Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Katmai National Park and Preserve

4.6
#53 of 68 in Nature in Alaska
Valley Volcano
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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48 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Although the valley no longer smokes it's still an amazing spot. Seeing the layers of ash that fell and hardened as a result of the Novarupta Volcano in 1912 was incredible. We got to the Griggs Visit...  more »
  • Loved this place. Try to do the hiker yourself and visit both spots. I plan on coming back and doing a few days to try to reach the crater. It is a really awesome place. Hike back up is a bit tough, b...  more »
  • A well narrated bus ride over a gravel road with brown bears plentiful at the start of the trip. VTTS is an amazing lunar landscape over ancient rock layers, but the trip was cancelled one day while w...  more »

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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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24 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Katmai National Park and Preserve BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Katmai National Park and Preserve BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Denali National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Park and Preserve & Kenai Fjords National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Alaska BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Katmai National Park and Preserve BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Katmai National Park and Preserve BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Katmai National Park and Preserve BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Katmai National Park and Preserve BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Katmai National Park and Preserve BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA July, kids, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Katmai National Park and Preserve BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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