by Phil Corless
The rustic and charming Brooks Lodge is located in one of the most magnificent settings in all of Alaska. Overlooking the Brooks River as it empties into Naknek Lake, the lodge is within walking distance of the world famous Brooks Falls, where hundreds of brown bears gather to fish for salmon. The lodge consists of 16 modern rooms, many of which can sleep up to four guests on twin bunk beds. Meals are served buffet-style in the dining room of the main lodge. You’ll also find a huge circular fireplace where guests gather to swap fishing and bear stories each night.
The lodge is only accessible by float plane. Once you land, the rangers of Katmai National Park will immediately usher you into the lodge auditorium for a bear etiquette class. Brown bears aren’t just eating fish at the falls. They are on the trails, on the beach, sometimes right outside your cabin door, so you have to learn to avoid them. Thankfully, there are 30 dedicated rangers and volunteers constantly patrolling the property to track bears. Don’t worry, brown bear attacks are extremely rare. The lodge also offers daily bus tours into the volcanic “Valley of 10,000 Smokes,” site of the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th century. With bears, volcanoes, rivers and lakes, Brooks Lodge is a special place to visit during your Alaska family vacation. Just be warned, reservations sell out up to two years in advance!
Our Editor Loves
- More bears
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Free Breakfast
- Meal Plan
We stayed in a cabin at Brooks Lodge for 3 days on our way to visiting all the National Parks (one to go). In terms of seeing bears up close, it exceed all our expectations!
The wildlife management personnel did an excellent job of explaining and balancing the visitor experience with minimizing impact and interference in the bears daily activity (which was sometimes difficult).
The bus tour we also took, Valley of 10,000 Smokes, was also a perfect addition to this trip.
After the sea plane flight to the Lodge, and after Bear 101class, we began our adventure with the bears as part of a small tour group. Nothing matters other than the opportunity to view these wonderful animals up close in their natural habitat. The lodge was comfortable, the buffet meals were far better than expected, the cabins are fine for what they are. It's all about the location. Plus the staff is excellent. We had an emergency at home and everyone went out if their way to be helpful. Thank you Jason, the General Manager!