Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Catch fish in the largest lakes in the state and see otters and whales swimming offshore at Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Marvel at immense mountain ranges, discover lush forests and watch the sun glisten on sparkling glaciers.
Explore the park on foot, starting with the Tanalian Trail System that originates in the town of Port Alsworth. From here enjoy a selection of routes of different lengths that incorporate crashing waterfalls and views across snow-dusted mountains and areas of lush woodland. As you go, watch for beavers, herds of caribou and moose hiding among the trees.
More experienced hikers setting out on multi-day expeditions can venture deeper into the park. Hike up the 10,000-foot-high (3,000-meter) peak of Iliamna Volcano in the southeastern section of the park or head north backpacking along the 50-mile-long (80-kilometer) Telaquana Trail. In the heart of the park, find yourself surrounded by snow-covered mountains and frigid glaciers.
As the name suggests, a large amount of the park consists of water. Here find some of the region’s most spectacular treasures. Lake Clark has fantastic salmon fishing, as do the surrounding rivers, where you can also catch Arctic char and grayling. Boat trips depart regularly from Port Alsworth, offering prime angling conditions in the 42-mile-long (67-kilometer) blue-green lake.
Arrange a ferry or kayaking trip on Lake Iliamna just south of the park or set off on the open seas of Cook Inlet. The coastline that borders the park holds an abundance of marine life. Look for seals, sea lions and beluga whales, all regularly sighted.
Lake Clark National Park is in southern Alaska, approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage. The park is open year-round; however, rangers advise visiting only during summer. Fly to Port Alsworth and stay at a lodge here or at one of the small settlements nearby.
The country has preserved numerous lands as U.S. national parks for affordable outdoor vacations.