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Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes worth the time/money?

Vinings, Georgia
10 posts
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Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes worth the time/money?

I will be camping at Brooks Camp campground for 3 nights, July 12-14 and read about a full day excursion to Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes costing about $100. I'm interested in it but was looking for feedback from someone who has actually taken it and what there impressions were and if was worth the time/money? Thanks in advance

Destination Expert
for Alaska
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15,790 posts
30 reviews
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1. Re: Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes worth the time/money?

I really enjoyed the trip. But it was the third time I was there that I finally took it. With three nights at Brooks, you really only have two full days at Brooks. Only you can decide if taking one of those two full days is worth it (taking away your bear viewing time). You can still go bear viewing in the evening after the tour ends.

Are you traveling alone? If you are with someone else, you can buy a Toursaver book to get a 2-for-1 coupon for this tour and you immediately break even on the cost of the toursaver book.

Chugiak, Alaska
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2,104 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes worth the time/money?

I did the tour on my first (and only so far) trip to Brooks on the same time frame you're on and I really enjoyed it. Like fti mentioned, you can still go watch the bears that evening. I did it on my second full day so I maxed out on my bear viewing the first day and was ready for something different. You could wait until you are there to decide, too. That's what others did and they picked the day that was better weather, but you could also plan it for your second day, then if you don't see all the bears you want on the first day, skip it and give yourself more bear viewing time.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,215 posts
45 reviews
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3. Re: Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes worth the time/money?

I will give my naive input, as I have not been to Brooks or 10,000 smokes . . .

I have seen photos and read of the experiences of others. Being that close on what for me would most likely be a "once in a lifetime" trip to Katmai, I would definitely make the time and spend the money for it.

FTI makes a great point about the amount of time you have, however, so really only you can decide if you're willing to give up that much time from bear viewing. Again, for me, I would do it know that in staying at Brooks, I would have other times available to see the bears when the "day trippers" leave.

Bristol, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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4,666 posts
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4. Re: Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes worth the time/money?

I haven't done the bus trip but I have been to the Valley of 10,000 Smokes and it is pretty amazing. I would plan to do it on your second day as suggested above. It is a very unique experience and an amazing landscape. Kobuk Sand Dunes and 10,000 Smokes are two of my favorite place in Alaska. They are just very different from other sights you will see while traveling.

5. Re: Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes worth the time/money?

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