Brooks Falls

Deze waterval in Katmai, Alaska is een van de beste plekken om bruine beren te zien jagen op zalm

Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park is world-famous for the bears that hunt salmon every year. The falls are located in the Brooks River in Alaska. The bears have discovered over the years that this place is ideal for catching fresh salmon.

In this river, and countless others in North America, the salmon migrate to their spawning grounds every year. This is the area where they were born themselves, which is usually upstream. If they have mated, they die. On their way to the spawning grounds, they have to overcome numerous obstacles, including Brooks Falls. Incidentally, there are various types of salmon that you see here. And that attracts predators, such as the brown bear.

You can watch the bears via various viewing platforms and see the special behaviour of the animals. Find the best tips for your visit to Brooks Falls. Including some of the best excursions.

How do bears catch salmon?

The fish have to take a number of rocks, therefor they have to jump. The bears use various tactics for their meal. Some are just waiting on top of the rocks until a fish literally jumps in their mouths.

There are also bears who prefer to grab the salmon after they jump out of the water and land at their feet again. You will quickly see both techniques are successful.

A brown bear with salmon in Brooks Falls. ©NPS

What can I expect at Brooks Falls?

From the various viewing platforms, you have a good view of the river and the waterfalls. You see the bears waiting for their catch, but also occasionally really hunt when they are hungry. using their mighty front legs.

You will also see how they eat a caught salmon or actually eat only half. Due to the large supply, they only eat the soft meat on the back. Birds and other animals then eat the remains.

What does an excursion at Brooks Falls look like?

Mind you, there can be up to 40 people on these viewing platforms, so you are never alone. You can only reach these wooden platforms on foot. That is why you will receive various instructions from the park ranger for your own safety. Among other things, about how to behave when you encounter bears on the way.

Sometimes you can see more than ten bears at the same time at Brooks Falls. But sometimes nothing, although that usually does not last long. So be patient, the chance that you will be disappointed is nil.

Keep in mind that the summer days are very long. Alaska only has a few hours of night. So you have long days with daylight. The best time is early in the morning. Not for the bears, but for the other tourists. Where you have the best view of the river, the waterfall and the bears.

Watch live on the webcam of Brooks Falls:

For a number of years, there has been a webcam at Brooks Falls. Where you can see the brown bears live in action. Keep in mind the time difference of about ten hours, it is earlier than ours. The webcam is controlled remotely, so you get the best images.

Best time to visit Brooks Falls

The various types of salmon migrate from summer to late autumn, so you will also find bears here. But July is mostly the place for Brooks Falls. In the months that followed, you see bears mainly in the lower parts of Brooks River.

Brooks Falls is becoming increasingly popular due to social media. People travel from far and wide to see this natural spectacle. As a result, the spots for this excursion are quickly sold out. Even if it is not really cheap to come here. Take into account a minimum of 600 euros. You can get back and forth from Anchorage in a day, but you’d be better off staying overnight nearby. Katmai National Park is rugged Alaska and very rewarding.

How to get to Brooks Falls

It is relatively easy to travel to Brooks Falls from the city of Anchorage. This goes via the town of King Salmon to Brooks Camp via a water taxi. After which you walk to Brooks Falls.

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