The standard way to reach Brooks Camp is via a round trip float plane trip to/from Brooks Camp from King Salmon. In recent years a water taxi service has been providing another option. I recommend taking a float plane with Katmai Air.
The King Salmon (AKN) airport is small and can be chaotic during salmon season. There you will wait for your luggage to be deplaned. You will then need to grab your bags and bring them to a Katmai Air / Brooks Lodge shuttle bus waiting in front of the King Salmon luggage terminal. Keep an eye out for the shuttle out front of the luggage terminal.
The Katmai Air / Brooks Lodge shuttle bus will drive you and your luggage, with other visitors, to the Katmai Air float plane terminal in King Salmon, on the Naknek River. You will have your luggage and yourself weighed when you check in. Your luggage may fly on a different float plane. No worries, they have an excellent track record. If the float plane crew wants to take your camera and stow it, please abide; they handle thousands of cameras yearly with no problems.
Bear spray is not allowed on any flights, including float planes. If you have bear spray, you need to declare it. This is serious; if a bear spray canister opened in the cabin, it would be a disaster! Do not sneak bear spray onto any flights. If you declare bear spray, they will make you fill out paperwork and stow it inside the plane’s floats.
Please listen and follow the instructions of the float plane pilot. The pilot will seat you in a dedicated seat to balance the plane. You need to sit in your assigned seat. If you are lucky enough to sit in the cockpit with the pilot, please follow their instructions and ask them if it is ok for you to take photos or not. The pilots often do not want you taking pictures from the co-pilot’s seat.
The float plane flight is quick (20-30 minutes). Enjoy seeing the sights of Katmai as you fly into Brooks Camp.
I will meet you on the beach when you land on Naknek Lake at Brooks Camp. You will be led to the NPS Visitor Center where you will take a mandatory bear safety class. Do not worry about your luggage, the “ramp dogs” will unload your luggage from the float plane and take it to the designated inbound luggage location at Brooks Lodge.
Do not be shocked if there are bears on the beach when you land. Please just follow the instruction of the ramp dogs and/or rangers, or me.
After your bear safety class, you will receive an official bear safety pin. Please wear this when you are at Katmai. After bear school, please walk to the Brooks Lodge. We will load your luggage in a luggage cart and walk together to the Brooks Campground.
We will photograph as soon as possible after you arrive in Brooks Camp.