Self Sufficiency and Preparation
Lake Clark is a wilderness park, exceptionally remote and isolated. For any wilderness trip, we caution that visitors and hikers must be knowledgeable and prepared. Adventures in the park demand self-sufficiency. Help may be days away.
- Always leave a backcountry trip itinerary with a friend or family member who can notify the National Park Service if you are overdue. We also encourage you to leave your itinerary at our field headquarters at Port Alsworth before departing. This can make providing help easier if the National Park Service is contacted.
- Be prepared for the possibility of inclement weather delaying scheduled pick-up, often by several days. Bring extra food and fuel with you.
- Learn safe practices to avoid dangerous encounters with wildlife. Animals in the park are not tame, even those that seem "harmless" like porcupines or moose. Resist the temptation to approach or try to feed them. Know how to stay safe around bears.
- Before you head out, be familiar with the park's food storage requirements for various locations in the park. It is extremely important that bears and other wildlife be prevented from obtaining and habituating to human food and garbage. The park offers bear resistant containers for temporary use by visitors free of charge. You can pick one up at the park visitor center in Port Alsworth.
- Always filter or boil your water. Waterborne contaminants such as giardia and cryptosporidium are present.
- Snow is possible at any time but most likely to occur from September to June. Bring warm clothing, a sturdy tent, and an appropriate sleeping bag.
- Ask in advance about river crossings and other details of your route.
If you have additional questions, rangers at the field headquarters (907-781-2218) or visitor center (907-781-2114) will be happy to assist you.
For more information on staying safe in the Alaskan wilderness, check the State of Alaska's safety site.