The Early Years: The Journals of Richard Proenneke, 1967-1973

Book cover features a photograph of a cabin in the winter, surrounded by trees and snow.

Photo on book cover courtesy of R. Proenneke

"Today would be a good day to finish the new mantle for my fireplace. Square the ends and rip it to the proper width. Mortise the notches to fit the pegs. Plane and sand the top. It looked pretty good. ...Not many fireplaces with a choice of three mantles and only 30 seconds required to change from one to another." -November 4, 1968

Read This Book

Paperback: Purchase a paperback edition from our partners at Alaska Geographic.


These journal entries cover the years in which Proenneke moves to Upper Twin Lake, builds his cabin, and encourages his friend Sam Keith to write One Man's Wilderness.

Visited by neighbors, both four-legged and two-legged, Dick Proenneke's life at Upper Twin Lake was a rich existence. Lucky for us he was a devoted writer, capturing in his journals life in Alaska's wilderness - the ebb and flow of nature and the daily lives of those making their home in the wilderness that would later become Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Read along to experience Proenneke's way of life away from "the grind" and follow the seasons of Twins Lakes with an intrepid guide.

Publication Details

Author: Richard L. Proenneke
Editor: John Branson, historian for Lake Clark National Park & Preserve
Publisher: Alaska Geographic
1st edition: 2011
ISBN: 978-0982576533


Read More Books or Watch More Films About Dick Proenneke

Despite his remote location and fierce independence, Dick was not a hermit; he maintained friendships and wrote back to anyone who sent him a letter. He saw his correspondence, films, and journals as a way to share a life untethered to the commercial world. His observations have inspired several books and videos.

Book cover showing a man sitting on rocks amid snowy mountains.

The Journals of Dick Proenneke 1974-1980

Readers find Proenneke going about his daily chores, observing wildlife, and participating in the creation of Lake Clark National Park.

Book cover featuring photo of Proenneke cabin sod roof with American flag.

The Journals of Dick Proenneke 1981-1985

The newly published Proenneke journals describe life in the first few years after Twin Lakes became part of Lake Clark National Park.

Photo of a man with a tall walking stick standing in alpine tundra with jagged mountains behind him.

One Man's Alaska

Filmed in 1977, this 27 minute long documentary can be viewed online for free at the National Archives website.

Photo of a man looking away from the camera towards a lake bound by tall mountains.

No Place Like Twin Lakes

Watch Proenneke's last visit to his cabin at Upper Twin Lake in the year 2000 at the age of 84.


Learn More About Dick Proenneke's Life at Upper Twin Lake

Vintage photo of a man filming with an old movie camera on a tripod near a blue lake and mountains.

Proenneke: the Man, the Myth, the Legend

The source of Sam Keith's book "One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey," Dick Proenneke embodies humanity's fascination with wilderness.

Vintage photo of a man looking across a glaciated mountain valley with binoculars.

Proenneke's Wilderness Ethos

From hunter to conservationist - explore the evolution of Richard L. Proenneke's wilderness ethos.

Man wearing blue flannel shirt and brown pants sits in open doorway of a log cabin on a winter day.

Learn about the Proenneke Cabin

Proenneke's cabin at Upper Twin Lake stands out for the remarkable craftsmanship that reflects his unshakable wilderness ethic.

Photo of the interior of a small, one room log cabin filled with rustic items..

Take A Virtual Tour of Proenneke's Cabin

Take a virtual tour of Dick Proenneke's cabin to see the amazing craftsmanship of his building, as well as the beautiful setting where he ch

Photograph of a small log cabin nestled in the woods reflecting in a blue-green lake.

Visit Dick Proenneke's Cabin

Plan your trip to the home of one of Alaska's foremost wilderness icons.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

General Delivery
Port Alsworth, AK 99653


(907) 781-2117

Contact Us