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7-days

Turquoise Kayak and Hike – Lake Clark National Park

$4,595 /person

Trip Details

$4,595 /person - 7-days
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Guarded by 8,000’ peaks to the east, and endless tundra to the west, Turquoise Lake is nestled between Telaquana Lake and Twin Lakes, in the heart of Lake Clark National Park.  This 7-day adventure gives anyone looking for an all-inclusive wilderness hiking experience the chance to thoroughly explore one of Alaska’s most amazing and beautiful watersheds; kayaking the turquoise waters, hiking to the edges of mighty glaciers, and exploring the hillsides searching for a glimpse of the many animals that call this place home.  Having kayaks at Turquoise Lake allows us to explore hikes at both the east end and west end of the lake, and also provides the flexibility to do morning or evening paddles from camp.  Join Alaska Alpine Adventures for an incredible adventure vacation in the wilderness of the incomparable Lake Clark National Park.

We describe this adventure as a kayaking supported hiking trip, and it is a true classic!  As you steal a glimpse of Turquoise Lake from the windows of the floatplane for the first time, you will realize immediately how it received its name, why we keep coming back to this extraordinary place, and why we bring kayaks to fully explore the basin.

Itinerary

Day 1
Lunch & dinner included, Distance 5-miles, Elevation gain 600′

This morning You’ll start the day with an orientation and gear check at our Anchorage facility before heading to Merrill Field for the flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth, and one of the most stunning bush flights in Alaska. After the hour-long flight, you and your guide team will discuss the adventure and wrap up the trip orientation. We’ll then load into float planes and lift off into the afternoon skies bound for Turquoise Lake – a 40 minute flight to the north of Port Alsworth. We’ll spend a couple of hours setting up camp at the east end of the lake and assembling our kayaks while we begin the process of absorbing the solitude of this silent wilderness. After our first gourmet wilderness dinner and home-baked dessert, you’ll have the chance to do an evening paddle on the lake or simply relax on the shore and take in the stunning view

Day 2
All meals included, Distance: 8 miles, Elevation gain: 1800′

After leaving the comfort of your sleeping bag, you’ll sip your preferred morning beverage as your guide prepares a sumptuous breakfast sure to fuel you for the day ahead. We’ll then strike out for a day of hiking up and into the “grand canyon” of Lake Clark National Park. If weather and river conditions allow, our goal today will be the Turquoise Glacier, via a 6-mile hike up-valley. As you marvel at the 5000’ walls of the canyon and the waterfalls cascading from distant summits, you’ll be left speechless by the surrounding majesty and the vertical relief enveloping you. Otherwise, your guide will take you up one of the incredible side valleys that feed the Turquoise watershed. Regardless, today’s hike will simply leave you in awe and wanting more.

Day 3
All meals included, Distance: 8 miles, Elevation Gain: 1800′

Today we’ll stretch our legs on another amazing hike. We’ll shoulder day packs and head off to explore another one of the mighty drainages that bring glacially churned waters to the head of the lake. We’ll practice our river crossing techniques and surely discuss the forces that have shaped this landscape for thousands of years.

Day 4
All meals included, Kayaking Distance: 5 miles

After a leisurely shore-side breakfast, we’ll break down camp, swap our trekking poles for paddles, and launch our inflatable sea kayaks into the pristine waters of Turquoise Lake. Kayaking on Turquoise Lake is both awe inspiring and humbling. As we paddle our way west to our next camp, located on a prominent spit of land on the southwest end of the lake, we’ll crane our necks to take in all of the amazing scenery and scan the shore and surrounding mountain sides for some of the critters that call this place home. Our campsite on the spit provides easy access to the tundra country characteristic of the western slope of the Alaska Range. This is the part of the trip where we’ll really accumulate some hiking miles!

Day 5
All meals included, Distance: 6-8 miles, Elevation Gain: 2000-3000′

We dedicate our final full-day in the wilderness hiking to and visiting one of the most unique locations in Lake Clark National Park. A few miles south of our camp, nestled deep in the mountains, is the magical ‘sheep lick.’ This mineral lick is a favorite haunt for the majestic Dall’s sheep and we’ll likely see ewes and lambs frolicking on its incredibly steep slopes. This valley has also provided us with some memorable wildlife encounters over the years, so be on the lookout for caribou, wolves, grizzly bears, and wolverines as well. Bound for some to be a trip favorite, this hike is sure to put a satisfying finish atop an incomparable adventure to Turquoise Lake

Day 6
All meals included, Distance: 12 miles, Elevation Gain: 2500′

A breakfast of granola and hot drinks will allow us a leisurely morning to break camp and enjoy our last bit of time in the wilderness. Perhaps a bit soon, the float plane will mark our slow return to the world outside. Our pilot will return us to Port Alsworth, where we’ll check into the quaint cabins just steps from the beach. After hot showers and a celebratory dinner, we’ll tally up our wildlife sightings, and try to digest the humbling euphoria of days spent in total solitude.

