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All reviews volcanic eruption bus ride brooks camp katmai np walked down mile hike bear viewing awesome place day tour ash geology miles scenery lava century wildlife hikers
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Reviewed July 31, 2017

Although the valley no longer smokes it's still an amazing spot. Seeing the layers of ash that fell and hardened as a result of the Novarupta Volcano in 1912 was incredible. We got to the Griggs Visitor Center via the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes Tour offered at Katmai National Park. The ranger who accompanied our group was quite knowledgeable. The hike down into the valley was pleasant, but hiking back up can prove a bit strenuous if not in decent shape. It's not for everyone, but if hiking, wildlife and geology are of interest, it's a must see.

Date of experience: June 2017
2  Thank fewsl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2017

Loved this place. Try to do the hiker yourself and visit both spots. I plan on coming back and doing a few days to try to reach the crater. It is a really awesome place. Hike back up is a bit tough, bring water down with you. You'll want it. And take a watch. You want to budget at least 40 minutes (if you are in avg conditions) from where the fork happens so that you make the pick up time properly. Brings layers and a rain jacket. Temp varies a lot. I went first week of July.

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank 1909_Chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2017

A well narrated bus ride over a gravel road with brown bears plentiful at the start of the trip. VTTS is an amazing lunar landscape over ancient rock layers, but the trip was cancelled one day while we were there because the bears were plentiful enough that the park kept the Floating Bridge closed for 7 hours (also preventing people from reaching bear viewing platforms). We were crowded into a treed area where most people couldn't even see bears while holding out the potential for taking their tour, but it didn't happen that day. Most people thought that was unreasonable as the bears really weren't taking any notice of people - just fishing and sleeping. I agree that NPS can do better than that.

Date of experience: July 2017
1  Thank Traveler_from_Alaska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2017

We did a day tour from katmai via bus to this valley. Then we walked down to the valley floor, was interesting, but since we only had 4 nights in Katmai NP, I would have preferred more time with the bears.

Date of experience: September 2016
1  Thank rdsat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2017

The amount of ash thrown out of the Katmai and Novarupta eruptions in 1912 is hard to fathom - it extends for many miles and is easily hundreds of feet thick. The trip on a 4-WD bus takes all day, and includes an optional hike down to the river from an overlook. Wildlife was abundant on the bus trip and we stopped at some beautiful overlooks. Highly recommend you add this excursion once you've braved the trip to Brooks Lodge!

Date of experience: September 2016
2  Thank peter l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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