Brooks Falls is located within the Katmai National Park on the Brooks River between Brooks and Naknek lakes. This destination is famous for viewing salmon leap up the 6-foot falls on their way up river to spawn. It is also the premier brown bear viewing area in the world. Brown bears congregate at the falls for the relatively easy fishing July through September to gorge on salmon.
Many famous photos of bears are taken here and the National Parks Service’s Brooks Falls Bearcam shares the view worldwide. If you have the opportunity to visit in person though, it is an entirely different experience! The Falls Platform is the second-to-none spot to get up close and personal with feeding coastal brown bears as they fish for salmon. The walk from Brooks Camp to the platforms is just over half a mile, and a flat, easy walk. Our team will escort you safely to the falls and back.
There is a secondary platform, called the Riffles platform that is just downstream of the falls and offers a different perspective. The lower river platform which is in close proximity to Brooks camp allows panoramic scenic views of Naknek lake and the lower river which arches and curves beautifully and often hosts sows with cubs.
You can find the most bears at Brooks Falls in July with dozens going in and out of the area throughout the day. Bear hunting is banned in the park so their populations are very healthy. About 2200 brown bears inhabit the park, therefore more bears than people live on the Alaska peninsula.
All of this activity is what makes Brooks Falls a phenomenal fishing and wildlife viewing destination.
FISHING THE BROOKS RIVER, ALASKA
If you are interested in getting in on the fishing too, the Brooks River has excellent opportunities. It is fly fishing only and we target rainbow trout throughout the two-mile-long river with a variety of methods. We start fishing the Brooks River on the June 8th opener, and fish it until mid October. Though most of the other small streams in the area have nice sized trout 16-24”, the Brooks River does have occasional trophy sized fish 28” or 29”! Fishing amongst giant brown bears is worth the trip itself, though we think the fishing alone is some of the best around.