Activities For Dogs In Katmai National Park

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Introduction

Located near the Southern Peninsula of Alaska, the Katmai National Park doubles as a nature reserve that's become renowned for sheltering an estimated 2,200 brown bears. A no doubt commendable effort, this nonetheless means that dogs and other types of domestic animals aren't allowed to set foot in a number of the park's areas - both for their own safety and the safety of the bears. If you were to visit the Katmai National Park with your dog, you wouldn't be able to visit as many parts of the park as other patrons. In the event that you and your dog find yourselves wanting to visit Katmai anyway, here are a few things the two of you can together while adhering to the park's rules.

Naknek Lake Kicksledding

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Cold Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Kicksled
Dog Harness
Lines for Sled
Dog Booties (optional)
Activity description
Though a number of areas at Katmai are closed off from dogs, visitors are openly encouraged to take their medium to large sized canines dogsledding during the winter. Kicksledding is an alternative to dogsledding that's better suited for small teams (one person and one dog). The area gets filled to the brim with heaps of snow, allowing folks to sled around with relative ease. If you've never been dogsledding or kicksledding before then you'll want to pay extra attention to information we're going to dole out down below. Even before reading that much though, we'd like to assure you that it's not too difficult of an activity to master. Although a moderate outlay of cash is required, once you have your gear you can partake in the fun as often as you'd like!
Step
1
How to kicksled
Kicksledding is all about issuing concise vocal commands while using your feet to help push the sled along. It's a lot like skateboarding but you and your dog will be travelling over snow as opposed to concrete. You'll definitely need to get your technique down pat if you plan on exploring the area around Naknek Lake during your trip. Have your dog wear the kicksled harness around the house and yard for short sessions over a couple of weeks so that they can get used to the feeling of having it on.
Step
2
Distant horizons
Commands like "on by", "tighten up" and "hike" need to be mastered before you take up the sport. Once you've learned how to properly kicksled, there won't be anything left to hold yourself and your dog back from exploring Naknek Lake. As tempting as it may be, we'd like to discourage you from attempting to sled over any frozen bodies of water - as one can never know how thick or thin ice is just by looking at it. Instead, pull your sled over and admire the frozen waters from the safety of the lakeside.
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Flightseeing

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Any Day
Expensive
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Dog Leash
Binoculars (Optional)
Activity description
Flightseeing is a term that stems from combing the words flight and sightseeing together. As you may have imagined, the activity that the word describes consists of admiring a particular area or landmark via airplane or helicopter. Being the massive and verdant landscape that it is, the Katmai National Park has no shortage of amazing sights to see from a bird's eye view. Unless you're an officially licensed pilot yourself, you'll need to find someone who will be willing to offer you the tour of the park for a fair price. You'll also need to find a pilot who will allow a dog in their plane. Luckily for you, the National Park Conservation Association has a list of pilots on their website who are willing to do the job! Tours can be expensive, so save up for this activity if need be.
Step
1
Sit back
This step is fairly simple; just spend some time teaching your dog how to behave in an aircraft before scheduling a tour. If you're a person who is ok with your dog sitting in your lap during drives, then you'll already know how to keep your dog relatively still while travelling in a vehicle. Keeping your dog by your side, or square in your lap, at all times during the flight will allow the pilot to focus on doing their job to the best of their ability - making for a smoother and more pleasant ride in the long run.
Step
2
Enjoy the ride
Before boarding the plane, take your dog for a walk so that their extra energy will be expended before the flight. Beyond making sure that your dog stays on their best behavior during the tour, there isn't much else you need to do. Calmly talk to a nervous dog or relax and gently pat a calm one. Feel free to record as much of your trip as you're allowed to or break out a pair of binoculars to get a more in-depth look at the park.
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Park Trek

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Dog Leash
Waste Bags
Backpack
Blanket
Water and snacks
Activity description
Dogs are allowed to travel through all developed areas of the Katmai National Park, save for the Brooks Camping Grounds, so long as they're travelling with a human by their side and have their leash on. This means that you and your dog can take a nice stroll through the areas of the park where domesticated pets are permitted! You won't really need to spend any money on anything too extravagant; bring along water and snacks in case a rest stop is desired. This activity can also be done during any season that the park is open, with all four seasons providing a unique experience in and of themselves.
Step
1
Set your goal
You and your dog don't have to trek through the entire expanse of the park if you don't want to - you can also plan out your route beforehand and only travel a certain distance before turning around and making your way back to the start. Whatever you do, create your game plan ahead of time and then stick to it.
Step
2
Go the distance
How briskly you go about doing this activity really determines how easy or difficult it'll be for yourself and your dog - while we heavily discourage running through the park, you can speed walk with your dog for a more intense session or you can move as slowly as you'd like for a smoother experience. Keep an eye on your pet's fatigue level and hydrate often.
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More Fun Ideas...

Recreational Roasting

Game that can be captured via hunting or fishing at the Katmai National Park. It can be a great deal of fun to chow down on some venison or salmon with your dog or a warm, open fire. Roasting is one of the easiest and most intuitive forms of cooking as well, so this particular activity has a very low barrier of entry. Allow your pet a small tidbit only; keep to their regular food in order to avoid stomach upset.

RV Ride Along

The Katmai National Park permits dogs to stay in the developed areas of the park, so long as they're leashed and accompanied by a human companion. RV's are also permitted at the park, with specific areas designated for RV owners to use a camping grounds. Even if you don't own an RV, you can rent one for the same experience.

Conclusion

By no means is the Katmai National Park a bad tourist locale; they've done a great job giving the large number of brown bears a safe place to hunt, raise their young, and live. It's just worth remembering that you and your dog won't be able to run wild and free at the park due to the bears and other forms of native wildlife. Hopefully, the activities we've listed above will help you and your dog make the most of a trip to the park.