We’ve been hosting visitors at our Alaska lodges for over 75 years, giving us unique insights into tourist trends. June through September are peak tourist season, but August tends to get overlooked as one of the best times to visit. We’re here to give a shout out to August as a great time to book your Alaskan adventure. There are a few reasons we feel that way:
The Alaskan Wildlife is Still, Well, Wild
A common misconception is that there isn’t as much wildlife viewing as there is in July. Not true! Brown and black bears, caribou, moose, humpback whales, and other native animals are bulking up to get ready for the winter months. This means tons of animal activity. If we were talking 15-20 years ago, it would have been true that our beloved Alaskan bears were migrating away from the Brooks area in August as the salmon run slows down. But for the past 10 years or so, we’ve seen a lot more bears staying put in the area as late as October.
At Brooks Falls near Brooks Lodge in the heart of the Katmai National Park, you’ll get that highly coveted photo of bears fishing for salmon on the falls. In fact, you’re more likely to get an unobstructed shot since our viewing platforms are less crowded than the other summer months.
More Time to Soak it All In
There is nothing like the Alaskan landscape. You came all this way for an escape. The last thing you want is to have a limited amount of time to breathe it all in. Though August is a popular month to visit Alaska, it’s less crowded than July and September. This means less wait time at the most popular viewing platforms and more time allowed on the platform. During our busiest months, Katmai National Park rangers put a time limit on the amount of time visitors can spend on the bear viewing platforms, but during the month of August time limits are often not enforced.
Big Fish in a Small Pond
Alaska is an angler’s paradise with your choice of crystal-clear rivers, lakes, and streams for guided fly or conventional fishing trips or just some alone time on the water. Bristol Bay is consistently listed among the top 10 fishing destinations in the world, for good reason.
August is peak season to target silver salmon, a popular species to target via rod and reel. The other four species of Pacific Salmon native to Alaska are also present during the month of July, but are typically in their spawning phase, so not as commonly targeted. The trout fishing is significantly better in August on the Brooks River compared to the month of July. The fish are typically bigger this time of year since they have had more time to feed.
Buggy Bumper Season
You might have heard that the unofficial Alaskan state bird is the mosquito. August at Brooks Falls is typically the most bug-friendly time. It’s right in between our buggiest seasons when you’re more likely to deal with mosquitos, white socks, and no-see-ums.
One final note: you can pack a few less layers. Just make sure one of those layers is a quality rain jacket. Expect daytime temps in the 60’s to low 70s. You’ll also have about 18 hours of daylight under the Midnight Sun so you can hike, kayak, fish and experience the unparalleled views of volcanoes and glaciers. Alaska is easily one of the country’s most unique vacation spots. We’ll see you soon!