Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Katmai National Park and Preserve

4.6
#53 of 68 in Nature in Alaska
The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes is a valley within Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska which is filled with ash flow from the eruption of Novarupta on June 6–8, 1912. Following the eruption, thousands of fumaroles vented steam from the ash. Robert F. Griggs, who explored the volcano's aftermath for the National Geographic Society in 1916, gave the valley its name, saying that "the whole valley as far as the eye could reach was full of hundreds, no thousands—literally, tens of thousands—of smokes curling up from its fissured floor."The 1912 eruption was the largest eruption by volume in the 20th century, erupting about 13km3 of material. Novarupta generated as many as 14 major earthquakes with magnitudes between M6 and M7, a level of energy release virtually unprecedented during volcanic eruptions in modern memory, and over 100 earthquakes greater than M5. Following the eruption, the summit of Mount Katmai subsided (collapsed) about 1200m, forming the central caldera.Katmai is a stratovolcano, formed from alternating layers of lava flows and pyroclastic rocks. The presence of pyroclastic materials indicates that some Katmai eruptions have been explosive. The subsidence of the summit to form the central caldera and the extraordinarily energetic earthquakes accompanying the 1912 eruption are evidence of this.
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Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes Reviews
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  • September 28, 2017
    Challenging walk but it is worth it. Views and lava flows are outstanding. You can see for miles in every directions.  more »
  • September 2, 2017
    Very difficult hike for the mature crowd whose members are not familiar with uphill ventures. A serpentine 1.25 hour bus ride traversing the river 3 times, leads one to the Ranger station. Begin the d...  more »
  • August 22, 2017
    the 1912 eruption deposits filling the Valley and the place is absolutely stunning. On the street we also met a bear. Great for the presence of the ranger who accompanied us and explained many interesting things of the Park and the history of the volcano. Beautiful walks in the Valley. Not to be missed
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Where to stay in Katmai National Park and Preserve

Katmai National Park allows Katmailand, Inc. to run two lodges on park land: Brooks Lodge and Grosvenor Lodge. Both offer rustic accommodations and food and beverage service. You can also bunk down in a handful of other privately owned and operated lodges around the border of the park. If you're unable to secure a place to stay in any of these spots, try to reserve a room at one of the lodges in the town of King Salmon, which lies east of the park. The park's developed Brooks Camp campground provides a place to pitch your tent, or you can camp in the wilderness.
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