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Katmai National Park

Pictures by QT Luong

More pictures of Katmai Next pictures: Kenai Fjords
[1 : Overview]
[2 : Aerial Views]
[3 : Naknek Lake]
[4 : Dumpling Mountain]
[5 : Bears in summer]
[6 : Bears in autumn]
[7 : Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes - Three Forks]
[8 : Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes - Lethe]
[9 : Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes - Floor]
[10 : Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes - Novarupta]
[11 : People]
[12 : Structures]
[All]
[Backpacking the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes]

Large format photos of Katmai National Park · Panoramic photos of Katmai National Park]

Located 300 miles Southwest from Anchorage, near the end of the Alaska Peninsula and along the crest of the Pacific Rim of fire, Katmai is today mostly known as the largest the spawning grounds of millions of Sockeye salmon, which attract the largest Brown bear population in the world. However, what prompted the creation of the Park was the eruption of Novaropta in 1912, the largest recorded in modern times. Acid rain burned clothing lines as far as Vancouver, and locally a lantern held at arm's length could not be seen for days. The floor of a vast Valley was buried in 700 feet of pumice and ash, and its surface was found by a 1916 National Geographic expedition to be steaming with thousands of fumaroles, hence the name Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Nowadays, the fumaroles are gone from the valley floor, however nearly a century of harsh weather has enhanced its beauty, and one can now gaze into river canyons hundreds of feet deep where the layers of pumice and ash have been slowly eroded by the channeled rain and snowmelt.

You have probably seen images of a brown bear catching a salmon flying mid-air. It is almost certain that the photograph was made at Brooks falls. There is an observation platform where you stand just in front of the bears, and a modest telephoto is sufficient to take a good picture. Nowhere else it is as easy to view them, and often inadvertently encounter them on the trail or on the lake beach. While all visitors spend some time to admire those magnificent animals, and sometimes take the four-wheel drive bus for a tour to an overlook to watch the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Eureka Wang and I set up to backpack in the Valley for a week. Although bad weather thwarted our attempts to climb the high peaks surrounding the valley, we left with memorable impressions of an eerily unique landscape. See also the pictures of backpacking.

[CLICK on any picture to see a larger image and details, to add to selection, to order, and to download wallpaper.]

Naknek Lake and Brooks Lake from Dumpling mountain in autum. Katmai National Park ( color) Rain showers above lakes. Katmai National Park ( color) Naknek Lake with rainbowed shaft of light. Katmai National Park ( color) Brooks River and mountains, evening. Katmai National Park ( color) Lake and mountains at sunset. Katmai National Park (Panoramic color) Rainbow, seagulls, and bear, Naknek Lake. Katmai National Park ( color) Bear tracks, Naknek lake. Katmai National Park ( color) Alaskan Brown bear (Ursus arctos) on the shore of Naknek lake. Katmai National Park ( color) Bears in autumn grasses, Brooks River. Katmai National Park ( color) Overview of Brown bears fishing at the Brooks falls. Katmai National Park ( color) Brown bear holding in mounth  salmon at Brooks falls. Katmai National Park ( color) Brown bears fighting, Brooks River. Katmai National Park ( color) Sow and grizzly bear cub. Katmai National Park ( color) Shaft of light over tundra meadow downstream of Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) Ash cliffs carved by Ukak River, Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) Three Forks Confluence, Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) Colorful ash and Lethe River gorge, Valley of Ten Thousand smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) A break in the clouds illuminate the floor of the Valley of Ten Thousand smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) Snow-covered mountains contrasting with arid valley floor. Katmai National Park (Panoramic color) Mt Meigeck emerging above ash plain of Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes at dusk. Katmai National Park ( color) Gorge carved by Lethe River ash floor of Valley of Ten Thousand smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) Melting snow and lichens, Valley of Ten Thousand smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) Brightly colored ash in wide plain, Valley of Ten Thousand smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) Wildflowers, pumice, and distant peaks in storm, Valley of Ten Thousand smokes. Katmai National Park ( color) Detail of pumice, Valley of Ten Thousand smokes. Katmai National Park ( color)
There are 25 color pictures on this page out of 252 color pictures of Katmai.