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Backpacking Katmai – Katmai & Lake Clark National Parks

$4,695 /person

Trip Details

$4,695 /person - 7-days

Even the facts themselves do little to accurately convey the magnitude and scale of Alaska’s wild landscapes.  We believe that to truly understand Alaska’s vastness, it’s important to immerse yourself within it.  And there are few places that so perfectly deliver all that’s possible to imagine about Alaska.  One of those places is Katmai National Park & Preserve!  Katmai is a land of superlatives – 4-million acres, 15 volcanoes – many still steaming, the heavily glaciated spine of the Aleutian Range, one of earth’s largest wild-salmon fisheries, and a population of around 2200 brown bears.

Our 7-day exploratory backpacking trek will introduce you to the remote, wild, and rarely visited tundra and lake country of Katmai’s northeastern preserve.  Accessing the area by float plane, we’ll spend our days backpacking between to stunning lakes, hiking through a wilderness of open tundra, camping along clear streams and cobalt lakes, and scanning the surrounding mountains & creeks for brown bears, moose, & caribou. Join us and immerse yourself within the wilderness and witness the silence, solitude, and splendor of Alaska’s Katmai country!

Basecamp Bears - Katmai National Park


Day 1
Distance: 2-3 miles, Elevation Gain: 500’-1000’

This morning you’ll start the day with an orientation and gear check at our shop in Anchorage. We’ll then make the transfer to Merrill Field where you’ll await the flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth. From Merrill Field, located in the heart of Anchorage, you’ll fly west through the glacially carved splendor of Lake Clark Pass. After what many have called one of the most spectacular bush flights in Alaska, you’ll arrive 1.5 hours later in the small community of Port Alsworth.  With your guide team, you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch on the shores of Lake Clark, discuss the adventure, and then load into float planes bound for Katmai National Park. We’ll establish our camp near the shore of the lake, and with our bodies nourished for the adventure ahead, we will head out on a short day-hike to get a feel for the surrounding landscape. Lunch & dinner included.  

Day 2
Distance: 7 miles, Elevation Gain: 2000’

After breakfast and coffee on the lake, we’ll break camp, load up our packs and begin our trek into the mountains. As we climb out of the lake basin, you’ll quickly understand why we chose this region of Katmai to explore on foot. Not only does this area offer abundant solitude, but it also serves up incredible tundra hiking, a multitude of small lakes & streams, and super reliable wildlife viewing – including brown bears, caribou, waterfowl, and birds of prey. Today’s destination will be a small approximately 5-7 miles to the north where, by late afternoon, we’ll set up camp and bask in the silence of a place so wild and remote.  All meals included.

Day 3
Distance: 6 miles, Elevation Gain/Loss: 500’/1500’

Another delicious hot breakfast will nourish us for the day ahead, and we’ll strike out into a landscape riddled with small lakes and laced with spring-fed creeks. Today’s route to another unnamed will offer more spectacular Katmai country. At this point, we’ll be camped within the headwaters of one of southwest Alaska most productive salmon fisheries, and home to the wild creatures that rely on this annual bounty. We’ll enjoy another wonderful dinner while we glass the surrounding hillsides for big game.  All meals included.

Days 4-5
All meals included. Distances: 7-10 daily miles, Elevation Gains: 500’-1500’

These days of the expedition will be both spectacular and rewarding, as we make our way to the east along a contouring ascent to a broad, tundra-clad pass surrounded by spectacular peaks. We’ll camp near small lakes & streams within the headwaters of one of southwest Alaska most productive salmon fisheries - the home to the wild creatures that rely on this annual bounty. We’ll enjoy wonderful dinners and camp comradery while we search the surrounding hillsides for wildlife that inhabit this amazing place. By late afternoon of Day 5, we’ll assemble camp on a spacious lakeside beach and celebrate our new route through the Alaska wilderness.

Day 6
All meals included.

With the memories of this amazing expedition fresh in our minds, the sound of the float plane will remind us of the civilized world we left behind. We will return to Port Alsworth and check into the authentic lakeside cabins of the Lake Clark Resort. After hot showers and a celebratory dinner in the lodge dining room, we’ll tally up our wildlife sightings, and allow the satisfaction of the experience soak in.

Day 7
Breakfast & lunch included.  Distance: 5 miles, Elevation Gain: 800’

After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll pay a morning visit to the Lake Clark National Park visitor’s center where you’ll have a chance to purchase maps and postcards, enjoy interpretive displays and short films, and share your experience with park staff. We’ll spend the rest of the day hiking to Tanalian Falls along Lake Clark National Park’s only developed trail, before boarding an afternoon charter flight back to Anchorage. If you are departing Alaska on this day, please schedule all homebound flights for after 9 pm.

What's Included

  • All group gear: Expedition quality tents, group tarp, all cooking equipment & eating utensils
  • Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
  • Toilet supplies including TP, trowel, and hand sanitizer
  • Water treatment options
  • Trekking poles
  • Round trip bush flight transportation from Anchorage to Port Alsworth
  • All internal bush flights necessary for the trip
  • Lodging on the final night at the Lake Clark Resort or Wilder B&B on Lake Clark
  • Professional guide service at a maximum 4:1 client to guide ratio
  • All meals from lunch on day one through lunch on the final day of the itinerary
  • Storage for your extra travel items while in the field

Available Dates

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Custom dates available. Call for details.

Trip Stats

$4,695 /person
20+ miles
Level 2
Begins In:
Ends In:
Anchorage International (ANC)
Brown Bears, Bald Eagles, Caribou
Great For:
Couples, Explorers, Families, Individuals

Get Ready

What to Pack:

Helpful gear suggestions and recommendations for this trip.

Gear List

Download a detailed itinerary of this trip.



Trip Reviews

It was a really well organized and executed trip, I am happy I went to Alaska with you!

I am recommending your company to friends and family!

AAA even arranged gorgeous weather for us! My complaint is that Prem and I gained a couple pounds while hiking and kayaking because of all the wonderful food.

Outstanding… of the best!!!!!

Looking for more reviews? View all trip testimonials.

Trip Photos

Trip FAQs

Have questions about this trip? We’ve got answers.

Why Katmai?

The answer is simple - Katmai offers everything that epitomizes a remote Alaska backpacking experience. Fantastic tundra hiking, dynamic weather, good opportunities for wildlife viewing, and incredible solitude!

Where in Katmai is this trip?

While we keep the specifics locations under wraps, we can tell you that the trip takes place in the north-eastern portion of Katmai National Park & Preserve.

How do you get there?

Access to this area is limited to bush flying. You'll first fly from Anchorage to Lake Clark, and you'll then transition to float planes for the flights into Katmai.

Will we also see Lake Clark National Park?

Absolutely - you get to check two park units off your list on this trip. You'll spend the last evening in our partner lodge (the Lake Clark Resort) in Port Alsworth. You'll also hike to Tanalian Falls on the last morning of your adventure.

I'm traveling solo. Is there a single supplement charge?

Yes, there is an additional fee of $275 if you request OR end up in your own room at the lodge on night 6.

What time and where will you meet us on day 1?

We schedule our orientation meeting for approximately 8am on day 1 of the trip. You’ll be flying with Lake Clark Resort, located at Merrill Field. We schedule flights after an orientation and gear check.

Is transportation included in the price of the trip?

Absolutely, our trips are all inclusive from Anchorage. The trip includes roundtrip flights from Anchorage to Port Alsworth and floatplane flights into and out of the wilderness.

For additional information, please reach out to us.

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