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Overview

One of Alaska's lesser-known gems, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is approximately 100 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula. Two active volcanoes — Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt — are inside the park; Redoubt's latest eruptions were in 2009. The park is bisected by the Chigmit Mountains, with steep rivers cascading east into Cook Inlet, and a gentler western slope that drains into 40-mile-long Lake Clark. From here, large rivers flow into Bristol Bay, the world's most productive red salmon fishery. The Park Service has a seasonal office in tiny Port Alsworth along Lake Clark, and several upscale fishing lodges line the ...

One of Alaska's lesser-known gems, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is approximately 100 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula. Two active volcanoes — Mt. Iliamna and Mt. Redoubt — are inside the park; Redoubt's latest eruptions were in 2009. The park is bisected by the Chigmit Mountains, with steep rivers cascading east into Cook Inlet, and a gentler western slope that drains into 40-mile-long Lake Clark. From here, large rivers flow into Bristol Bay, the world's most productive red salmon fishery. The Park Service has a seasonal office in tiny Port Alsworth along Lake Clark, and several upscale fishing lodges line the lake shore. There are scheduled flights from Anchorage to Iliamna, 30 miles south of the park, and charter flights from Iliamna, Anchorage, Homer, or Kenai into Lake Clark National Park. Other than tiny Port Alsworth, there are no roads, trails, or other facilities. Open tundra on the west side of the park attracts backpackers who can explore hundreds of miles of terrain. Experienced rafters float the Mulchatna, Chilikadrotna, and Tlikakila Rivers. This is remote wilderness, so visitors need backcountry skills and proper gear. Brown bears are common along the eastern shore of the park at Tuxedni Bay, with regional air taxis providing fly-in bear viewing.

Don Pitcher
About the Expert

Don Pitcher has written or photographed 10 travel guidebooks to Alaska, Wyoming, Yellowstone-Grand Teton, and the San Juan Islands for Avalon Travel Publishing, Random House, and Sasquatch Books.

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Don Pitcher for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    June through mid-September