well.
 

vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
In the past, I have gone to Fodors and Frommers online to plan trips. One of them had suggested itineraries for 1-day, 3-days, etc. I would look at all of their itineraries to see what interested me the most and then build my own plans. Their 3-day itinerary was usually good for 1 day for me ... excluding things that didn't interest me that much and their "you'll be ready for a break now" selections.
 
#16
Can you please share some recommendations for locations and activites to do there?
Definitely a loaded question here. I did a bunch of research before our trip. The hardest part was narrowing down what to do and what to leave out when you only have two weeks.

I might be biased, but I think we strung together a pretty amazing trip. I’ll work on writing up a “Places I’ve Been” trip report soon. It might give you a few ideas of things to do.
 

MsWax

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
Definitely a loaded question here. I did a bunch of research before our trip. The hardest part was narrowing down what to do and what to leave out when you only have two weeks.

I might be biased, but I think we strung together a pretty amazing trip. I’ll work on writing up a “Places I’ve Been” trip report soon. It might give you a few ideas of things to do.
That would great! Looking forward to reading it!
 
#18
That would great! Looking forward to reading it!
As promised...https://theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/two-weeks-in-alaska-july-2019.24051/
If you have any questions at all about planning, feel free to PM me. One of the best pieces of advice I got was to check out the Alaska Tour Saver Book...it's a coupon book full of discounts and 2-for-1's. It ended up saving us a few hundred dollars. Also, if you're looking for hiking trails, I used the AllTrails app, which worked out great.
 

Members Online

No members online now.