Lake Clark National Park and Preserve protects more than 4 million acres of diverse habitats ranging in elevation from sea level to over 10,000 feet. Find fun facts and stats here.
Lake Clark was established to protect a region of dynamic geologic and ecological processes that create scenic mountain landscapes, unaltered watersheds supporting Bristol Bay red salmon, and habitats for wilderness dependent populations of fish and wildlife, vital to 10,000 years of human history.
December 1, 1978 - Designated as a National Monument by President Carter
December 2, 1980 - Designated as a National Park and Preserve and enlarged by congress through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).
Total - 4,030,006 acres
National Park - 2,619,713 acres
National Preserve - 1,410,293 acres
For comparison, the state of Hawaii is 4.11 million acres in size, and Rhode Island and Connecticut combined are only 3.77 million acres.
approximately 10,000 BP - The first human settlers arrive in the region some time after the close of the last great ice age.
approximately 1,700 BP - Sea mammal hunters and gatherers camp at and possibly create the red ochre rock paintings in Chinitna Bay. Similar paintings in Tuxedni Bay represent rituals associated with large sea mammal hunting. These are the only two rock painting sites known in the Alaska National Park system.
approximately AD 1000 - Dena’ina Athabascans are living in permanent settlements in the Kijik area near the shores of Lake Clark itself, intensively salmon fishing and storing surplus.
1741 - Russian explorers reach Alaska. The following century holds rapid change for Alaskan Natives in the Lake Clark region.
1891 - Lake Clark itself (known to the Dena’ina as Qizhjeh Vena - or the lake where people gathered) is named after John W. Clark of Nushagak, AK after he travels to the area with Albert B. Schanz and Vasili Shishkin.
1902 to 1909 - Following outbreaks of flu & measles, Dena’ina Athabascans leave Kijik after approximately 900 years of occupation to settle in Old Nondalton further down lake.
1911 - The first permanent, year-round settlement at Tanalian Point on the shores of Lake Clark is established as a mixed community of Euro-Americans and Dena’ina Athabascans.
1930 - The first aircraft lands on Lake Clark at Tanalian Point.
1950 - The name Port Alsworth is given to the settlement Babe & Mary Alsworth founded a few years earlier on the shores of Lake Clark at Hardenburg Bay. With access for float planes and a hardened landing strip for wheeled planes, it soon eclipses Tanalian Point as it is better suited to the modern age of air travel.
1968 -Dick Proenneke completes and moves into his cabin at Upper Twin Lake.
2000 - Dick Proenneke visits his cabin for the last time.
Today - Citizens of resident zone communities and those who live on private land within the park and preserve boundaries continue to practice a traditional subsistence lifestyle by harvesting the area’s resources for food and other needs.