Trail Creek Route

Backpackers on the Trail Creek route traverse a gentle glacier and navigate across alpine tundra. Details to help you plan your trip are below.

With four million undeveloped, wild acres to explore there are countless places go for adventure, solitude, and recreation in Lake Clark. Part of the purpose of the park is to allow for individual, personal exploration of wilderness; therefore, the only maintained trails are the Tanalian Trails near Port Alsworth. This page only describes the general terrain in the high country between Telaquana and Turquoise Lakes; it does not describe in detail the exact route you should walk. Instead, we encourage you to use the information provided to plan your own unique trip. This off-trail route can be expanded, linked with other routes, or simply used to get an idea of the terrain. Adventurers in Lake Clark will need to rely upon way-finding, map-reading, and trailless hiking skills to navigate, or hire a guide who can help.

Jagged, rocky mountain peak with patches of snow towering over green tundra.
Spectacular views and alpine tundra await hikers along Trail Creek.

Photo by A. Lindholm



USGS 1:63 360 Series Topographic Map Lake Clark C3 & D3 & D2


Fly in to Telaquana Lake. Fly out from Turquoise Lake. A float or amphibious plane is required in order to land on these lakes in the summer, as neither have beaches suitable for a wheeled plane to land. Planes operating on wheels or skis may land on either lake in the winter if ice conditions are suitable.


3-5 days.


Moderate trail-less hiking over rolling alpine tundra, steep rocky passes, and glacier travel.


Spectacular mountain scenery, opportunities for adventure and solitude.


Potential river crossings. Glacier travel required. Bears.


Begin along the south shore of Telaquana Lake and head south to the Trail creek drainage. Trail creek is alpine country that turns into rocky glacial moraine. Watch out for loose boulders as you climb up the steep rocky pass and descend down the steeper and rockier north side of the pass. You'll emerge onto a wide glacier that is one of the most gentle glaciers in the park. If you follow the glacier downhill, then walk along the river that emerges from it, you will end up at Turquoise Lake. This route may be modified by reversing the direction of travel, or continuing on to Twin Lakes.

Campsites and Food Storage

Food and toiletry items must be stored in approved bear resistant canisters if camping within 1/2 mile of Telaquana, Turquoise, or Twin Lakes. Bear resistant canisters are highly recommended on this trip even if you plan on camping away from the lakes due to the lack of suitable trees to hang food. Canisters can be rented for free at the park visitor center in Port Alsworth. You should also cook at least 100 yards away from your camp to avoid an association made by bears between your camp and your food. Set up camp away from bear trails and feeding areas, including salmon-bearing stream banks. Please follow leave no trace ethics and park rules and regulations when choosing campsites, storing food, and building campfires.

Image of hiker bushwhacking through shoulder-high brush.

Backpacking in Alaska

Get acquainted with what makes backpacking in Alaska unique and familiarize yourself with these backcountry tips before you plan your trip.

Image of a backpacker going up a talus slope towards the face of a glacier.

Trail Creek Route Photos

Images taken along the Trail Creek Route.

Last updated: July 30, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 227
Port Alsworth, AK 99653


(907) 781-2218

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