Lake Clark National Park & Preserve – Travel Guide

September 15, 2022

Visiting Lake Clark National Park & Preserve should be at the top of your Alaska adventure bucket list! This National Park is filled with stunning mountain views, true wilderness terrain, and endless wildlife. If you are looking for a remote and rugged place to experience The Last Frontier in all it’s glory, keep reading!

GENERAL FACTS ABOUT LAKE CLARK

There is so much to learn about the beautiful Lake Clark National Park & Preserve. While some are more interesting that applicable, it’s helpful to keep all these general facts in mind when planning your trip!

  • Lake Clark National Park & Preserve is located about 120 miles southwest of Anchorage or 1 hours flight [depending on where you are going inside the Park].
  • It covers protects over 4 million acres of land in Alaska.
  • Most places in Lake Clark you can only get to by small charter plane or helicopter. Some places are accessible by small boats.
  • There are only 2 maintained hiking trail systems in the entire National Park. If are traveling by boat or plane, there is plenty of back country wilderness hiking. Which you need to be VERY skilled and highly trained for!
  • Some call the National Park the home to fire and ice because the Park has over 900 square miles of glaciers and two active volcanos – Redoubt and Iliamna.

WHEN TO VISIT LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK & PRESERVE

The best time to visit Lake Clark is in the summer months! June to September are when the weather will be warmer and little to no snow. Although, I would always advise to pack clothing with lots of layers! We visited at the end of August and we were mostly in sweaters and jackets.

Due to the remote location, plan your itinerary with flexibility incase of inclement weather. Many of the small planes cannot fly if the weather is too foggy, rainy, or stormy. Potentially leaving you stranded in the park [if you’re staying at Redoubt Mountain Lodge or camping] or not allowing you to get there.

For the most up to date information about visiting, always check the NPS website.

CHECK OUT OUR HOME VIDEO – ALASKA NATIONAL PARKS ADVENTURE!

Pro-Tip: you can skip to minute 4:57 to see all that we did in Lake Clark!

how to get to Lake Clark National Park

HOW TO GET THERE

You won’t need a rental car when visiting Lake Clark National Park & Preserve because there are no roads to get there or anywhere inside Park! The best way to get there is by plane or boat. What kind of plane will depending on where you are going and what season you are visiting!

BY PLANE

For most people, Anchorage will be the best starting place to visit Lake Clark National Park! There are many private companies who you can charter a plane or helicopter or book a tour through. During our visit, we flew on a seaplane with Rust’s Flying Service. Highly recommend using them, especially if you’re doing a day tour! They are the oldest and largest seaplane operator in Anchorage. Rust’s offers bear viewing tours, scenic flights, and fly in fishing!

BY BOAT

The only way you are able access Lake Clark National Park & Preserve by boat is through the Cook Inlet Coast. But that is only when the weather and tides permit! The water can also be quick rough.

Most people opt to travel by plane since it’s much smoother, allows you to get more places, and more options available year round!

WHAT TO DO IN LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK & PRESERVE

There are so many different outdoorsy activities you can do when visiting Lake Clark National Park! Below are a few ideas to consider when planning your visit, by no means limited to this list.

  • Brown Bear/Grizzly Bear Viewing – this is what we did! Absolutely incredible to see the bears interact in nature with our own eyes. Catching salmon, swimming, playing with cubs, and more!
  • Sport Fishing at Silver Salmon Creek or Crescent Lake
  • Stay at Redoubt Mountain Lodge or Windsong Wildness Retreatboth offering a remote Alaskan experience!
  • Visit Dick Proenneke’s cabin at Upper Twin Lake
  • Hiking the Tanalian Trails near Port Alsworth
  • Backpacking through the roadless wilderness – you need to be well skilled and highly prepared for this!
  • Go kayaking or canoeing at Chinitna Bay
  • Sport hunting in Lake Clark Preserve, NOT National Park
Visiting Lake Clark National Park

Did you find reading about visiting Lake Clark National Park interesting? Check out my blog Things to do in Olympic National Park!

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