King Salmon and Katmai National Park
The village of King Salmon is located on the western side of the Aleutian Range, a spectacularly beautiful flight through Lake Clark Pass and southward over Lake Clark. No roads connect this part of Alaska with the rest of the mainland, and floatplanes replace automobiles for many activities, including our trip from King Salmon to the Katmai National Park and Brooks Falls, the site of an annual migration of grizzly bears to feed on the spawning salmon.
After a "bear briefing" at the National Park, we hike through the woods to the Brooks Falls, where no less than 10 bears are staking out positions to catch the salmon swimming upstream. The spectators stand on a platform next to the falls in almost complete safety, only 10 or 15 feet away from some of the bears, almost in a "reverse zoo", of sorts.
We were struck by the size and agility of the grizzlies. Fishermen downstream seemed dangerously close to the bears, but they are rarely harmed.
The dominant bears select the best location and simply grab the leaping salmon in mid air.