Lake Clark National Park
Lake Clark National Park
1 Park Place
Port Alsworth, AK 99653
Visitors will find an array of things to see at Alaska's Lake Clark National Park, including coastal rain forests, alpine tundra, active volcanoes, serene fjords, high mountain lakes, and saltwater estuaries. The wildlife is just as diverse. It features beluga whales, Alaskan brown and black bears, river otters, and bald and golden eagles. Most of all, this massive park -- located 150 miles southwest of Anchorage -- offers blissful solitude in the wilderness of Alaska.
Entrance fees: Entrance to the park is free.
Visitor center: Port Alsworth Visitor Center is open daily May-October and by request November-April.
Other services: Several small fly-in lodges at the western end of park
Accommodations: The park offers no developed campgrounds. Backcountry camping is available. Private lodging in the park is also available.
Visiting Lake Clark National Park
Excitement for the trip across Cook Inlet from Anchorage to Lake Clark National Park begins even before visitors board their aircraft for the one-hour flight. On some clear days, smoke can be seen billowing in puffs from one or both of the park's two active volcanoes, named Iliamna and Redoubt. More than 10,000 feet high, the volcanoes are only about 35 miles apart.
More and more white-mantled mountains loom up as your plane approaches the park. Suddenly you are flying through Lake Clark Pass, and before you spreads out what looks like an endless enchanted wilderness: rugged mountains with gleaming blue glaciers flowing down through the valleys between them, winding rivers, waterfalls cascading hundreds of feet to end in multicolored sprays of foam, and the flanks of mountains covered with blazing red and orange fireweed. As you fly out of the pass, the great lake where you will land appears.
Lake Clark is 40 miles long and five miles wide, and its color is a lovely blue. On its southeastern shore, the little community of Port Alsworth is the site of the park's field headquarters and the place where most visitors settle in for a good, long look at some of North America's most outstanding and varied scenery. All of Alaska seems to converge here. Visitors to the park can stay a few days, weeks, or months and enjoy the tremendous solitude of the place. At 4 million acres, Lake Clark is approximately 13 times the size of Grand Teton National Park.
The Newhalen River is famous for its fantastic runs of red salmon, as is the Iliamna River for its rainbow trout. Lake Clark and nearby Lake Iliamna support the world's largest runs of sockeye salmon. If you can visit only one place in Alaska and wish to avoid the crowds of the Kenai Peninsula or Denali National Park, Lake Clark will be the place for you.
Lake Clark's diverse landscape and wildlife offer visitors countless opportunities for sightseeing and outdoor recreation. Keep reading to learn more about the sights you'll see in this enormous park.