Naknek River Camp

Naknek River Camp

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About

4.5
#10 of 14 lodges in King Salmon
Location
4.7
Cleanliness
4.1
Service
4.4
Value
4.7
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HOTEL STYLE
Budget
Charming
Property amenities
Free internet
Free breakfast
Boating
Hiking
Free airport transportation
BBQ facilities
Outdoor furniture
Laundry service
Restaurant
Fishing
Airport transportation
Shuttle bus service
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun deck
First aid kit
Self-serve laundry
Room features
Housekeeping
Seating area
Private bathrooms
Walk-in shower
Room types
Mountain view

Location

King Salmon, AK 99613-0032
Getting there
King Salmon Airport
South Naknek Airport
10.3 mi
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23Reviews3Q+A8Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
qsmamo wrote a review Jul 2021
Redding, California301 contributions265 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We just finished a week at Naknek River Camp and could not be more elated. It was one of the most amazing life experiences (and we have had many including at many “camps” throughout the world). Every member of the staff from Phyllis and Jim, the owners, to “Dryfly John”, the coordinator of guides who ensures every guest is getting the experience s/he desires, to every member of the team constantly checking with you to see if you need anything, are outstanding. Truly, all the guests were gushing about the experience. We came to Naknek on a recommendation from a friend’s cousin (we had told him we were looking for a place we could take our grandson fishing in Katmai that we could afford…NRC perfectly fit that need). The experience provided, including the cabins, clean bathrooms and showers, while not “luxury” were certainly way more than we hoped we would be provided. The guides are experienced and professional going out of their way to ensure the client’s needs are met, our grandson is obsessed with catching trophy trout…Steve even fished with him after dinner several days, late into the night to make that happen and happen and happen. I use ratings for my trip planning, therefore do not “overrate” (which I hope others do as well), so if I give 5 stars it has to be worth 5 stars, in this case it more than is and (as I’ve seen on other ratings) I wish I couple give a few more. Your challenge will be getting a reservation because the camp is not large (another huge benefit) and I think it is being “discovered”).
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Date of stay: July 2021Trip type: Traveled with family
Room Tip: Check their website carefully so you go when the fish you are most interested in catching are...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
David T wrote a review Jul 2021
2 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This has become an annual trip for us.We have been to the both the River Camp and Trophy Lodge. If your looking for great guides, great fishing this is the place. The food and accommodations are good. We come to Alaska to fish not be pampered by 5 star accommodation and gourmet chefs. Best of all King Salmon is easily accessible by Alaska Airlines. No getting stuck in Anchorage or the "fishing lodge" due to bad weather (which has happened to me multiple times). And I can use my air miles for travel, saving thousands over hiring a bush pilot to take me to a remote lodge and back.
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Date of stay: July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ed B wrote a review Sep 2023
6 contributions
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Micah, Jim, Phyllis & the whole staff work very hard to make sure their guests have a great trip. They really know the water in Katmai & will put you where the fish are. The boats & gear are excellent & the cabins are clean & comfortable. Make sure you go to Brooks River in Katmai. It’s an awesome experience
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Date of stay: September 2023Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: In September the Sockeye are spawning - and the big Rainbows move into the river to feast
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kent wrote a review Sep 2022
1 contribution1 helpful vote
2.0 of 5 bubbles
We should have know that something was bad when all but one guy were new visitors…people do not repeat this vacation. No Lodge, cabins were clean but small, especially bathroom. Meals were plain but adequate except for one which should have embarrassed the cook.

The most disappointing was the communication. The first few days the owners and staff acted like they were all depressed. We did not know who the owner was until the 3rd day. We received little information about our fishing options until it was too late to take advantage of the experiences we came to enjoy..fly fishing for trout.

We did have a wonderful guide.

We will not go back.
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Date of stay: August 2022
2.0 of 5 bubblesValue
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Don B. wrote a review Jun 2022
Colorado Springs, Colorado3 contributions2 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
A buddy of mine fished here with friends and said fishing was great, but MULTIPLE guides were RUDE and UNPROFESSIONAL literally yelling at one of his friends who has fished all over the world. He was NOT a novice and knew what he was doing. Told me we could book with them but not until we had a talk with the owner.
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Date of stay: September 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Aimee D wrote a review Apr 2014
Chicago, Illinois2 contributions11 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I wasn't going to review my experience (which was two summers ago -- so hopefully some things have improved) but just saw these very positive reviews and am truly shocked.

