Transparency Disclosure – We may receive a referral fee (at no additional cost to you) for products purchased through the links on this website. Learn More

Popular Destinations

Lake Clark National Park is A One of A Kind Magical Place. I’m Astounded!

Last updated on August 28th, 2016 at 10:09 pm

Lake Clark National Park is a place that has remained as it is for thousands of years – starkly beautiful but unforgiving.

Here, the untamed forces of nature still rule – weather, predators and prey in a ritual of life and death. But remarkably, this vast and overpowering wilderness is surprisingly fragile and could be in danger.

Lake Clark National Park scenic view

Today, more people come here than in the past due to the parks increasing popularity. This awesome, yet delicate tapestry of soil, plants and animals could start to unravel if we do not respect it. Visitors are advised to act responsibly when traveling here to help maintain the area’s spectacular and wild beauty that has been preserved for future generations. The park is open year round but visitors usually come here from June to September.

Interesting Facts

      • Fifty miles long and five miles wide, spectacular Lake Clark has the rugged Chigmit Mountains as its border on the West.
      • Lake Clark National Park is called the “Essence of Alaska” because it encloses many other wonders that are also found in other parks but which are located in a relatively small area of the Alaskan Peninsula.
      • An Air taxi is the best way to get a good view of the grand, unspoiled Lake Clark region.
      • Lake Clark in Southwestern Alaska is blessed with vital salmon streams, lakes and snow‐capped volcanoes. It touches the East end shore of the Cooke Inlet.
      • The park was declared and preserved in 1980.

Traveling to Lake Clark National Park

Lake Clark National Park can only be reached by boat or by airplane, preferably a float plane. In the summer, float planes glide through the lake’s pristine waters with the help of hardworking air taxis.
float plane

Bush planes carry adventurers to explore the area’s immense wilderness. In the enormous vastness of Alaska, small planes make up for the lack of roads. The plane’s oversized wheels make landing possible where there are no air spaces.

What Awaits You in Lake Clark National Park

Scenic Views

Visitors can find an astounding back to back variety of scenic wonders, a maze of mountains, lakes, and rivers laced with waterfalls. Here, the forest is magical – filled with deep carpets of emerald moss, trees, and tundra.


Lake Clark National Park is also a sanctuary for wildlife and for the human spirit. Moose can be seen feeding in the waterways while sheep defy gravity in the mountain slopes.
moose wildlife

Tanalian Falls

At the southern end of Lake Clark, take the trail to nearby Tanalian Falls and be amazed by the view of its surging glacial river as it makes its run towards Lake Clark.

Tanalian Falls Lake Clark National Park

Things To Do


Fishing here is so satisfying that sports fishermen and women flock to Lake Clark because it is one of the best stops for spawning salmon.
Lake Clark National Park salmon fishing

Bear viewing

Bear viewing in one of the premier parks in Alaska may be one of the best experiences in the park. Watch and observe bears in their mostly undisturbed habitat. A guided day tour or by spending few days camping and backpacking in the park is recommended for a great bear watching experience. One of the most popular spots for bear watching is Chinitna Bay.
Lake Clark National Park bear viewing


Chilikadrotna, Tlikakila and Mulchatna Rivers are the three designated National Wild Rivers within Lake Clark National Park. Water activities are also a great way to experience the park such as paddling, rafting, canoeing and kayaking.


Day hike experience is one of the many activities to try in the park. There are a lot of hiking opportunities in the park. Tanalian Trails is one popular route where visitors can explore waterfalls, forests and rugged mountains. Park visitors who want to hike in the open back country can reach these remote locations by boat or plane.



Camping is one of the family friendly activities in the Lake Clark National Park. Aside from camping, the park also offer some lodging options – Island Lodge and Koksetna Wilderness Retreat.

Things to be considered when preparing for a camping trip


Backcountry camping is your only option because there are no developed campgrounds in Lake Clark. However this activity requires planning and preparation to ensure safety and to make your trip enjoyable. Reservations and permits are not required for backcountry camping. There is one designated camping area in Port Alsworth.

Best Time To Go

Lake Clark National Park is open 365 days a year. Most people visit between June and September because weather conditions at this time of the year is at its mildest. Plan your visit during the summer months. You can also plan a trip during late June to see wildflowers in full bloom. August or late September will give you an amazing sight in time for fall foliage .

Lake Clark National Park best time to go


There is no cellular phone service in the park. Bringing a satellite phone or satellite based text messaging device with you can also be considered.


Bringing pets to the park is strongly discouraged for the safety of the pets, pet owner, and the park’s environment. If you must bring your pets, they must be leashed at all times in the park. Pet owners are responsible to properly dispose their pet’s waste by burying it in a 6 inch cathole or packing it out.


Prepare for the possibility of inclement weather in Lake Clark. Strong winds can occur anytime. Frost and snow is possible any time but most likely to occur from September to early June. Lakes in the park starts freezing in November and melts around April. Plan your trip and pack accordingly.
lake clark winter season


Planning, awareness, and preparation play a vital role to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip in Lake Clark where there are considerable inherent risks. For more information about staying safe especially in a bear country, read on here.
safety travel

Tips for Planning your camping trip

          • There are no fees and permits are not required to enter the park.
          • The park is secluded and undeveloped, park visitors are advised to research and gather information about the park’s harsh conditions and terrain and exercise necessary precaution.
          • For your safety, it is encouraged to leave your itinerary at the park offices or contact the field station (907) 781-2218, so the park can easily know your location if a rescue is necessary.
          • For backcountry activities, complete the voluntary backcountry registration form which can help rangers with search and rescue operations. The form can be accessed here.
          • Water level and vegetation are unpredictable in the park from year to year. Upon arrival, ask for all possible routes from a local guide or from the national park office for your safety and convenience.
          • Bear-resistant containers are available for temporary use by park visitors for free. Pick one at the park visitor center in Port Alsworth.
          • Campers must plan for unexpected weather conditions. Pack and plan appropriately especially for those who are staying overnight in the park. Bring wind and rain gear, first aid supplies, extra food, insect repellant, appropriate clothing, sturdy tent and a sleeping bag.
          • Use a map when navigating the terrain and underdeveloped wilderness of Lake Clark.
          • Follow the Leave No Trace guidelines and all camping rules in the park.

Park visitors can also get a taste of comfortable lodging at the water’s edge. There are also opportunities for backcountry skiing, mountaineering and rock climbing.

There are endless opportunities to explore this wild and unspoiled land.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *