Reed Travel Features
KING SALMON -- Visitors to the pristine wildlife area at the
mouth of the Brooks River in Katmai National Park and Preserve to
which entry previously had been free of charge must pay for the
privilege from now on, under new National Park Service (NPS)
Day visitors, guests at the Brooks Lodge and campers all now are
required to pay an entrance fee of $10 per day, per person.
Campers also must pay $10 a night to reserve a tent site, which
covers a party of up to six people.
At the same time, day use visitation has been restricted to 85
people a day in July and 50 a day in September.
These have been the most heavily trafficked months, leading to
concerns for the welfare of the huge brown bear population in the
Day visitors now must make reservations in advance to enter the
The money raised will go to help finance a $9.3 million
redevelopment of the Brooks River region.
The program calls for the current lodge structure and campground
on the north bank of the river to be removed and rebuilt on a spot
on the other side, about three-quarters of a mile down river.
The NPS said it believes that increasing use of the existing
rivermouth facilities for day visitation alone has more than
tripled in the last decade to almost 6,500 people a year and has
begun to affect the bear population adversely.
According to the NPS, moving the concentration of humans to the
proposed site would make it easier to monitor the movements of the
bears, allow them to be viewed more easily and decrease the number
of potentially life-threatening confrontations between them and
Reservations for day visits or campsites can be made through
Destinet, the NPS booking system, at (800) 365-2267.