This was the worst trip I have ever taken. And, once all of the expenses (tipping, extra money for food and drink not provided, float plane cost, etc.) were factored in, this was no cheap trip. We spent over four thousand dollars PER PERSON (there were two of us) (not including our airfare).

I don't need fancy accommodations. Their accommodations were filthy. It was a plywood shack and the floors were covered in dirt. The floor bounced because there was insufficient support underneath. The windows of this "cabin" were crusted with bugs. There was still blood on the cooler on the front porch from the previous guests. We each were given one old used towel to use for the entire week. The chemical toilet smelled. The shower in the cabin was unusable because the water was either scalding or freezing.

Despite what the website claims, the food was terrible. One meal was a piece of fish with yellow mustard squeezed on top. On the rare occasion one might ask for seconds, the serving staff thought twice about it. Turns out that the guides were given the food that the guests hadn't eaten. So, you felt bad about eating until you were full. On the tables in the dining hall sat pitchers of Tang. The same pitchers sat there from breakfast through dinner and until the next day if it wasn't emptied.

I took no comfort in the fact that most of the guides seemed as miserable as we were. They openly complained that the owners had yet to tip them from the previous season. Some of the guides were fine but some were unfriendly. We actually had a guide who would only answer my husband's questions; he would not answer questions from me or other female guests. To save money, the camp will put a guide with up to six guests, far too many in my opinion.

So, I would recommend going someplace else.
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Date of stay: May 2013Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: There is one cabin that has a shower and toilet.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Naknekrivercamp, Manager at Naknek River Camp
Responded Sep 30, 2015
This was several years ago, as Stephanie rightfully pointed out, and we have made great improvements since then. To be fair to us, we never pretended to be a 5 star accommodation or restaurant. We only promised to deliver a great fishing trip at an affordable price on one of Alaska's great fishing rivers. We have always delivered on that promise, as hopefully you can see by reading the rest of the reviews posted here. Since her visit, we have added lots of bathrooms and showers, remodeled the kitchen and dining room, upgraded the food and overall improved in every aspect. We have a tremendously high return rate and customer satisfaction, and have grown quickly almost entirely through word of mouth. Having said that, we are always looking to improve the experience as best we can and the occasional critical guest comment helps to keep us focused on that goal. We pledge to continue improving until even someone like Stephanie would enjoy her stay in Katmai National Park.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
amt3866_2007 wrote a review May 2015
White Cloud, Michigan10 contributions6 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My wife and I are repeat visitors at the Johnson Family’s Naknek River Camp. We have fished out of the camp for the last five years and some of those years we made two trips, one early season trip for the Sockeye run and another late season trip for big Rainbows. We are both experienced anglers and for the price of a week at the Camp we can have an excellent Alaskan fishing experience. We can pay more for different amenities but we won’t get a better fishing experience. The reason for our success is the location of the Camp and the guides. The Camp is located in the famous Katmai National Park and on the big Naknek River at the outlet from Naknek Lake. At this prime location we have the opportunity to catch a variety of cold water game fish; from the elegant grayling, in migrating sockeye and silver salmon, to the big resident trophy rainbows that gather in pods in front of the Camp to ambush the salmon smolt moving down the river.
The Camp guides are the very best to be had, most are seasoned professionals that have their own guide services and clients in the lower states but return each season to guide at the River Camp for the Johnson’s. Some will also bring a group of their own clients to fish it the Camp. Many like son James Johnson, a phenomenal fly fisherman and international fishing guide, are also Coast Guard certified Captains. The guides use a variety of boats at the Camp and all are safe, serviceable and will be matched to the water and type of fishing that you want to do. The guides have GPS systems and satellite phones and can pilot the big Catamaran safely across Naknek Lake in all kinds of weather to fish streams like the incomparable Brooks where we swing streamers and mouse patterns for the beautiful leopard spotted rainbows. When fishing Brooks we always stop at the viewing platform to watch the brown bears fishing around the falls, hoping to see a mom and with tiny spring cubs trailing behind. Owner Jim Johnson monitors the weather, water conditions and the status of the salmon migrations and will match us with the guide, boat and location that give us the very best opportunity to catch trophy fish. Flexibility is the norm at River Camp; we can fly out on one of the bush taxi to one of the small picture perfect streams like Contact Creek and wade fish for the improbably large resident char or cross Naknek Lake and fish Morgot Creek for feisty rainbows, or my favorite, trying to land one of the huge bright red and aggressive spawning sockeye before they take me downstream or into the nearest wood pile.
Generally I am a center pin fisherman and like to drift big leach and flesh fly patterns for the huge resident rainbows staged in the deep water in front of the Camp. Be advised there be monsters here and on any given day you can hook, land or lose a 30 + inch rainbow. My other favorite location is the rapids. The rapids are simply put a fish factory. On the upper end around King Island we drift painted beads to pods of big king salmon that spawn in the deep side channels. You have to bring you’re A game and best gear if you’re planning on fighting these heavy weights down through the rapids. We have fought 40 + inch Kings on 9 wt rods for an hour before they came to the net and it is amazing to see these guides expertly maneuver the jet boats through this fast shallow water as you fight these big fish.
When the Pink Salmon are in the lower Rapids we take our 6 and 7 wt rods and drift beads and wooly buggers to these little power houses. Don’t discount these little sluggers because after landing a half dozen we are ready for a break to rest our aching arms and tired wrist.
Be prepared for surprises and heart breaks when fishing the Rapids because there are plenty of Jacks, big Sliver Salmon and Rainbows hanging out in the pockets and deeper channels. Down here that little subtle take may be, just a FISH On, Whoo Hoo, or a screaming reel with the fish of your dreams taking you deep into the backing.
The River Camp is the quintessential Alaskan sports fishing operation. The cabins are rustic but clean, dry and warm, and all have electrical power. Some have bathrooms and showers and all are located close to the central facilities. Every year the Johnsons have made significant additions to the Camp, be it a new menu item, new larger cabins with private bath, fly shop, or a new boardwalk between the cabins and central bath house, always some improvement. Phyllis takes care of housekeeping runs the Kitchen and Dining Room, son Hunter is the Grill Master and grills delicious fresh salmon fillets using his special seasonings. Hearty meals are served family style and great lunches are packed daily for each boat. If you are deemed a special guest, daughter Tanna and the kitchen staff will put a smiley face on your lunch sandwich and captivate you with a set of songs on Thursday night.

