Brooks Camp

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Fishing bear at Brooks Falls.

Brooks Camp is a visitor attraction and archeological site in Katmai National Park and Preserve, noted for its opportunities for visitors to observe Alaskan brown bears catching fish in the falls of the Brooks River during salmon spawning season. The Brooks River connects Lake Brooks and Naknek Lake over about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi). This natural choke point for salmon runs made it an attractive location for prehistoric Alaskans, who occupied the area from 4500 BP. The Aglegmut Eskimo people lived along the Brooks River in historical times. The Brooks River Archeological District, which includes Brooks Camp, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993.[1]

Five thousand years before present the level of Naknek Lake was significantly higher, and Lake Brooks was part of Naknek. As the Naknek River cut through glacial moraines, the level of Naknek Lake fell, creating Lake Brooks and the Brooks River. Permanent habitation was established along the river about 4000 years ago. The area was inhabited when the first Russian explorers reached what is now Brooks Camp in the 18th century.[2] The National Park Service operates a seasonal visitor center at Brooks Camp, with an exhibit of a reconstructed native house built in 1967-68 in the footprint of a documented house site.[3] Visitors arrive at the Lake Brooks Seaplane Base via floatplane.

Bears on the bridge over the Brooks River.

The camp was developed in 1950 by Northern Consolidated Airlines, a National Park Service concessioner who operated a chain of camps in Katmai, served by float planes. Brooks Lodge continues to operate as a concession within the park.[1] Bear viewing season peaks in July, when the salmon are migrating, and in September, when the salmon are dying after spawning and are washing downstream. Peak visitor season is in July.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Norris, Frank B. (1996). "Isolated Paradise: An Administrative History of the Katmai and Aniakchak NPS Units, Alaska". National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Brooks Camp". Katmai National Park and Preserve. National Park Service. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Brooks Camp Cultural Site Exhibit". Katmai National Park and Preserve. National Park Service. Retrieved 24 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Bear Viewing at Brooks Camp". National Park Service. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 58°33′16.5″N 155°46′39″W / 58.554583°N 155.77750°W / 58.554583; -155.77750