Katmai Wilderness

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Katmai Wilderness
IUCN category Ib (wilderness area)
Map showing the location of Katmai Wilderness
Map showing the location of Katmai Wilderness
Location Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska, USA
Coordinates 58°34′N 154°44′W / 58.567°N 154.733°W / 58.567; -154.733Coordinates: 58°34′N 154°44′W / 58.567°N 154.733°W / 58.567; -154.733
Area 3,384,358 acres (1,369,601 ha)
Established 1980 (1980)
Governing body National Park Service

The Katmai Wilderness is a wilderness area in Alaska, United States. It is part of the Katmai National Park and Preserve. Today 15 active volcanoes line Shelikof Strait, which separates Katmai National Park and Preserve from Kodiak Island. Katmai protects this volcanic "laboratory" and, equally important, large numbers of Brown Bears. (Although brown and grizzly bears are considered the same species, grizzlies usually live at least 100 miles (160 km) from shore and don't grow to be as huge, due to a more limited diet.) Salmon spawn in Katmai in vast numbers, attracting the bears. Here you'll find huge lakes whose edges provide nesting spots for swans, ducks, loons, and grebes. The area is shared by moose and caribou and numerous smaller mammals. A campground exists inside the park, and preregistration is required. The campground has water, pit toilets, food-storage caches, fire pits (but firewood is limited), and picnic tables. Meals are available at nearby Brooks Lodge.

Most of Katmai National Park has been designated Wilderness, and very little of it is ever seen by human eyes. It is the fifth-largest designated wilderness area in the United States, following the Wrangell-Saint Elias Wilderness, the Mollie Beattie Wilderness, the Gates of the Arctic Wilderness, and the Noatak Wilderness. All are in the state of Alaska.

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