Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is a 4 million-acre natural paradise located in south-central Alaska. This national park and preserve was established in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and is best known for its spectacular combination of glacial-fed rivers, clear alpine lakes, ancient forests, and sweeping tundra vistas. It is a haven for wildlife such as gray wolves, caribou, Dall sheep, grizzly bears, moose, red fox, bald eagles, and more. Notable fish species in the park’s lakes and rivers include sockeye salmon, rainbow trout, grayling, Arctic char, and Arctic grayling.
The park is located off the shores of the Gulf of Alaska and is composed of three distinct physical regions: the Alaska Range, the Kenai Lowlands, and the Aleutian Range. The Alaska Range consists of mountains rising up to 8,000 feet above sea level and is home to active volcanoes and glaciers. The Kenai Lowlands are located along the western side of the park, and are composed of numerous wetlands and meandering river valleys. The Aleutian Range covers the eastern and northern portions of the park and is characterized by sprawling tundra and wild coastal beaches.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is a natural playground and adventure seekers can find plenty to do here. Fish for trout and salmon in the cold clear rivers of the park, kayak and canoe along the shorelines of turquoise lakes, and spot wildlife from a bushplane or boat tour. Nature lovers can also hike to pristine waterfalls, walk among wildflowers, and bask in majestic views of Mt. Redoubt and Mt. Iliamna. The park provides numerous lodges, campsites, and cabins, so visitors can stay several days to fully experience the unique habitats and incredible wildlife of this remote and magnificent setting.
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is not only a naturally beautiful and wildlife-rich corner of the world, but it is also culturally significant. Alaska Natives have existed in this region for centuries and have left a rich cultural legacy. In the park, visitors can explore ancient tribal fish camps or learn about local fisheries through interpretive programs.
The natural wonders and human legacy of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve can provide an unforgettable experience for all visitors. The majestic vistas, vibrant wildlife, and diverse cultures offer a world of exciting opportunities that are simply not found anywhere else.
Photos of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
Ryjil Christianson, CC BY-SA 3.0
Dan Young, National Park Service, Public Domain
Game McGimsey, Public Domain
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
How to get to Lake Clark National Park?
Access to the park is primarily by air or boat. There is no road access directly to the park. Air taxis offer flights to the park from Anchorage, Soldotna, Homer and other nearby towns. In the summer, commercial flight services operate out of Anchorage, and are available through select airlines. Boats are available for charter to the park from local towns and cruise ships. Visitors can also take the Alaska Marine Highway System ferries to reach the park. Ferry service is available from Homer, Seward, and Whittier.
Where is Lake Clark National Park located?
Lake Clark National Park is located in south-central Alaska, about 180 miles southwest of Anchorage, 90 miles east of Kenai, 90 miles northwest of Homer and 75 miles southeast of Soldotna.
What can you do at Lake Clark National Park?
Visitors to Lake Clark National Park can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, and hiking. Fishing is permitted in non-federally owned waters within the park and permit holders may keep three salmon per day. Many trails offer amazing views of mountains, glaciers, alpine meadows, and coastal lowlands. Visitors also have the opportunity to observe brown bear, caribou, moose, red fox and other wildlife in their natural habitat. In addition, guided boat and plane tours are available to explore the park's remote areas, including Iliamna Volcano and Redoubt Lake.
Average weather in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve