Turquoise Glacier High Route
Lake Clark National Park

Turquoise Glacier High Route - Lake Clark National Park

Our route will allow us to connect three of Lake Clark National Park’s most spectacular watersheds – Telaquana Lake, Turquoise Lake, and the famed Twin Lakes.  This backpacking trip will take us up and over glaciers, through spectacularly vertical canyons, past huge waterfalls, and across some of the most stunning alpine tundra in Alaska.

If you dream of hiking through remote mountain ranges on ribbons of ice, connecting high alpine valleys laced with tumbling creeks, and trekking across miles of trail-less tundra, then this adventure will satisfy your yearning.  This 10-day backpacking and hiking trip will take us from the shores of remote Telaquana Lake, around the Trail Creek highlands, beneath the glaciated 8000’ Telaquana Mountain, under the hanging glaciers surrounding Turquoise Lake, over a glacier pass, through the tundra of the Emerson Creek valley, and finally to Twin Lakes and our float plane pick-up at Hope Creek near Dick Proenneke’s log cabin.

While the mountains present to us exciting route-finding challenges, the tundra allows the opportunity to hike easily and glass the horizons for Dall’s sheep, grizzly bears, caribou, moose, migratory foul, and birds of prey.

*While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will.  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.”  Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

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Trip Details

DURATION 10 days
LENGTH 60+ miles
INTENSITY Level 3
SEASON Summer
BEGINS IN Anchorage
ENDS IN Anchorage
AIRPORT Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
WILDLIFE/
SCENERY
bears, sheep, wolves, caribou, moose
Price$3,750
Youth Price$3,750
Great ForExplorers Couples Individuals

We pioneered this route in 2006 and found it to be perhaps Alaska’s most quintessential backpacking adventure.  In addition to the magical solitude and intimate beauty of Lake Clark National Park, this traverse also gives a comprehensive introduction to Alaska backcountry travel – float-plane access, wide open tundra ridge hiking, icy river crossings, trekking on glaciers, and backpacking through trail-less wilderness.  The route meanders southward through alpine regions of the Lake Clark Wilderness; from Telaquana Lake past the rugged splendor of Turquoise Lake, and 10-days later to a finish at Dick Proenneke’s log cabin on Twin Lakes.  Thanks to photographer Andrew Peacock @Footloosephotography for the amazing images from this trip!  

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
  • Trekking poles
  • Complementary airport transfer
  • Ground Transportation to Merrill Field on Day 1
  • 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 Farm Lodge 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
Day
1

This morning an Alaska Alpine Adventures representative will pick you up in Anchorage by 8:15,  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 of the most stunning bush flights in Alaska.   Your guide(s) will greet you when you land, and as you enjoy a delicious lunch along the shores of Lake Clark,  you’ll discuss the adventure and wrap up the trip orientation.  Then we'll load into float planes and lift off into the afternoon skies bound for Telaquana Lake, about 45 minutes north of Lake Clark. We’ll watch the floatplane taxi away from the beach,  lift off the lake, and disappear  over the ridge to the south, before hoisting packs and backpacking to our first camp in the tundra-carpeted alpine country above of the lake.  Lunch & dinner included.  Distance: 3.0 miles, Elevation Gain: 1700'

Days
2-8

We’ll spend the next seven days moving from our first camp above Trail Creek to Hope Creek and the Proenneke site on the famous Twin Lakes. We’ll likely have at least two layover days during during which we’ll explore glaciers and valleys with stripped-down packs containing only the day’s essentials.  The country will throw a sampling of the Alaska backpacking challenges at us, including two river crossings, just enough brush to remind you of Alaska, abundant talus and scree, some steep side-hilling, and two high mountain passes.  All meals included.  Distance: 5-10 miles/day, Elevation gain: 1500'-4000' /day

Day
9

By the afternoon of day nine, we'll arrive at Hope Creek, where we’ll pay a visit to Dick Proenneke’s log cabin made famous by the PBS documentary Alone in the Wilderness.  Too soon for most, the float plane will arrive to return us to Port Alsworth, where we’ll check into lakeside cabins at the Farm Lodge.   After hot showers and a celebratory dinner, we’ll tally up our wildlife sightings, and savor  the onset of post-expedition euphoria.  All meals included.  Distance: 5 miles, Elevation gain: 500'

Day
10

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 videos and interpretive displays, and share your adventures with park staff.  We'll spend the rest of the day hiking to Tanalian Falls, before boarding an afternoon charter flight to Anchorage.  If you are departing Alaska on this day, please schedule all homebound flights for after 9 pm.  Breakfast & lunch included.  Distance: 5 miles, elevation gain: 800’

*While Alaska Alpine Adventures endeavors to follow our itineraries as written, odds are in fact slim that you actually will.  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.”  Therefore we strongly suggest that you approach any adventure in Alaska with an open mind.

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Great trekking, great guides and great food... just a really spectacular experience from start to finish. You've got a repeat customer in me for sure.

Ryan Drescher
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