Bears by the Dozen


Hey look! 12 bears!

Above: Brown bears vying for the best fishing spot at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, Alaska (Source).

It’s bear-watching season! Katmai National Park and Preserve is home to approximately 2,200 bears, and every summer over 100 of them mosey their way onto a short stretch of the Brooks River where millions of migrating sockeye salmon (the world’s largest run of them, in fact) make for several weeks of easy dining.

As you might imagine, this creates quite the spectacle. During peak times of year (first in July, then again in September) it’s not unusual to find over a dozen bears huddled around Brooks Falls, competing for the best fishing perches—spots where salmon, struggling their way upstream, often leap literally right into the jaws of waiting grizzlies.

This yearly feeding frenzy is so reliable that the National Park Service has constructed a viewing platform right above the falls where bear-loving visitors can take in the action from a safe distance, and a nearby campground where they can rest after several exhausting hours spent pointing at feasting bears.  

Love bears but can’t make it to Alaska right now (even if you could, camping spots are limited and fill up months in advance…)? No worries! Every summer since 2012, has hosted a 24-hr livestream of the Brooks River’s most bearified areas. Tune into the famous Bear Cam below or head here for multiple angles and a selection of other wildlife live feeds.

Live from Alaska, The Katmai Bear Cam:

For more on Katmai National Park and Preserve’s celebrated grizzlies, check out SCA Intern David Kopshever’s blog.  He’ll be sending updates from Katmai through the end of his internship in the fall.