We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

West Hartford...
Level Contributor
256 posts
302 reviews
Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

My wife and I will be spending 2-nights at Brooks Lodge in early Sept 2018. We're in our 60's and I'm a photographer.

A couple of questions:

1) Does it get very muddy at Brooks lodge if it rains? Any special clothing recommendations?

2) What kind of walking is there - is the ground very uneven - are hiking boots recommended?

3) How far do you have to walk to get to the bear-viewing platform?

4) Has anyone brought a tripod with them to Brooks Lodge? If so, how easy is it to pack on the flight over there from Anchorage, and how big of a tripod can you bring?

Any other recommendations?

Thanks!

12 replies to this topic
United States
Level Contributor
1,805 posts
136 reviews
1. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

Many of the trails around Brooks can get muddy after rain. A lot of people wear hiking boots but some just wear good walking shoes.

There are several viewing platforms at various locations in Brooks Camp. The Falls Platform (which is just adjacent to the Brooks Falls) is the one that gets pretty crazy busy at times and they have maintain a waiting list and limit the amount of time each person can spend so as to give others a chance. It has a capacity limit for the number of folks at a given time. It's about a mile or so from the Lodge. Another platform is probably just about 300 to 400 feet from the Falls Platform. There is also a platform on the river close to the Lodge. Just about 5 minutes away.

The trails are sort of packed dirt with some packed gravel mixed in at places. Fairly flat with some exceptions.

West Hartford...
Level Contributor
256 posts
302 reviews
2. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

Thanks for that info trekkerman9. Sounds like hiking boots are probably a good idea.

Bristol, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
4,783 posts
34 reviews
3. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

Rain pants are also a great idea. Many of the trails traverse through some areas of long and sometimes wet grass. Especially if you have to make a detour around a bear jam. If you have the time take a stroll over to Lake Brooks, it's very pretty and you may find some bears over there too.

Oh and I just noticed...hi neighbor.

Edited: 05 July 2018, 00:58
fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
16,143 posts
34 reviews
4. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

The Falls Platform is not where most (all?) bears are in September. They are in the lower river.

Tripods have been banned this year at the Falls Platform, at least during the peak time in July. I have brought a tripod with me to Brooks. It is just part of your checked luggage and included in the weight.

Layers is key. As was said, rain gear is essential, including for your camera.

Edited: 05 July 2018, 17:29
West Hartford...
Level Contributor
256 posts
302 reviews
5. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

Thanks fti for that information about most of the bears in the lower-river area.

We're preparing for rain - have several types of camera rain covers. For us, we have ponchos and waterproof leg gaiters, and we're getting wool socks, just in case.

I haven't been able to get any info on luggage restrictions yet. I have a 22 inch rolling case for my photo gear and we're planning on bringing a 30 inch duffel for our clothes - not sure where my tripod is going yet! I can bring a smaller tripod that folds or a larger Gitzo - I prefer the Gitzo (especially if it will be windy), but both are solid/steady tripods.

Do you remember what the luggage restrictions were?

Bristol, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Alaska
Level Contributor
4,783 posts
34 reviews
6. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

What are your flights? Are you flying Alaska Air to King Salmon and then Katmai Air or some other carrier? Alaska Air is easy. Check their website but you should be good. The smaller planes have strict weight restriction (50lbs). Not sure about sizes. I have flown with Katmai and brought all sorts of gear and they had room. I had Land Survey equipment (Tripods, GPS, Total Stations) I would call and ask but I am sure it is something they deal with regularly. The only problem I ever had is they did not have room for everything on one flight so some of my gear was on the next flight.

Plantation, Florida
Level Contributor
280 posts
17 reviews
7. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

Katmai Air allows 50 lbs. per person and charges for each additional pound over; I don't remember how much. It wasn't crazy. Other than your carry-on stuff (which they stow in the back), they take your luggage and fly it over separately.

I was just at Brooks and they were allowing tripods on the upper platform; you just weren't allowed to open them.

Re: "What kind of walking is there - is the ground very uneven - are hiking boots recommended?" I'd bring hiking boots, but the ground is even; my wife hurt her knee, and I pushed her up and back in a wheelchair three times. Just remember that there might be times when you'll have to step off the path and into the woods (if a bear approaches, etc.).

1.2-miles each way from the lodge to the upper platform; it felt like a little more. One ranger said it was more like 1.7. The lower platform is a quick walk from the lodge. Riffles is a few hundred yards from the main falls platform.

Have a great time. I was a little skeptical before we went there, but I was transformed. It's a special place, and not just the upper platform. The entire experience is surreal. How many times in your life will you have a bear pass two feet in front of you, followed by another bear?

By the way, if you get to the upper platform before the crowds arrive (around 9 a.m.) or after they leave (about 4:30 p.m.), there's no wait, and we were there mid-July, prime time.

West Hartford...
Level Contributor
256 posts
302 reviews
8. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

Thanks Davetroy for that great info. You were there during peak-season - hopefully they'll allow "open" tripods in September.

My wife and I will have 1 duffel bag each (about 25 pounds each), and I'll have a camera bag (about 25 pounds). We were hoping to be able to also carry on a small nylon backpack with only a few things in it. We probably don't need the backpacks, but if we can bring them onto the planes, it would be nice.

Bugibba, Malta
Level Contributor
508 posts
28 reviews
9. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

You can use a tripod in September. Bears are spread out in the lower river and lakes. So visitors are spread out too. When we were there many used tripods.

Take a mosquito head net. Don't underestimate the clouds of mosquitoes! You can buy these from Brooks lodge small shop, but if you arrive after shop close, you are left at their mercy. It all depends on the winds, calm day many mosquitoes, windy day mosquitoes go away, it's that simple!

West Hartford...
Level Contributor
256 posts
302 reviews
10. Re: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)

Thanks, rdsat. I have 2 head-nets (previously used in the Everglades). I was thinking that the mosquitoes wouldn't be bad in September - guess I was wrong! I'll pick up some mosquito repellent as well, but I hate using that stuff!

Reply to: Clothing recommendations for Brooks Lodge (early Sept)
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Katmai National Park...
More Katmai National Park and Preserve Topics