Photo Credit: Jaime Hammond

Kodiak and Katmai National Park in 6 Days

6 Days






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Day 1

Arrive & Overnight in Kodiak

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Arrival and a View

Today I set up camp in the Buskin River Campground, a few miles south of the town of Kodiak. Then I got a little ambitious and set off on a big hike, following the Monashka Mountain trail nearly 2,000 vertical feet to the summit. Was worth the effort. There, I was rewarded with panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, crystal blue lakes, and beaches along Kodiak island's coastline.

Day 2

Spotting Whales On the Water

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I enjoyed a thrilling day cruising around Kodiak’s north coast in a small private boat hosted by Marine Wildlife Tours. Our captain took us to locations frequented by marine wildlife, and we saw humpback whales, sea lions, seals, and a group of resting sea otters. We then floated past a busy breeding habitat for puffins and other gulls. Back on land, I cooked dinner at lovely Buskin Beach, overlooking the water and mountains.

Day 3

Exploring Southern Kodiak

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Today I drove an hour south to Fossil Beach, stopping to photograph the increasingly beautiful coastline along the way. Here I walked the beach looking for shells and fossils, accompanied by waves crashing against the shore. I then drove a few miles north to Pasagshak State Recreational Site, where I hiked the lightly marked Pasagshak Point Trail to the top of a rocky cliff that overlooks the snake-like shape of the island’s coast.

Day 4

Bear Viewing in Katmai

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To see magnificent coastal brown bears in their native habitat, I boarded a small floatplane in Kodiak Harbor and flew about an hour north to Hallow Bay, in Katmai National Park. My guide, Jennifer, was incredibly smart and enthusiastic, happily answering my never-ending questions about bear behavior and the Alaskan ecosystem. We saw about 20 bears over the course of the day, all grazing in the meadow with a ruggedly beautiful landscape in the background.

Day 5

Digging Into Alaskan History

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I spent the day hiking through Fort Abercrombie State Park, learning about its rich wartime history as I took in the beautiful surrounding landscapes. The park is filled with trails that lead through moss-covered forests, around lakes, along beaches, and up to cliff faces. The 200-plus acres have a lot to offer!

Day 6

Taking a Rainy Day Drive

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A big rainstorm rolled through Kodiak today, so I decided to drive around the island in search of wildlife and moody weather photo opportunities. I also focused on food today, checking out Henry’s for its famous Alaskan fish and chips and scallops. All good things must come to an end, of course, but fortunately I had time to enjoy one last night under the stars before heading home.