Katmai National Park and Preserve was established to study and protect the landscape around the Valley of the Ten Thousand Smokes. The untouched wilderness in the preserve is home to thousands of brown bears, millions of salmon and an abundance of other wildlife.
More than 100 years ago this region experienced a substantial volcanic eruption for a volcano since named Novarupta that spewed ash for 60 hours and resulted in a barren landscape covered in ash. Heat was trapped under the ash for decades and anytime water was present it was vaporized into steam inspiring the name Valley of the Ten Thousand Smokes. Within the Valley are several monuments to see including the caldera formed when Mount Katmai‚Äôs summit collapsed during the 1912 Novarupta eruption.
Novarupta is one of the most highly studied volcanic eruptions in the world. Daily ranger-led tours from Brooks Camp provide a thorough tour of the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The tour is mainly by bus with a 3.4 mile optional hike. Ask about adding on a Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes day excursion.