TRIP IDEA

Spend a Day at Upper Twin Lake

Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

the turquoise waters of upper twin lake, with trees and mountains surrounding
Duration Full Day
Topic(s) Tundra, Foothills, Plains and Valleys, Lakes, Mountains, River and Riparian, Wilderness, Geology, Rock Landscapes and Features, Trails, Scenic Views, Architecture and Building, Homesteading
Activities Hiking, Guided Tours
Type Kid Friendly, Active, Educational, Outdoors, Group Friendly
Parks Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

evening light lights up a mountainside at upper twin lake, with trees and the lake in the foreground
The shore of Upper Twin Lake lit up at sunset. NPS Photo/ Molly Tankersley
Backcountry Tranquility
From the moment you glide onto the turquoise waters of Upper Twin Lake, the expansive beauty of this isolated wilderness calls to your imagination. Most reach the lake by float plane from Port Alsworth or Anchorage, though some visit the area as part of an extended backcountry hiking trip or paddle from Lower Twin Lake.

Many visit Upper Twin Lake to see the cabin of Richard L. Proenneke, the wilderness icon that called the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve landscape home for thirty solitary years. Proenneke believed in self-reliance, ingenuity, and the intrinsic value of wilderness. Crafting his cabin, tools, and many of his belongings by hand with exquisite talent and care, he lived his life in harmony with the natural world around him and chose to go without the modern "necessities" of running water and electricity.

Ranger Recommendation
With an entire day to spend at Upper Twin, the south shore is an ideal destination. After learning about Proenneke's legacy through a guided tour, walk in his footsteps along one of the nearby trails and valleys but honor his beliefs by leaving no trace. Whether an backcountry alpine adventure or a leisurely, family-friendly stroll is more your style, there is no limit of opportunities to enjoy a day at this remote location.
Things to Do at Upper Twin Lake
  • Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

    Visit the Richard L. Proenneke Cabin

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Guided Tours
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    • Location: Upper Twin Lake
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day
    a photo of a log cabin surrounded by trees on the shore of a lake, with water in the foreground

    Step into the home of one of Alaska's foremost wilderness icons, Richard L. Proenneke, who built his cabin by hand using his own clever innovations. Located on the south shore of Upper Twin Lake, Proenneke's wilderness home showcases his remarkable craftsmanship and reflects his unshakeable wilderness ethic.

    View Details
  • Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

    Hike To Teetering Rock

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Age: 7 and Older
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    • Location: Upper Twin Lake
    • Duration: 1–3 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    a large boulder balanced on a ridge above a lake and mountains

    Wander up this short trail to stand in the footsteps of Richard Proenneke himself and contemplate the wilderness that meant so much to him. Rising above the trees to awesome views of Upper Twin Lake, Hope Creek Valley, and the surrounding mountain peaks, the Teetering Rock Trail was a daily ritual of Proenneke's.

    View Details
  • Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

    Hike Towards Cowgill Benches

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Age: 7 and Older
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    • Location: Upper Twin Lake
    • Duration: 1–3 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    a small boat on a lake surrounded by mountains

    This leisurely trail from the Hope Creek campground brings you above the trees to to Cowgill Benches, an excellent spot to pick berries in the late summer and fall, take in the views, and reflect on the meaning of wilderness. Relax here, or connect this walk with a hike up Hope Creek Valley.

    View Details
  • Lake Clark National Park & Preserve

    Experience Wilderness in Hope Creek Valley

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Age: 7 and Older
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    • Location: Upper Twin Lake
    • Duration: 1–8 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    a trail over a rocky ravine leads to a lush green valley on a cloudy day

    An excellent day hike from Upper Twin Lake, the Hope Creek Valley trail climbs through a verdant, wild landscape to the untold beauty beyond. With impressive, jagged peaks emerging through the clouds and the sound of Hope Creek rushing below, spend the day relaxing in the splendor of Richard Proenneke's wilderness or hike into the unknown through this expansive alpine landscape.

    View Details

Last updated: October 10, 2017