Camping and Backpacking - Lake Clark

A camping trip into Lake Clark's trail-less wilderness can be a spectacular and rewarding experience. Thorough preparation and careful trip planning will help ensure you have a safe and meaningful trip. Here you will experience undeveloped wilderness, self-reliance, and solitude to an extent seldom found elsewhere.

You may want to read more about hiking routes and destinations, too.

 
person in a hoodie sitting next to a red tent and brushing teeth in a landscape of treeless rolling hills and mountains.
Select campsites on durable surfaces.

NPS Photo / Adrienne Lindholm

 

Wilderness Travel

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is a trail-less wilderness, and you are free to travel where you like. Off-trail hiking employs the senses, heightens awareness and actively requires your constant participation in making decisions. You'll hike cross country, using a map and the lay of the land to get where you want to go. There are rivers to ford, bogs to avoid, and bad weather to sit out. Vegetation and terrain usually dictate the difficulty of the hiking. Plan on covering one mile per hour (allowing for errors in navigation, route selection and tough going). If you're not familiar with Alaskan terrain, be prepared to turn back and try a different route, and give yourself plenty of time to get where you're going. Keep in mind that all streams and rivers must be forded, and during high water levels, this may be impossible.

All camping is primitive, no facilities or designated campsites exist. You should use Leave No Trace guidelines to minimize your impacts. Backcountry permits for camping and hiking are not required, however there are rules and regulations governing one's behavior in all national park areas. Please do not take, shape or alter the wilderness around you.

Staying Safe

Both black and brown bears live in Lake Clark. It is critical to educate yourself about safe practices in bear country and be prepared to handle a potential bear encounter. Read up on bear safety before starting your trip.

Lake Clark is exceptionally remote and isolated. Caution, good judgment and thorough preparation will help ensure you have a fun, safe trip. Please always tell someone where you are going and when you will return. While it is not required, it is a good idea to also leave your trip itinerary with us at our visitor center in Port Alsworth before departing into the backcountry. If we get a call indicating you are overdue it makes it easier to help you.

Campsites

Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is primarily a trail free wilderness where travelers may camp where they like. There is a camping area near Hope Creek on Upper Twin Lake just west of the Proenneke Historic Site. Tulchina Adventures offers rustic camping in Port Alsworth.

 
5 orange tents surrounded by an electric bear fence next to a lake

Gear Rental and Guide Services

Want a guide? Need access to equipment? Find providers here.

Photo of a small brown bear wrestling with a large metal box designed to store salmon.

Lake Clark's Food Storage Requirements

Know how to properly store your food, toiletries, and fish prior to arriving in Lake Clark.

Staying Safe in Bear Country

Bears and people use the same areas in Lake Clark. Become familiar with these tips for staying safe in bear country prior to your trip.

Photo of a float plane flying over forest with tall, glaciated mountains in the background.

Getting to Lake Clark

Visiting Lake Clark can be challenging. You cannot drive because the park is not on the road system. Instead, you must fly or take a boat.

A close up of an old faded map with that says

Park Maps

How to obtain Lake Clark maps from the park, USGS, or our partners.

Last updated: December 6, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

General Delivery
Port Alsworth, AK 99653

Phone:

(907) 781-2218

Contact Us