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The falls are located in a remote area of the park and can only be reached by boat or plane. The best time to view the bears is early morning, when they first arrive at the falls. A short trail leads from Brooks Falls Lodge to a viewing platform above the falls where visitors can watch for bears without disturbing them. Brooks Falls was named after John Hays Brooks (1871–1942), an American geologist who explored Alaska extensively during his career with United States Geological Survey (USGS). He also served as superintendent of Katmai National Monument and Preserve from 1918-1921, which became Katmai National Park in 1980.