Day 7
Breakfast and Lunch Included

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, share stories with park staff, and enjoy interpretive videos and static displays of Lake Clark life. We’ll then strike out on the last hike of the trip along the park’s only developed trail to Tanalian Falls, a spectacular waterfall along the Tanalian River. We’ll then board an afternoon charter flight back to Anchorage, marking an end to the adventure.  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
  • All Kayaking Equipment: Inflatable kayaks, life jackets, paddles plus spares, repair kits, throw bags, and dry bags
  • Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
  • Toilet supplies including portable loo, TP, trowel, and hand sanitizer
  • Large backpack-style drybag for transporting and storing personal gear while on trip
  • Water treatment options
  • Trekking poles
  • Round trip bush flight transportation from Anchorage to Port Alsworth
  • All necessary float plane flights
  • Lodging on the last night at the Lake Clark Resort or Wilder House 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 backcountry

Alaska Factor: The Real Deal

While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will during the camping portion of this trip. The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary. Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.” Flight times into and out of the wilderness may also vary based on any number of similar factors. Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

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Trip Stats

Price:
$4,595 /person
Duration:
7-days
Length:
30+ miles
Intensity:
Level 2
Begins In:
Anchorage
Ends In:
Anchorage
Airport:
Anchorage International (ANC)
Wildlife:
Bears, Dall Sheep, Wolves, Moose, Caribou
Great For:
Families, Couples, Individuals

Get Ready

What to Pack:

Helpful gear suggestions and recommendations for this trip.

Gear List
Itinerary:

Download a detailed itinerary of this trip.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1
Lunch & dinner included, Distance 5-miles, Elevation gain 600′

This morning You’ll start the day with an orientation and gear check at our Anchorage facility before heading to Merrill Field for the flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth, and one of the most stunning bush flights in Alaska. After the hour-long flight, you and your guide team will discuss the adventure and wrap up the trip orientation. We’ll then load into float planes and lift off into the afternoon skies bound for Turquoise Lake – a 40 minute flight to the north of Port Alsworth. We’ll spend a couple of hours setting up camp at the east end of the lake and assembling our kayaks while we begin the process of absorbing the solitude of this silent wilderness. After our first gourmet wilderness dinner and home-baked dessert, you’ll have the chance to do an evening paddle on the lake or simply relax on the shore and take in the stunning view

Day 2
All meals included, Distance: 8 miles, Elevation gain: 1800′

After leaving the comfort of your sleeping bag, you’ll sip your preferred morning beverage as your guide prepares a sumptuous breakfast sure to fuel you for the day ahead. We’ll then strike out for a day of hiking up and into the “grand canyon” of Lake Clark National Park. If weather and river conditions allow, our goal today will be the Turquoise Glacier, via a 6-mile hike up-valley. As you marvel at the 5000’ walls of the canyon and the waterfalls cascading from distant summits, you’ll be left speechless by the surrounding majesty and the vertical relief enveloping you. Otherwise, your guide will take you up one of the incredible side valleys that feed the Turquoise watershed. Regardless, today’s hike will simply leave you in awe and wanting more.

Day 3
All meals included, Distance: 8 miles, Elevation Gain: 1800′

Today we’ll stretch our legs on another amazing hike. We’ll shoulder day packs and head off to explore another one of the mighty drainages that bring glacially churned waters to the head of the lake. We’ll practice our river crossing techniques and surely discuss the forces that have shaped this landscape for thousands of years.

Day 4
All meals included, Kayaking Distance: 5 miles

After a leisurely shore-side breakfast, we’ll break down camp, swap our trekking poles for paddles, and launch our inflatable sea kayaks into the pristine waters of Turquoise Lake. Kayaking on Turquoise Lake is both awe inspiring and humbling. As we paddle our way west to our next camp, located on a prominent spit of land on the southwest end of the lake, we’ll crane our necks to take in all of the amazing scenery and scan the shore and surrounding mountain sides for some of the critters that call this place home. Our campsite on the spit provides easy access to the tundra country characteristic of the western slope of the Alaska Range. This is the part of the trip where we’ll really accumulate some hiking miles!

Day 5
All meals included, Distance: 6-8 miles, Elevation Gain: 2000-3000′

We dedicate our final full-day in the wilderness hiking to and visiting one of the most unique locations in Lake Clark National Park. A few miles south of our camp, nestled deep in the mountains, is the magical ‘sheep lick.’ This mineral lick is a favorite haunt for the majestic Dall’s sheep and we’ll likely see ewes and lambs frolicking on its incredibly steep slopes. This valley has also provided us with some memorable wildlife encounters over the years, so be on the lookout for caribou, wolves, grizzly bears, and wolverines as well. Bound for some to be a trip favorite, this hike is sure to put a satisfying finish atop an incomparable adventure to Turquoise Lake

Day 6
All meals included, Distance: 12 miles, Elevation Gain: 2500′

A breakfast of granola and hot drinks will allow us a leisurely morning to break camp and enjoy our last bit of time in the wilderness. Perhaps a bit soon, the float plane will mark our slow return to the world outside. Our pilot will return us to Port Alsworth, where we’ll check into the quaint cabins just steps from the beach. After hot showers and a celebratory dinner, we’ll tally up our wildlife sightings, and try to digest the humbling euphoria of days spent in total solitude.