Jim and Phyllis are experienced hosts and outfitters and will do their very best to ensure we always have that great Alaskan fishing experience. Please note that Alaska is not just another state, it is another country. Up there the scale and grandeur of your surroundings is breath taking where you will experience big weather, big water and big fish and animals. We have caught 30 inch + Rainbows and seen bear, moose, caribou, fox, wolf, eagle and ptarmigan from Camp or along the river. I strongly suggest that before traveling to King Salmon Alaska and the River Camp you do a little reading and research on local weather, angling for salmon and other resident fish in order to level your expectations and be prepared to take advantage of this unique fishing opportunity. If you are looking for spa level amenities or the latest in fusion restaurant dining, I suggest checking the small inns or B & Bs in the San Francisco Bay area for that kind of experience. The Naknek River Camp is a place where serious anglers can catch that trophy of a life time or budget minded first timers can have a great Alaskan fishing adventure. Bring good fishing gear and clothes, a good attitude and prepare to meet some wonderful people and have an awesome Alaskan fishing experience.
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Date of stay: September 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: All cabins great views of the Naknek and distant mountains.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Tina E C wrote a review Aug 2014
los angeles4 contributions9 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed at Naknek River Camp in July of 2014 and had a fantastic time. The cabins are rustic but clean and ours had a full bathroom with shower. The camp runs on generators so there are lights and outlets to charge camera batteries or use your computer in your cabin. Each cabin has heat for the chilly evenings. There is also a separate shower cabin and it is very clean as well. The view from the front porch of the cabins is very beautiful and we saw bears across the river multiple times during our stay. This is a family run camp and they make you feel very welcome. Meals are served in the main cabin and the food is home cooked and very good. There was a nice variety of foods served during our stay.

The fishing guides are all personable and very patient if you are just learning. Despite never having tried my hand at fly fishing, they helped me learn to cast and catch a few sockeye salmon. Due to their location near the mouth of Naknek Lake, they are one of the few locations that can get you to Brooks Falls, Margot Creek and Idavain Creek by boat. We were there primarily for bear viewing so we went across the Lake each day. Not having to pay for a float plane made staying there an even better deal for us.

