Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park

The State of Alaska is home to 8 National Parks, tied with California for the most in the system. The difference is that in Alaska, you can only drive to 3 of them and you basically have to take seaplanes or a boat to the other 5. I came up to Alaska for 8 days to visit 3 of the 7 National Parks in Alaska that I hadn’t already been to. This year also happens to be the 100th Anniversary of the National Park System here in the United States. I started with a day trip to Lake Clark National Park.
Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park, Lake Clark National Park, NPS, Alaska, Rusts Flying Service
I arrived late into Anchorage from New Orleans and checked into the lovely Lakefront Alaska hotel. I had a quick dinner on the patio and literally passed out as the day began at 5am the next day! My friend Gary and I were picked up by shuttle for Rust’s Flying Service and before you knew it we were off for our day trip to Lake Clark National Park.
Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park, Lake Clark National Park, NPS, Alaska, scenic flight
After a stunning 90-minute flight that flew over much of the internal mountains and lakes in Lake Clark National Park itself, we landed on a remote beach area. It’s here that we met our guide/driver Rob and headed into the park to go on a bear viewing tour.
Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park, Lake Clark National Park, NPS, Alaska, bus, Rob's Wildlife
This was the perfect place to see bears. There were essentially 3 different types of terrain in one area. There is a beach where at low tide the bears go into the water and clam. There is meadow where the bears hang out, graze and play. Plus there is forest where I found out the answer to the age-old question “Does a bear shit in the woods”…yes he does!
Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park, Lake Clark National Park, NPS, Alaska, brown bear, beach
On our day trip to Lake Clark National Park, we probably saw 20 different brown bears. We saw them in different environments, doing different types of activities. It was really pretty awesome and a great way to get the trip started!
Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park, Lake Clark National Park, NPS, Alaska, brown bear
At one point we had a bear just off the beach about 15 yards from us. It was very cool but a little unnerving too. While they are cute and fun, they are also vicious wild animals so you really must keep your distance. It is a real temptation to try to move closer for a better photo. However, it’s not worth it!
Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park, Lake Clark National Park, NPS, Alaska, lee Abbamonte
So after several hours of viewing bears and lunch in a little lodge right off the beach, we headed back to Anchorage. The pilot took a different route home on our request so we go to see more of the park from above. This was very nice of him as it was quite photogenic!
Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park, Lake Clark National Park, NPS, Alaska, flying
A day trip to Lake Clark National Park is a great way to see a seldom-visited National Park. In fact, we were told it was the 3rd least visited park in the system. You can, of course, go for longer if you’d like to camp and there are several areas of the park you could visit. However, if you want to see a lot of bears, this is the best way to do it!
Day Trip to Lake Clark National Park, Lake Clark National Park, NPS, Alaska, flight, ,mountains
Disclaimer: This day trip to Lake Clark National Park was done in partnership with the Alaskan Tourism Board.

Comments

  1. Hey Gary, can you take a photo of me from behind gazing into the distance?

  2. The mountain range was so beautiful! The photo was amazingly done!

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