Woman, 29, details WILD experience traveling to Alaska’s Katmai National Park – revealing she had to pay $1,200 and attend ‘BEAR’ school just to spend five hours in remote tundra that is filled with dangerous wildlife and has to be accessed by ‘floatplane’
- Emily Pogue, 29, from Fort Collins, Colorado, visited the preserve in September
- She recently opened up about the immense measures she had to take to go there
- She said she had to undergo lessons on how to protect herself from bears
A woman has revealed that she paid $1,200 and had to attend ‘bear school’ just to spend a few hours in Alaska’s ‘extremely remote’ Katmai National Park – which is inhabited by thousands of dangerous wildlife and can only be reached by boat or plane.
Emily Pogue, 29, a freelance writer and avid traveler from Fort Collins, Colorado, recently opened up about the immense measures she had to take – and the steep price she had to pay – to visit the preserve in an essay for Insider.
She explained that she and her husband, Joe, were vacationing in Alaska to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in September, when they decided to book a day trip to Katmai National Park.
She found a package that came with a round-trip plane ticket, lunch, and a five-hour window to explore the park, but it would cost a whopping $1,200 per person.
A woman paid $1,200 and attended ‘bear school’ to spend a few hours in Alaska’s Katmai National Park – which is inhabited by dangerous wildlife and can only be reached by plane
Emily Pogue (seen in Alaska with her husband), 29, from Colorado, recently opened up about the immense measures she had to take to visit the preserve in an essay for Insider
She and her husband, Joe, were vacationing in Alaska to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in September and paid $1,200 for a day trip to Katmai. She’s seen in Alaska
They flew via floatplane from Anchora, Alaska, to Katmai, which is located on a peninsula in the southern area of the state. The view from their plane is seen
While Emily admitted that she was shocked by the how much she’d have to pay to spend a mere few hours at the off-beaten area – ‘I audibly gasped,’ she wrote of discovering the price – she decided to ‘splurge,’ and it ‘ended up being her favorite part’ of their entire trip to Alaska.
Located on a peninsula in the southern area of the state, Katmai is best known for its stunning landscapes that ‘span tundra, forests, lakes and mountains.’
It has also earned favor among adventurers due to its vast amount of brown bears – and while a rare opportunity to get ‘close-up views’ of the animal is appealing, it also poses some risks.
Upon arriving at the park, Emily had to undergo a 15 minute lesson where they were taught to protect themselves if they came face to face with a bear. Some of the bears she saw on the day trip are seen above
In addition, it’s not easy to get there. Emily explained that they had to take a ‘floatplane,’ which ‘can take off from and land on water thanks to special floats on the bottom’ and are ‘a popular way to get around in Alaska, as so much of the state is inaccessible any other way.’
She, her husband, and five other passengers all boarded the tiny aircraft in Anchorage, Alaska, and flew roughly 45 minutes to Katmai.
And she said that the views alone from out the window during the flight made the price ‘worth it.’
‘When I say my face was glued to my window the entire flight, I mean it,’ she wrote in the essay.
‘The landscape seemed to change every five minutes, from glassy water to lush fields and stunning glaciers.
As for what she was taught during the lesson, she said she learned that the key thing was to remember ‘not to run’ because that could ‘trigger a bear’s predatory instinct’
They were also told to ‘travel in groups’ and ‘talk loudly’ at all times as to not ‘surprise any bears.’ Emily said they saw roughly 40 bears during their day at Katmai, one of which is seen
Emily and her husband spent their five hours in the park hiking and taking in the gorgeous sights. They visited a hot spring (seen) and Brooks Falls
They also went to an ice museum – where they had drinks in ‘ice glasses’ that they smashed on the ground afterwards
‘Our pilot even swooped down to a few valleys, where we saw our first bears fishing in the streams.’
Upon arriving at the park, Emily and the rest of the visitors had to undergo something she called ‘bear school’ so they could learn to protect themselves if they came face to face with one of the creatures.
‘Roughly 2,200 brown bears live in the park, allowing visitors unprecedented access to witnessing these creatures in the wild,’ she explained.
‘The bears are able to thrive because of the park’s extreme remoteness. But with [thousands] of bears roaming around, the park rangers want to make sure guests don’t scare the animals (or put themselves in danger).
So, the first stop after arrival was sitting through the 15-minute “bear school” to learn the safety rules to follow around bears.’
As for what she was taught during the lesson, she said she learned that the key thing was to remember ‘not to run’ because that could ‘trigger a bear’s predatory instinct.’
In addition, they were told to ‘travel in groups’ and ‘talk loudly’ at all times as to not ‘surprise any bears.’
‘We were also instructed to put any food or scented items in special “food cache” buildings so the bears weren’t attracted to any tasty smells on us,’ she added.
‘We were free to explore after getting our “bear school graduate” pins to prove we attended.
‘Although there were plenty of park rangers around, it was emphasized that in Katmai, you’re responsible for your own safety.’
Emily and her husband spent their five hours in the park hiking and taking in the gorgeous sights.
Emily, who is seen in another area of Alaska, said: ‘Overall, the day couldn’t have gone any better. I’d wholeheartedly recommend the trip to Katmai to any nature lover’
She gushed of the park: ‘The landscape seemed to change every five minutes, from glassy water to lush fields and stunning glaciers.’ Other areas of Alaska that she visited are seen
They visited hot springs as well as an ice museum – where they had drinks in ‘ice glasses’ that they smashed on the ground afterwards.
The also went to Brooks Falls, a beautiful waterfall that’s known to be a prime spot to see bears, who come to the river below to catch the salmon.
‘At one point, we could see 14 bears scattered throughout the river. In total, we saw upwards of 40 bears on our trip,’ she gushed.
When it came time to leave, they got one last treat when they came across a mama bear and her cub just before take-off.
‘As we approached [the plane to leave], our pilot quietly motioned for us to hop on the plane’s float,’ she recalled.
‘We looked to our right, and a mama bear and her cub had just emerged from the trees down the beach from us.
‘We held our breath as they moseyed toward us, totally unbothered by us tiny humans.
‘Finally, the cub got a burst of energy and ran by, with his mom reluctantly following.’
On the way back, the pilot ‘swooped down for one last view of the valleys’ and they were able to see ‘more bears, caribou, and even a pack of wolves’ – a perfect ending to the magical day.
‘Overall, the day couldn’t have gone any better. I’d wholeheartedly recommend the trip to Katmai to any nature lover visiting the Anchorage area,’ she concluded.
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