Katmai NP Prepares For A New Year Of Fat Bear Week Bracket

It’s that time again: The battle of the bigs. Fat Bear Week is upon us. Here’s Katmai National Park and Preserve with what to expect when next week’s bracket is unveiled:

Fat Bear Week 2022

KING SALMON, Alaska ––The entire season has come down to this…  Competitors stretched muscles they hadn’t used in months and committed to a pre-season training regimen. Each one of them is in it to win it, ready to go the distance, refusing to throw in the towel no matter what this season brings them. This game isn’t about keeping your eye on the ball, but rather keeping all the senses alert for the jumping salmon. Their competition isn’t about putting points on the board, but putting pounds on their weight. There are no such things as lightweights for the bears of Brooks River; doubling body weights in a matter of months is just par for the course around here. 

The no holds barred efforts for survival unfold at Brooks Falls on a daily basis witnessed by in person visitors on falls platforms and online visitors around the world through the bear cams. No bear is going to pull any punches in this heavyweight competition. Which bears are going to throw their hats into the ring this year? Well, none of them wear hats, technically, but all of them are working their tiny tails off to pack on some pounds and be rotund enough for this roundup. 480 “Otis” was back early this season, looking prime to take on the competition once again. Can 747 or 435 “Holly” reclaim the title they had in years past? Is there a dark horse (er, brown bear) in the race that can upend the trophy winners like 128 “Grazer,” 32 “Chunk,” or 151 “Walker” all trying to claim a maiden victory? Would it be a Hail Mary to back one of the youth in the “junior” category? Your votes will decide who ultimately comes away winner of Fat Bear Week (FBW), so whichever bear has you in their corner, make sure you are there for them throughout the competition. 

Voting will take place on explore.org’s Fat Bear Week website where you can: 

  • Now and throughout this competition: Browse previous winners in the Hall of Fame, learn all about FBW and follow fat bears in the news. 
  • 9/26: Brace for adorable overload as the Fat Bear Junior bracket is revealed. 
  • 9/29 – 9/30: Chubby cubbies square off for your votes in Fat Bear Junior, trying to make it into the full FBW competition. 
  • 10/3: Host your own bracket party as we reveal the official FBW Bracket! 
  • 10/5 – 10/11: Vote in each bear-vs-bear FBW matchup and don’t let your favorite get sidelined. 
  • 10/11: See which bear hit it out of the park this year to become FBW Champion! 

This competition is brought to you through the partnership of Katmai National Park and Preserveexplore.org and the Katmai Conservancy. If you want to check out the live cams, you can find them here on the explore.org website. You can also learn more about FBW with this Katmai National Park and Preserve website.