• Autumn photo of Lake Clark and the Aleutian Range in Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

    Lake Clark

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

People

Archeological, ethnographic, and historic research tell us that people first came to the Lake Clark region around the end of the last ice age.

Dena'ina Athabascans, Yup'ik, Russian explorers, gold prospectors and trappers, and American pioneers are the forebears of today's residents.
 
The Dena'ina Athabascan People

Alaska Natives settled in this region some time after the close of the Last Great Ice Age -- 14,000 years ago. Dena'ina, Alutiiq, Yup'ik and other groups have interacted with one another over the centuries, through warfare as well as trading and peaceable exchanges. Today, six Resident Zone Communities are identified for Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

 

Richard L. Proenneke

The source of Sam Keith's book, One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey, Richard Louis Proenneke (1916-2003) embodies humanity's fascination with wilderness.

Born in Iowa, he worked as a farmhand and rancher before joining the Navy the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In 1949, he made his first visit to Alaska at the invitation of a friend. Two decades later, Proenneke set off on a path toward a life defined by the struggles and triumphs of a life lived in wilderness. Read more about Dick Proenneke's wilderness experiences.

 

Can People Still Practice Traditional Subsistence?

The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), the enabling legislation for Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and other Alaska public lands, stipulates that local rural people may continue subsistence practices on federal lands, including the park and preserve.

Learn more about subsistence use
and Lake Clark National Park and Preserve

 

The People Who Study People

Cultural anthropologists and historians promote the identification, evaluation, documentation, and interpretation of ethnographic resources in the National Park System. Learn more about the specialists who study the people of Lake Clark.

 

Did You Know?

Lake Clark is fed by snowfall and glaciers in the surrounding mountains.

Lake Clark is 1056 feet deep and covers 128 square miles. Thousands of years ago, the lake (and nearby Lake Iliamna) may have been open to salt water before being closed off by glacial outwash deposits.