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Free Traveling Guides » States » Alaska » Alaska National Parks

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Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

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Katmai National Park and Preserve is situated in southwestern Alaska on Shelikof Strait. Katmai was given the status of national monument in 1918. Its beautiful landscape, pristine waterways and abundant wildlife attract many tourists hoping to find solitude and relaxation. In addition, this rugged land offers opportunities for cross-country and short day hiking trips.

With abundant fish, remote wilderness, and a rugged coastline, Katmai National Park and Preserve is clearly one of the most beautiful parks in the nation. The flora and fauna is varied; the upper Arctic Zone is basically an alpine tundra environment. Very few trees are present here and the wildlife mainly consists of brown bears. Below the Arctic zone is the Hudsonian zone. This zone is more suitable for life, with higher year-long temperatures. This makes it suitable to support a great variety of plant and animal species.

Katmai's various lakes, scenic valleys, and volcanic landscapes are a treat for adventure lovers. Tourists can rent canoes or kayaks and experience this vast wilderness first hand. However, the long hiking routes are best attempted only by experienced hikers with adequate preparation and skills. Inexperienced hikers should stick to the popular trails to avoid getting lost in the wilderness.

Visitors to the park should expect unpredictable weather conditions. The average summer low temperature is 44 degrees Fahrenheit. Summer usually brings in a lot of sunshine, but the weather can deteriorate very rapidly. Strong winds and storms frequently sweep the area, occasionally at speeds up to 50 to 60 miles per hour.

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