What Might I See?
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is home to healthy and wild populations of animals. Black bears are present throughout the park and preserve except at higher elevations. Brown (grizzly) bears occur in all habitats, but the area along the park's Cook Inlet coast supports the most sizable concentrations. Caribou remain primarily in the hills around Turquoise, Twin and Snipe lakes and westward to the Bonanza hills. Moose, the largest members of the deer family, are found below timberline throughout the park. Dall Sheep range at higher elevations all along the western flank of the Chigmit Mountains.
Lake Clark is also home to many less conspicuous mammals. Coyotes are found in grassy as well as brushy or boulder-strewn areas of the park. Wolves are primarily in the park's mountainous areas, generally below 5,000 feet in coniferous forests, and in open tundra. Both red fox and lynx are found throughout the park at almost any elevation, primarily in coniferous-hardwood forests and open tundra. Other mammals include marten, river otter, wolverine, weasels, mink, hares and beaver.
Both Chinitna Bay and Tuxedni Bay support a variety of marine mammals. Some of these mammals include sea lions, beluga whales, harbor seals and porpoises. Other whales may also be seen occasionally in the area.
K. Jalone/NPS photo
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve offers world class bear viewing. The Alaska Peninsula coastal habitat includes unique sedge filled meadows in close proximity to salmon filled rivers. This coastal habitat, while patchy, stretches through Katmai National Park and Preserve and into Lake Clark National Park and Preserve and includes the extensive meadows of Chinitna Bay and Silver Salmon Creek. These two sites offer outstanding brown bear viewing.
Several guiding services specialize in bear and wildlife viewing expeditions and day trips. Visitors who wish to capture animals on film can arrange a trip with a photography guide to view wildlife and record their animal encounters in photographs. Guide services authorized to operate within the park and preserve can be found on our getting around page.
Take The Pledge!
The State of Alaska wildlife viewing page offers the following ethics guidelines. Pledge to uphold them and keep the wilderness wild!
Did You Know?
As recently as the 1960s, dog team travel was still the best way to get around Lake Clark country in the winter. Snowmobiles are more common now, but many people still keep sled dogs.