If you want to see a brown bear in the wild—and from a safe distance—this is a good time to head to Katmai National Park and Preserve in southern Alaska. The 4.1-million-acre park is home to about 2,200 brown bears, the largest population of protected brown bears on the continent. In summer and early fall, these normally solitary creatures congregate and wade into rivers and streams to feast on salmon returning home to spawn. One of the best spots for bear watching is Brooks Camp, which offers three platforms built just for this purpose. But it takes some effort to get there—the park is only accessible by plane or boat.