in the midst of bears and volcanoes, visit the exceptional Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Alaska




Article written by la Mornais, A.Sangouard, K.Sullivan, D.Bergh – France 2

France Televisions

Katmai National Park, Alaska, has 90 active volcanoes, and in places layers of ash several tens of meters high. The region is also home to the largest concentration of wild bears in the world.

To reach the volcanoes in their stronghold in the far Pacific, there are no roads or airstrips. In this state three times the size of France, the only solution is the seaplane. Alaska is a land of ice, earthquakes and eruptions, where the violence of the elements is matched only by the disproportionate scale of the landscapes. Visitors are rare at Katmai National Park (USA). Direction the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and the heart of the park, a gigantic expanse and land of cataclysms. The ashes of the most violent eruption that the planet has known for two centuries are still clearly visible.

On June 6, 1912, the Novarupta volcano erupted. Warned by a series of earthquakes the previous days, the few inhabitants of the region had been able to flee. A few months later, the first vulcanologists gave the plain the name of valley of 10,000 smoke. “The ashes shrouded the entire Earth’s atmosphere, and there was a temperature drop of 2°C on the planet for about two years,” notes Jo-Mary Peltier, geologist at the University of Sacramento (United States ). The valley of 10,000 smoke is thus under permanent remote surveillance. Eruptions can threaten the main inhabitants of the park: bears. Katmai is indeed the place in the world where the largest population of wild bears is concentrated.

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