Spectacular Brown Bear viewing along the remote Katmai Coastline from Homer. Hallo Bay is the only Eco-sensitive facility of its kind designed exclusively for bear and wildlife viewing on the 485-mile long Pacific Coastline of Katmai National Park. Overnights in wall tent camps for small groups within a stunning mountain coastal bay. Nowhere else in the world can you observe with a naturalist guide up to 100 wild brown bears coming and going throughout the day and have the possibility of photographing a group of 40 or more bears at one time.
Hallo Bay Location Excellent brown bear viewing day and multi-day package from Homer and Anchorage. Hallo Bay is an eco-friendly camp located 120 air miles southwest of Homer, Alaska on the wild and remote Pacific Coast of the Alaska Peninsula. The Alaska Peninsula is a part of an area called "The Ring of Fire" a volcanically active chain of volcanoes located on the leading edge of the Pacific Tectonic Plate. There are no access roads within 300 miles walking distance of Hallo Bay. On the Alaska Peninsula, Hallo Bay is approximately 25 miles south of Cape Douglas and 6 miles east of Kaguyak Volcano. Hallo Bay Camp is located a stones throw from the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by the 6400 square mile Katmai National Park on the remaining three sides which also has no roads leading to it. Big River and Clint's Creek, located to the north and south of the Camp respectively, produce an excellent variety of seasonal salmon runs. The coastal tidal flats providing good clam digging.
A Typical Day at Hallo Bay Hallo Bay is the only Eco-sensitive facility of its kind designed exclusively for bear and wildlife viewing on the 485-mile long Pacific coastline of Katmai National Park. There are no public services, marked trails or airports available in Katmai National Park within 70 miles of Hallo Bay. The Mc Neil River Wildlife Sanctuary located 30 miles north of Hallo Bay is the only other facility equal to Hallo Bay offering eco-responsible, sustainable and unspoiled wildlife viewing in the entire Southwest Alaska coastal brown bear habitat areas. Hallo Bay has one of the most beautiful beaches and wildlife viewing areas in Alaska. The variety of bear viewing areas offer many different opportunities to observe Alaska's coastal brown bears in their natural habitats. Get ready after breakfast for a full day of exciting brown bear viewing. Your lunch will be packed by the cook in preparation for your outing for the day. We start for a guided walk to the bear viewing areas. (5-6 hours and 3-4 miles average, difficulty level - moderate walk and suitable for all ages). If on any of the days the mid day is hot, we will take an afternoon break at Camp. This time is planned as an opportunity for you to relax around camp, and have a early dinner. In most cases, this is the warmest time of the day and wildlife is generally inactive because of the temperatures. After supper, the guide may take the group out to the bear viewing areas again to enjoy more opportunities to observe and photograph bears and wildlife for a few more hours. When you get back to the galley in the evening after bear viewing, on cool evenings, the fireplace will provide a cozy warmth while we talk of the day. The guests can lounge around the galley discussing the days adventures, down load their digital images on their computers or relax in the galley with a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate. The guests can spend the evenings after supper playing cards, enjoying board games, reading a good book, putting together puzzles, or falling asleep in their cabins to the sounds of the evening song birds, light breeze and the incoming tides.
More about Hallo Bay Hallo Bay provides the guests with three, hearty, family style meals each day. If you wish alcoholic beverages during evening meals, you will need to bring these with you as we do not supply them. We provide large, comfortable, heated weatherport cabins. Each of these cabins have two large cots, comfortable mattress pads, sleeping bags, pillows, table and chairs. Personal products such as towels for the showers, shampoos and soaps are not supplied by Hallo Bay and are the responsibility of the guests to bring. We operate an environmentally friendly eco camp. Products that we use and that the guests use should bear the environmentally friendly label on the products. You can purchase necessary environmentally friendly shampoos, conditioners and soap and other shower products at our local health food stores or sporting goods stores in your area or in Homer before you fly out to our camp. Fly-in from Homer with a wheeled Cessna 206 (departure between 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM) and enjoy the beautiful and scenic 1-hour flight across Katchemak Bay and along the "Ring of Fire", which terminates with a landing on a remote beach just 200 feet from our facilities where Camp personnel will be awaiting your arrival. For security purposes each guest is restricted to the 250 pound weight restriction and that includes the guest's body weight, camera gear and luggage. Or if you are traveling as a couple, the combined weight can be up to 500 pounds. A thorough Bear Safety Orientation will be conducted upon your arrival by our Hallo Bay Staff. Including a mandatory description of how the guides and guests will conduct themselves while traveling through bear habitat and during bears encounters.
Located in southwestern Alaska, Brooks Falls is one of the best places in the world to observe brown bears. The bears and humans have been peacefully coexisting at Brooks Camp for over 30 years. There are three viewing stands set up for viewing the bears while they fish for salmon at the Brooks waterfall. However, you commonly run into bears on the trails to the observing stands and campground. The bears have learned that they can trust humans in Katmai so they pretty much pay no attention to humans and simply go about their business of non-stop eating. Katmai has the largest concentration of protected brown bears in the world and there are roughly 2,000 brown bears in the 3.6 million acre park. Unlike many other bear viewing locations in the world, the bears at Brooks Camp are protected from the grossness of sport hunters so most are not scared of humans. They are not aggressive to humans either. Brooks Camp is one of the finest examples in the world of peaceful human- and animal coexistence. It has almost a utopian feel to it. It's such a fun and exciting place to be with everyone excited about bears. The lodge has a bar, excellent food, and an indoor fire that people sit around while talking about bears and photography. Best time to visit is in July or early September. Overall, the world can learn a lot from Brooks and the national park service does an excellent job managing the camp.
