Discovered by the National Geographic botanist Robert Griggs in 1916, the valley got its name from the hot gases escaping from cracks after the 1912 eruption of Novarupta Volcano. Today, the gases have disappeared and daily summer tours travel through the area's boreal forest and alpine tundra.
People flock to this area located near the mouth of Brooks River to view bears from specially built wooden platforms. The bears congregate here to feed on salmon as they migrate through the river. Local rangers provide insight on bear behavior and instruction on how to watch them safely.
The area's pristine waters are filled with trophy-sized rainbow trout, sockeye salmon and Coho salmon. Local guides are available for fly fishermen, sports anglers and everyone else looking to land "the big one." Fishing permits are required for all non-residents.