1 - 2
FATMAP difficulty grade
This is the hike you can take with a ranger on the [Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes](https://www.nps.gov/katm/planyourvisit/rangerguided.htm) tour in Katmai National Park.
The tour departs from Brooks Camp on a souped-up school bus, driving the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes Road to the Robert F.
Griggs Visitor Center.
From there, you can see over the ash-covered valley and at the ring of volcanic mountains beyond.
The visitor center also has displays about the huge eruption that created this landscape in 1912.
There is no other transportation available from Brooks Camp to the Valley, so you’ll want to book this tour in advance. The hike to Ukak Falls follows a well-traveled trail down a vegetated slope, to the edge of the barren plain and to the rim a sheer-walled canyon.
The Ukak River flows within, cutting nearly 100 feet into the volcanic debris and churning violently with ash-laden whitewater.
The “falls” are not one distinct waterfall, but a series of rapids that tumble through this precipitous gorge.
You can walk along social trails near the canyon rim, but use caution because the edge is unprotected and unstable in places. The river is but one highlight of this hike, and everywhere you look there’s something else to steal your attention.
On the steep walk down to the river, for example, you’ll wander through alder trees and fields of flowering lupine.
These plants are slowly reclaiming the devastated valley, but you can see that progress is slow.
The huge expanse of ash and pumice still dominates the valley, which you can clearly see by looking across it.
You’ll also see various river canyons gouging through it, streaming from the glaciated peaks that surround. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/katm/planyourvisit/rangerguided.htm https://katmailand.com/katmai-national-park/valley-of-ten-thousand-smokes/