Kayaking and Canoeing

person kayaking across a foggy lake, steam rising off the water
Kayaking on Lake Clark through lake fog on a winter afternoon in Lake Clark National Park & Preserve.

Ginger S. Irvine


Using a canoe or kayak to travel through Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is a peaceful and rewarding experience. There are numerous lakes and rivers to explore in this way.

Rangers at visitor center (907-781-2117) can help you decide which trip is right for you. Visitors looking for guided kayak adventures or local gear rentals can find information on our getting around page.

Most access to the park is by plane, which creates packing challenges for kayakers and canoers. A full-size boat, people, and gear won't fit in a smaller plane. Ask the air taxi you plan to use whether they can accommodate your trip. Inflatable canoes and kayaks or foldable kayaks are good choices for small aircraft.

The rivers in Lake Clark are more suitable for use with a kayak than a canoe. See the rafting page to get further details on the class of whitewater for some rivers.

Staying Safe

Please keep your safety in mind.

  • A calm lake can quickly become rough. Keep an eye on the weather.
  • Small waves in the morning and early afternoon came become large waves and white caps in just an hour or two.
  • The frigid water and windy, wet weather are unforgiving.

Alaska has the highest rate of recreational boating deaths in the nation. ALWAYS wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD), even when the air temperature is warm. For more information, check with the state Office of Boating Safety.

You must also be prepared to encounter bears. Read up on bear safety before starting your trip.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

General Delivery
Port Alsworth, AK 99653


(907) 781-2117

Contact Us