Choose this trip to see some of Lake Clark National Park’s most iconic lakes: the alpine Turquoise Lake and the boreal Twin Lakes. The azure lakes make for incredible photography opportunities and the hiking terrain is the easiest of the three trips listed here. Wildlife is common along this route, especially Dall sheep in the alpine valleys between the lakes.
You’ll need a floatplane drop-off and pick-up (either from Anchorage or Port Alsworth) to complete this route. Land at either the east or west end of Turquoise Lake; there’s excellent camping in both locations. Ascend the tundra bench due south of the spit at the west end of Turquoise Lake, then contour around the mountains almost due south until you’re on the tundra bluff above Lower Twin Lakes. Descend through the spruce forest to the shore of Twin Lakes. There’s a suitable spot for a floatplane pick-up here; confirm first with your pilot. Or continue around Lower Twin Lake, cross the Chilikadrotna River mouth, and walk the lake shores as far east as you like—possibly all the way to Dick Proenneke’s cabin. Use extreme caution, as the Chilikadrotna may be uncrossable at high water. Consult our River Crossing Guide for more information on crossing Alaska’s creeks and rivers.
NOTE: All backpacking trips in Lake Clark require Backcountry Navigation Skills, due to the scarcity of maintained trails. There are hundreds of options for backpacking routes; the only limits are your skills and imagination. This is not a complete trip report, but instead an idea to get you started on planning your own trip. If you’re not confident in your wilderness traveling abilities, consider hiring a guide.