They do not have internet and cell phones won't work but there is a phone in the main cabin to make calls to home. If you need things from the local store such as extra drinks or snacks, they make a run into town each day and will pick up what you need. This is not a fancy place but has everything you need to make your stay an incredible one. I can't wait to go back there again.
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Date of stay: July 2014
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: If there are 4 in your group ask for one of the two bedroom cabins with a shower.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
flyfishingattorney wrote a review Mar 2018
Grand Haven, Michigan876 contributions174 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I’ve been to Naknek River Camp for 3 stays in 3 consecutive years. The first year was in mid July for the sockeye run. The next two years for Labor Day week, the start of really big rainbow trout season.

Naknek River Camp delivers the greatest fishing experience for well under $5,000 perhaps on earth when you factor in the incomparable bear viewing.

There are fancier camps on the same river at twice the price but they fish the exact same spots. Plus they have to fly into the incomparable Brooks Camp and perhaps the most beautiful spot in Katmai, Margot Creek. These are both accessible from Naknek by a very scenic boat ride.

I’m a snobby lawyer and a picky eater. I’m not going to lie and say I wouldn’t rather have been at Rapids Camp or Crystal Creek eating elk or ostrich at dinner time. But, I paid $3,000 instead of $10,000 and enjoyed the best fishing of my life. The food was fine. Because the Camp does get mail, you can ship in anything that might make you more comfortable. I shipped in wine and high quality granola/beef jerky.

The guides are excellent, the fishing is ridiculous and the beds are comfortable. It’s the best fishing trip possible for a great price. There are rivers that you can’t help but hook a feisty rainbow (Margot) or char (Contact/Ugashik) nearly each cast if your fly is correct. The rainbows on Moraine Creek are like submarines in shallow water.

Damn, I can’t wait to return!
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Date of stay: August 2017Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Roger M wrote a review Sep 2016
Edison, Ohio34 contributions13 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I spent a week at Naknek River Camp. It is a fishing camp and not a romantic getaway for you and your honey. That is not wat they advertise. Great place if you are interested in fishing only. Cabin: Was clean. My cabin had a chemical toilet. Some cabins have full facilities. The bathhouse was clean and shower water was warm.
We were welcomed at the airport by Jim, the owner. Though out the week, I felt like family.
Food: Every offering was first class home cooking.
Fishing: My main guide was Mike. I spent the first 2 days at another lodge and caught all the species on bucket list except a silver. We spent 2 days throwing at the shore. My fishing partner manage to land 2 silvers in 2 days. My only silver hook up ended with a broken line. If you are new to fly-fishing, If you are new to fly-fishing. I would highly recommend Mike. The man has infinite patients with a neophyte like me. I learned a lot from him.
Over all, a great week of fishing for the price.
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Date of stay: August 2016
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: Not a romantic weekend with honey location, but a great place for a fishing trip
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
NECNurse asked a question Aug 2022
Walnut Creek, California10 contributions6 helpful votes
Advice on tipping for guides?
Bob W asked a question Sep 2016
Asheville, North Carolina6 contributions2 helpful votes
How can I contact owner/staff for reservation and rates info for 2017?
Bob W asked a question Sep 2016
Asheville, North Carolina6 contributions2 helpful votes
How can I contact owner/staff for reservation and rates info for 2017?
Ed B wrote a tip Sep 2023
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"In September the Sockeye are spawning - and the big Rainbows move into the river to feast"
Read full review
qsmamo wrote a tip Jul 2021
Redding, California301 contributions265 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Check their website carefully so you go when the fish you are most interested in catching are running. You won’t go wrong."
Read full review
Roger M wrote a tip Sep 2016
Edison, Ohio34 contributions13 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Not a romantic weekend with honey location, but a great place for a fishing trip"
Read full review
amt3866_2007 wrote a tip May 2015
White Cloud, Michigan10 contributions6 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All cabins great views of the Naknek and distant mountains."
Read full review
Tina E C wrote a tip Aug 2014
los angeles4 contributions9 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"If there are 4 in your group ask for one of the two bedroom cabins with a shower."
Read full review
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LOCATION
United StatesAlaskaKing Salmon
NUMBER OF ROOMS
10
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NAKNEK RIVER CAMP

Frequently Asked Questions about Naknek River Camp
What are some of the property amenities at Naknek River Camp?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and airport transportation.
Which room amenities are available at Naknek River Camp?
Top room amenities include a view of the mountains, a seating area, and a walk-in shower.
What food & drink options are available at Naknek River Camp?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and barbeque facilities during their stay.
Does Naknek River Camp have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Naknek River Camp offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Naknek River Camp have airport transportation?
Yes, Naknek River Camp offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Naknek River Camp?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
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