Picture this: You walk through tall beach grass over a sandy berm and see purple, pink, and yellow wildflowers lining lush sedge meadows. A branch of a nearby creek divides the meadow. In the distance, a wall of snow-capped mountains loom over, broken only by a glacier that has wedged itself between the peaks. What you're imagining isn't some picturesque ad from a travel agency, but the hidden wonder of Hallo Bay.
Hallo Bay’s sedge meadows are bounded by rugged volcanoes. NPS/W. Artz.
Located off the Shelikof Strait between Swikshak Bay and Kukak Bay, this coastal treasure is something out of a movie (literally, it was a prime filming location in DisneyNature's Bears). Purple lupine, pink fireweed, and arctic daisies border the edge of an expansive sedge meadows that attract bears who graze in early June and stay to fish in Hallo Creek and Middle Creek by late July into August. All summer long you are sure to see a bear or two clamming out on the tidal flats, and if you're lucky you might even spot our local bear researcher, Joy Elrenbach, collecting data for the Changing Tides Project.
In summer, wildflowers brighten the meadows at Hallo Bay. NPS/W. Artz.
At low tide, bears often dig for clams on Hallo Bay’s expansive mud flats. NPS Photo.
While it is difficult to get to—Hallo Bay is surrounded by rugged, glacially clad volcanoes—it is definitely worth the effort. Ranger Mary Binger, who has been at Katmai for the past four years and volunteer Carly McCoy are stationed at Hallo from June to September, bringing you updates on what is going on. But if you can, come visit because I guarantee you, it’s like nowhere else in Katmai, or possibly anywhere else in the world.