August 9, 2015

Flying Over Katmai National Park

There is much more to Katmai National Park than the brown bears at Brooks Camp, although that’s what the park is most known for today.  The park also includes 15 volcanoes, making it one of the most active volcanic centers in the world.  We were able to get a peek at some of the park’s scenic beauty on our flight from Brooks Camp back to Homer.

It was about 8:00 pm when we left Brooks Camp.  Our plane looked so lonely sitting by itself along Naknek Lake.  It was raining, and Trent had not decided which route he would take on the return flight.

It Was a Long, but Happy Day

Last Plane Out

Trent soon decided that he should fly below the clouds, thus giving us our first close-up view of Katmai from the air.  We flew above the Bay of Islands and next to rugged, snow-covered mountainsides.  Braided rivers fanned out below us amid the lush green canyons.  All we could see was a remote and awesome wilderness.

Departing Brooks Camp Over Naknek Lake

The Bay of Islands

More Islands

Steep Mountain Walls

Lush Green Canyons

Patches of Snow on the Tundra

Braided Rivers

Jagged Peaks

Mountains Still Covered with Snow

The views were stunning.  Although it rained from time to time, the sun eventually came out, and rays of sunlight illuminated the landscape.  I was tempted to just sit back and enjoy the scenery, but I couldn’t seem to give the camera a rest.  I wanted to capture the moment, the light, the views.  I’m not sure I succeeded, but it’s sure nice to have a few images to help me remember an incredible day.

Sun Shining Through

Rays of Light

Rugged Beauty

Gorgeous Colors

Approaching Cook Inlet

As we left Katmai National Park and crossed over Cook Inlet, we saw Augustine Volcano, a relatively young volcano that juts up from water to form Augustine Island.  Just one more reminder of the Ring of Fire that is such a presence along the coast of Alaska and the rest of the Pacific Rim.

Augustine Volcano

Who Knows When This One Will Erupt Again


  1. Thanks for the aerial tour of Katmai. Since our bear-watching trip was boat-based we didn't get a chance to see any of it from the air.

    1. You're welcome. The added bonus of an afternoon trip to Katmai is flying when the light is much more beautiful (assuming it isn't raining!). I loved seeing even a tiny portion of the park from the air. What would be very cool would be flying over the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes.

  2. Boy, you certainly lucked out by taking the afternoon flight:) Your aerial photos are magnificent! The changing weather added so much to the already beautiful views.

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, we were unbelievably lucky. I still can't believe the difference a few hours made. The evening light made everything so much more beautiful.


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