Before we begin I want to reference the Bears of Brooks River 2018 reference guide. Indeed, all these bears are well-documented. So if you see me refer to them by their number, more information can be found in this reference.
This trip sort of started way back in January. January 5th 12:00 AKST to be exact. That is the precise time registration opens for the coveted Katmai Campground. It only holds 60 spots, and it seems that the whole world wants them during the month of July. Attempting to coordinate with a friend (Tim), we were set on grabbing the second week. But that date literally filled up in seconds. Almost suspiciously fast. Alas, we were pushed off our goal of visiting peak season and had to settle for the last week of July into early August. Here’s hoping that the salmon run…runs late.
With a holiday weekend ahead, it’s time to head straight up to Canyon Village from work. When passing Hayden Valley, it was past 8:30 and dark, but one of the largest traffic jams I’ve seen for this time of year. Everyone was focused on the east side, towards the Wapiti rendezvous area. Looks like I have my morning spot picked out.
Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of the summer season and the start of intense crowds in the greater Yellowstone area. But the summer season does not mean summer weather! It’s still variable with cool nights and snow-covered campsites.