You have several options for visiting Brooks. One option is to do a day trip; however, we strongly advise against it because between weather, flight delays, and bear jams (i.e. the bears frequently decide to take naps on the trail and you have to wait until they wake up) you may never even make it down to the actual falls (although I found getting to the falls to actually be more exciting than being at the falls). Also, once you see a few of these amazing bears you won't ever want to leave. If you do decide to overnight you have the option to stay in the lodge cabins (privately owned) but there are only a few so they're very difficult to actually get one. (they must be reserved at least one year in advance)
How to Get There From Anchorage, scheduled jets fly the 290 miles to King Salmon, park headquarters; from there, June to mid-September, daily floatplanes fly the last 33 miles to Brooks Camp, site of a summer visitor center and the center of activity. Air charters can be arranged into other areas. You can drive the 9 miles from King Salmon to Lake Camp, at the western end of the park on the Naknek River, then go by boat to Brooks Camp, the Bay of Islands, and other areas of Naknek Lake. When to Go June to early September. Only then, with transportation from between Brooks Camp and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, are the lodges, cabins, and Brooks Camp Campground open. Bear watching, an increasingly popular pastime, is best in July when the sockeye salmon spawn (bear watching suffers a brief lull in June and again in August). Fishing and hiking are good throughout summer, but come prepared for rain. Heavy snowpack may remain in the upper elevations into July. Summer daytime temperatures range from the mid-50s to mid-60s; the average low is 44°F. How to Visit If your time is short, get to Brooks Camp. People, fish, bears, boats, and planes concentrate here. Compared to the rest of the park, it's crowded. But the lodge and campground are comfortable (reservations required) and the bear viewing unforgettable. You'll find good hiking and fishing. If at all possible, take the bus or van tour 23 miles out from Brooks Camp to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Return the same day or hike into the valley and camp. You can extend your stay by boating or flying to the many other lakes, streams, rivers, and lodges in the park. Pick your area, make a safe plan, and go. Bear Viewing
A trail from Brooks River Lodge, about a quarter mile long, leads to a floating bridge across the Brooks River. After crossing the river, an elevated viewing stand is available for watching bears in this popular area where the river empties into Naknek Lake. Bears often approach the bridge from both land and water. If it appears that a single bear will approach within 50 yards, or a sow with cubs within 100 yards, a ranger stationed on the viewing stand will direct everyone to get off the bridge and onto the viewing stand, or to return to the trail to the lodge. Another ranger is normally stationed on the trail to prevent people from the lodge walking to the bridge when a bear is present. The gates at each end of the bridge do not keep adult bears off the bridge, but probably do keep small cubs from getting separated from their moms. A smaller gate is at the viewing stand entrance. The bridge area of the river is a popular fishing spot, and many large salmon are caught there daily. The fishermen must also move to the viewing stand if a bear approaches. If a fish is hooked and a bear approaches, the angler must break their line immediately and not land the fish. The bridge is a popular place to watch the salmon swim through the shallow water.
Meals are rather expensive at Brooks Lodge: Breakfast $17.00, Lunch $22.00, Dinner $35.00 (based on 2014 Information) Outdoor Clothing: Warm Jacket or Sweater, Personal Items, Walking Shoes or Boots, Sunglasses, Raincoat, Camera & Memory Cards, Long Sleeve Shirts, Mosquito Repellent should be kept with Scarf, Hat or Cap during your travel. The atmosphere at the lodge is casual, so bring comfortable medium weight sport clothes. By dressing in layers, you can add or subtract clothing and be comfortable regardless of the whim of the weather. Internet services are not available at the lodge. Trading Post Shop: The trading post offers a variety of items to purchase. Candy, freeze dried foods, soft drinks, and other snack items (trail mix, beef jerky, etc.). Personal items such as: Toothpaste, insect repellent, soap, film (no memory cards available), batteries and tobacco. Fishing items such as Line, leader, lures, flies and Alaska fishing license. You may also rent: Rods & reels, chest waders, canoes, kayaks, single burner stoves, bear resistant containers and showers and towels (for campers). Wildlife Photography A few suggestions to help clients preparing for wildlife photography adventures. While we all don't have the luxury of owning a super-telephoto lens of 500mm or greater, that's not a problem in most Alaska bear viewing areas. Here is a packing list to maximize your photographic flexibility while experiencing the great outdoors within Lake Clark - and Katmai National Park. SLR Camera body If you have a super-telephoto nothing larger than 500mm, you'll miss too many shots because you're just too close! A 1.4 tele-convertor, a 2x will eat too much light. The best overall lens for the bears will be a 100-400mm for Canon or a 200-400mm for Nikon. A good substitute if you don't have either of these is something in the 75-300mm zoom range. Wide angle zoom lens Macro lens and extension tubes Sturdy tripod w/ball or gimbal-style head Rain gear for your camera and lenses. In a pinch trash bags work. Gear bag, backpack style work well Flash or SD memory cards
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