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Thread: Looking to share bush plane to Brooks Camp in mid-July

  1. #1
    Member kaguyakguy's Avatar
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    Default Looking to share bush plane to Brooks Camp in mid-July

    Hi there everyone-

    So this may or may not be a long shot....I am looking for someone else to share a bush plane reservation to go to Brooks Camp in Katmai NP at the same time in mid-July. I am sure many or most of you are familiar with this famous bear photography location in Katmai NP. I have visited a number of different bear viewing and photography sites before, but have never been to Brooks.

    The bush flying service in Homer that I was talking to needs a minimum of two people to travel at the same time in order to do this fly out, and I do not have a travel partner.

    I am available to do this trip in mid-July, they say most people stay for 2-3 nights. This is a peak bear activity time there generally, so you can get the famous 'fish jumping into the bear's mouth' photo which are taken at Brooks Camp. There is also good hiking in Valley of 10K Smokes as well as I understand it, which I would be up for a couple days of as well.

    Drop me a note or post here SOON so we can get going on this before the campground fills up. Camping is available in the NPS campground there for $8 a night. The lodge is $300+ a night, so I will be camping.

    This is a reasonable cost trip based out of Homer (about $550 R/T - I will give you contact details for flying service), especially if you will already be in the area doing other things, or live in the area.

    Thanks for looking, let me know if I can provide more info, etc. No financial gain here, just trying to share some travel arrangements.

  2. #2
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Default Permit?

    Isnt brooks camp by lottery permit only?
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, McNeil is by permit only and Brooks is open-access within the alloted # limit. Is that correct, or am I losing my mind due to the early hour?

    -Brian

  4. #4
    Member kaguyakguy's Avatar
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    You are correct Brian - It is McNeil River that has the lottery. It is a great trip, I highly recommend it!

    At Brooks Camp (from talking with the bush plane service and the Park Service) it appears the limiting factor there is space at the NPS campground.

    Middle of July is the peak time for the season bear viewing there, so the daytime hours at the falls viewing platform will be busy with day trippers. Typically each day before those folks arrive and after they leave the place quiets down a good deal. For those seeking a quiet wilderness experience, this probably isn't the place for that.

    This trip to Brooks Camp is a great deal compared to day trips, and still a good deal when compared to going to McNeil River also. Day trips from Homer are about $500-$550 per day. Going to McNeil is dependent on getting drawn in the lottery, it is $575 in airfare to get there, $150 for the viewing permit, and money for food, etc. as well.

  5. #5
    Member trochilids's Avatar
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    Aaaaarrgggghhhhh... Ask me in a couple years when I might have the $$. Either McNeil or Brooks is on my to-do list before too long. Have fun and post pics!!
    Palmer, Alaska
    "There are some things money can buy. For everything else, there's ALASKA!"

  6. #6
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    I would love to join you, but I dont think that timeframe would work for me.
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

  7. #7
    Member kaguyakguy's Avatar
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    After looking into a couple different transportation options, I think I am just going to go back to Anchorage and leave from there. I will be going Katmai Air for $585/ RT. Initially I was trying to avoid doing that, and just wanted to leave from Homer. This option is a little more costly, but there are several distinct advantages:

    - The flight from Anchorage to King Salmon is an IFR flight. The Homer flight is a VFR plane.

    - Katmai Air allows 20 lbs. more gear. The place in Homer told me 50#, which is less than what I am accustomed to, normally 70-75# at most all the other places I have used for flying.

    - No need to book in conjunction with others, can travel independently.

    In any case, I wanted to share the results of reseaching a couple different options for getting out there.

  8. #8
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    Default brooks camp

    I checked out Brooks camp last summer and its definately worth the trip. Have you thought about flying to King Salmon on Alaska Air and then taking Katmai Air to the camp? The Katmai Air flight from KS is only $170 or so and not nearly as dependent on weather conditions. Just a thought.
    I've got some photos here: http://picasaweb.google.com/dacks46er/KatmaiNatLPark

    Have fun!

  9. #9
    Member kaguyakguy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, I may actually be doing something similar to what you are suggesting, but booking the whole thing through Katmai Air. The flight from Anchorage to King Salmon is on a Penn Air (commercial/ IFR) flight, and then you transfer from King Salmon to Brooks Camp on a float plane.

    Thanks for sharing the link to your photos, that was a neat! That 4x4 school bus is pretty cool looking, as far as school buses go anyway.

    So, would you recommend spending some time in the Valley of 10,000 smokes as a backpack? I was thinking of adding 2-3 nights onto the bear photo trip to do some backpacking in the 10,000 Smokes. After speaking with a ranger about it the other day, he got me kind of enthused about it. Your pictures certainly make it look like it's worth the visit.

  10. #10
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    a sparse one of these


    will come in handy, I'd join you for the rainbows but I avoid bears at all cost.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  11. #11
    Member Hunt'N'Photos's Avatar
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    Default Bummer

    Man I wish I had the time and money to join you right now! I am going to make it out there sometime soon, but its not looking like it will be this year!
    US Air Force - retired and Wildlife photographer

    To follow my photography adventures check out my facebook page

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