"Anchorage's Backdoor Paradise" Lake Clark National Park and Preserve by mrclay2000

The Numbers on Lake Clark

Lake Clark is one of the largest but also one of the least-visited national parks in the system. Almost as few people visit here annually as they do at inaccessible Isle Royale NP in Lake Superior (anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 per year). On the other hand the park's abundance and magnitude make it one of the more attractive locations in Alaska. Given its 4 million acres of area, the 6,000-odd visitors will likely only run into one another near the private landing strips around Port Alsworth, the obligatory hub for air travel into this park. Once you get away from this "civilization," you're more likely to run into foxes, Dall's sheep, moose and bears than mankind.

A budget that permits a private charter away from Port Alsworth is almost essential for a proper visit to this roadless wilderness. Forestation around Lake Clark is vicious along its 100+ miles of shoreline. Any local will tell you that a visit restricted to 'town' is severely limited, almost confining most to the small system of trails around Hardenburg Bay (the float plane landing zone beside the private airstrips). Tree line and forest concentration fall precipitately the farther north you go in the park. Ease of movement requires fewer trees, where the tundra is not anxious to swallow your every step. If you have the money, ask for a put-in at Twin Lakes or Turquoise, where "it's a whole other world" than you have at Port Alsworth.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Glaciers, mountains, lakes, wildlife, forests, simple conveniences
  • Cons:Requires great expense to enjoy fully
  • In a nutshell:Boasts everything that Alaska is adored for but polar bears and killer whales
  • Last visit to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve: Jun 2006
  • Intro Updated Jul 2, 2006
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  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2006 at 8:33 AM

    Thanks for introducing us to a national park that we knew nothing about. It sounds interesting.

mrclay2000

“I have no illusions. I lost them on my travels.”

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