Wildlife at Big Ku Lodge

There's no shortage of wildlife and spectacular scenery at Katmai National Park.

Nothing is more exciting than watching bears fight over territory.

Bear Safety

At Big Ku Lodge, you will have experienced guides who will ensure the best practices are used in bear country. 

The best defense in Bear country is to be aware, give bears space and make yourself known.  Avoid close encounters, avoid scaring a bear, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. You will be briefed upon your arrival at Big Ku Lodge, as to bear safety and protocol.

Wildlife in Katmai National Park & Preserve

Katmai was established in 1918 and encompasses nearly 4.2 million acres of southwest Alaska.

There is an abundance of animal life within Katmai. Tundra swans, ducks, loons, grebes and arctic terns all migrate within the Park. There are grouse, ptarmigan, a plethora of sea birds, and over forty types of songbirds within the park during the summer.

In the highest of tree tops, there are bald eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Residing on the ground you might find moose, caribou, red fox, wolves, lynx, wolverine, river otters, mink, marten, weasels, porcupine, snowshoe hares, red squirrels and beaver.  Along the coastline there are sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and occasionally beluga, killer and gray whales using Shelikof Strait as feeding grounds. 

This will give you a good idea of the wide range of animals that call this park their home.

Katmai is home to 29 species of land animals, 6 species of sea mammals, 150 species of birds and 28 species of fish, yet there is no other animal that captivates the heart and imagination as well the Alaskan Brown Bear.

Birds of Katmai

The territory surrounding Big Ku has a multitude of migratory birds that nest and raise their young in the various tundra environments. You will see gradual changes taking place throughout the season as nature performs its tactics for survival of the new generation

Katmai is home to approximately 150 species of birds, endemic and migrating, including tundra swans, ducks, loons, grebes and arctic terns which migrate over 20,000 miles annually.

There are ptarmigan (Alaska's colorful state bird, both in character and plumage), grouse, a plethora of sea birds and over forty types of songbirds that summer in the park.

In the highest of tree tops, there are bald and golden eagles. Hawks are soaring, falcons are diving and owls are hooting.

There is no shortage of bird drama during any season in front of the Big Ku Lodge.


Each year, millions upon millions of sockeye salmon descend on Bristol Bay drainages, returning to their native waters to spawn along the lakes and streams.

In mid-winter and early spring the eggs begin to hatch and tiny fry emerge. May into July, the hatchlings begin to move downstream and many will become food for hungry rainbows, lake trout, dollies, char and grayling. After spawning, the adult sockeye complete their life cycle.

Along the path of the salmon migration and life cycle, there are hundreds (and probably thousands) of other species of plants and animals who directly depend on the salmon and the cycle of nutrients it brings to the expansive environment.


This lodge is for guests interested in an intimate wilderness experience. Big Ku sits alone in an untamed environment. While we make no guarantees what you’ll see at Big Ku chances are very good you’ll have the opportunity to observe wildlife in an intimate, non-invasive way.