Katmai: Brooks Falls vs Hallo Bay

Jan 21, 2007
Greater Seattle area (WA)
One trip single trip to Alaska got me hooked and Katmai is beginning to sound irresistable. I browsed thru many images from Katmai and noticed that the ones shot at Hallo Bay seem to be in a lot better lighting than the ones at Brooks Falls (even those shot by famous pros).

For those who have been to both, could you throw in some advice and thots about this? I am not a die-hard for a salmon-in-mouth shot because I think many people have already done that and so why duplicate it further. I am looking for shots of bears with an aura and atmospheric feel (similar to Alex Bernasconi's).

A few days at Hallo Bay will cost a bundle. If I were to include a private guide, it seems like it adds up to something similar to a Churchill trip for polar bears. Gee ... that's an expensive trip!
Last edited by a moderator:
Feb 19, 2007
SE Michigan
I have been to Brooks, but have had friends go to both. Halo Bay will get you many different shots that are not your traditional beaar catching fish. The weather at Brooks is unpredictable. Also, in summer, the crowds at Brooks can be a burden. However, it is a classic. Additionally, the bears are more acclimated to people. Either way, you can not go wrong.

Good luck.
Mar 16, 2005
Given that the NPS still has the area of Hallo Bay closed to camping, a trip there requires staying in an expensive commercial tent camp or an expensive boat base camp. I camped at Hallo several times, and enjoyed it very much. I've also been to Brooks, but it was years ago, and much has changed there (I was there before the bridges across the river, or the photography stand at the falls). Now, as to the weather at Hallo or Brooks, well, both can be nice, and both can be terrible. I sat in the rain at both locations, and I have beautiful shots in the sunshine from both as well. Overall, Brooks would be cheaper but expect it to also be crowded. Reserve camping space as soon as possible. Have fun!

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