Day 7
Breakfast and Lunch Included

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, share stories with park staff, and enjoy interpretive videos and static displays of Lake Clark life. We’ll then strike out on the last hike of the trip along the park’s only developed trail to Tanalian Falls, a spectacular waterfall along the Tanalian River. We’ll then board an afternoon charter flight back to Anchorage, marking an end to the adventure.  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
  • All Kayaking Equipment: Inflatable kayaks, life jackets, paddles plus spares, repair kits, throw bags, and dry bags
  • Safety Equipment: Satellite phone, maps, GPS, and medical kit
  • Toilet supplies including portable loo, TP, trowel, and hand sanitizer
  • Large backpack-style drybag for transporting and storing personal gear while on trip
  • Water treatment options
  • Trekking poles
  • Round trip bush flight transportation from Anchorage to Port Alsworth
  • All necessary float plane flights
  • Lodging on the last night at the Lake Clark Resort or Wilder House 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 backcountry

Alaska Factor: The Real Deal

While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will during the camping portion of this trip. The expeditionary factors at play quite often compel our guides to deviate from the written itinerary. Guide considerations could include weather conditions, group preference, individual ability, specific safety considerations, or unforeseeable circumstances; collectively what many have called “The Alaska Factor.” Flight times into and out of the wilderness may also vary based on any number of similar factors. Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

Location

Trip Reviews

The trip was better than expected and I had high expectations. I wish I had a dollar for every time I said “Wow! Holy S*%$” the backpacking, kayaking, and food were fabulous.

I loved the entire experience you guys are first class!

As a wounded warrior this trip did something for me that nothing else has, brought me a deeper sense of peace. Thank you.

Wow! It was tough, which appeals to me because the toughest things are the sweetest to remember. The gorgeous vistas were worth the work it took to get there. It was the trip of a lifetime for me. The coolest thing I’ve ever done. I’m already thinking about my next trip!

Looking for more reviews? View all trip testimonials.

Trip Photos

Trip FAQs

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

Why are so many of your trips in Lake Clark National Park?

Simply because we believe Lake Clark National Park to be the most spectacular and diverse park in Alaska. At over 4-million acres, this wilderness park has something for everyone – miles of coastline, active volcanoes, spectacular lakes, glaciers and icefields, wild and scenic rivers, stunning mountains, and very few visitors. If you seek solitude and the perfect Alaskan landscape, Lake Clark will not disappoint.

Where is Lake Clark?

Lake Clark and its surrounding 4 million-acre national park is located approximately 150 miles West-Southwest of Anchorage.

How do you get to Lake Clark?

Access to Lake Clark National Park is solely by small aircraft or, in some instances, by boat.

Is transportation to Lake Clark 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.

Where will you meet us?

We all meet at our shop in Anchorage on the morning of Day 1 for an orientation and gear check. We’ll then transfer by van to Merrill field for the flight to Port Alsworth - the gateway community to Lake Clark National Park.

Who will I be flying with and what time will we be departing on day one?

You’ll be flying with Lake Clark Resort, or on occasion we also use Lake & Pen Air. Both air taxis are located at Merrill Field. We usually schedule our flight from Anchorage in the morning after an orientation and gear check.

Where is Merrill Field?

Merrill Field is located just east of downtown Anchorage. “Bush” flying is an adventure in and of itself and variable weather conditions may cause delays. We will try to keep you informed of any changes or delays as they occur.

Who was Dick Proenneke?

Dick Proennekelived on Twin Lakes, in the heart of Lake Clark National Park, from 1968-1998. He resided in a small hand-hewn log cabin on the south shore of the upper lake near Hope Creek. Dick, who has been called a modern-day Thoreau, was a prolific writer and photographer. His cabin, which we visit on a number of our adventures, is a testament to his simple lifestyle and a reminder of his dedication to wilderness and conservation.

Is Lake Clark National Park a good place for viewing wildlife?

Lake Clark has been called ‘Alaska’s epitome’ and ‘little Denali’, though at 4 million-acres and roughly the size of Switzerland, the term ‘little’ doesn’t really apply! In addition all 5 species of Pacific salmon, the park is home to grizzly and black bears, Dall’s sheep, caribou, moose, wolves, and tremendous seasonal populations of migratory birds.

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 one.

For additional information, please reach out to us.

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