Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
How Long to Spend
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, where the Alaska and Aleutian mountain ranges meet, is a true hidden gem. Set in the heart of the Chigmit Mountains, to the west of Cook Inlet, the park boasts great ecological diversity. There’s also a dazzling array of scenery, thanks to its granite spires, turquoise lakes, hanging glaciers, two active volcanoes, winding rivers, and 45-mile-long Lake Clark. Surrounded by waterfalls spilling from vertiginous peaks, the lake is an important spawning ground for Bristol Bay’s red salmon. Brown and black bears, caribou, moose, DaII sheep, and hundreds of species of migratory birds also inhabit this scenic park.
For adventurers, Lake Clark is paradise. Paddlers will love the numerous navigable waterways, including three Wild and Scenic Rivers. The expansive, trail-less tundra of the park’s alpine regions attracts adventurous backpackers. You’ll find world-class bear-viewing opportunities at Silver Salmon Creek and Chinitna Bay, on the shore of Cook Inlet at the park’s eastern edge. History buffs can take a step back in time by visiting the homestead of Dick Proenneke (of “One Man’s Wilderness” fame) on the shore of Upper Twin Lakes. Nearly every type of adventure can be found in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
Packing & Gear Rental
Bring everything you’ll need with you. Alaska Outdoor Gear Outfitter & Rentals can equip you with rain gear, boots, and binoculars for a day trip to see bears, supplies for hiking from a remote lodge, and ultra-light camping gear to head out into the backcountry.
If you’re heading to Lake Clark National Park for a day trip, you’ll find flights from Anchorage, Kenai, Homer, or Port Alsworth.
To get to Port Alsworth, and then access the interior of Lake Clark National Park, you’ll need to catch a flight from Anchorage. Lake and Peninsula Airlines and Lake Clark Air fly out of Merrill Field in Anchorage, with regular service to Port Alsworth.
To access the lakes of Lake Clark National Park, including Upper Twin Lakes and Dick Proenneke’s cabin, you’ll need to book a floatplane. Lake Clark Air flies float planes out of Port Alsworth; several air carriers in Anchorage offer flights to the Twin Lakes region.
To access Lake Clark’s coast, travel can be arranged from Anchorage, Kenai, or Homer.
The Lake Clark National Park and Preserve website has a complete list of permitted air carriers.