Turquoise to Twin Traverse
Lake Clark National Park

Turquoise to Twin Traverse - Lake Clark National Park

Join Alaska Alpine Adventures on our signature guided 7-day backpacking trip through the heart and soul of Lake Clark National Park!

After an incredible bush flight from Anchorage to Port Alsworth, we’ll load up the Cessna floatplane and take-off north into the heart of this little known national park.  Arriving at Turquoise Lake, we will be greeted by one of the most spectacular views Alaska has to offer. We will stand in awe as 6000' of vertical relief towers above and to the east of our first camp; to the west, endless sweeps of tundra will beckon the hiker inside all of us.

*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 7 days
LENGTH 25+ miles
INTENSITY Level 2
SEASON Summer
BEGINS IN Anchorage
ENDS IN Anchorage
AIRPORT Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
WILDLIFE/
SCENERY
bears, sheep, caribou, eagles, moose
Price$3,350
Youth Price$3,350
Great ForFamilies Couples Individuals

Turquoise Lake, nestled beneath the Alaska Range, offers some of` the best hiking, wildlife viewing and bird watching in Lake Clark National Park, and remains one of our favorite places in Alaska to backpack and explore.
We'll spend the first couple of days hiking near Turquoise Lake exploring the powerful remnants of the massive glaciers that once filled this remote canyon.  Whether standing beneath 2000' waterfalls, witnessing hanging glaciers, or listening to the raw wilderness being shaped all around us, you will be mystified by sense of scale and grandeur of this special part of Alaska.

We'll then load our backpacks and begin the move toward Twin Lakes.  For the next 3 days we’ll camp high in the alpine tundra, adjacent to small clear streams,  and in valleys inhabited by wildlife.  Perhaps your fondest memories will be the tantalizing solitude, or maybe the “sheep lick” where we’ll likely to see ewes and lambs frolicking on steep cliffs.  It’s possible that seeing Dick Proenneke’s cabin on upper Twin Lakes is at the top of your list.  Regardless, you'll enjoy some of Alaska’s most incredible hiking and stupendous views of Turquoise & Twin Lakes, the Chilikadrotna River, and the rugged collision of the Aleutian and Alaska mountain ranges.  Since 1999, we’ve been guiding this trip and we still believe it to be one of the great 7-day backpacking itineraries in Alaska.

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. We’ll then load into float planes and lift off into the afternoon skies bound for Turquoise Lake. This 30 minute flight will take us over the 50-mile long Lake Clark,  across the spectacular mountains of the Aleutian Range, and into the heart of the national park.  We’ll make camp on the shore of Turquoise Lake, and stand in awe of the azure water and surrounding peaks.  Lunch & dinner included.

Day
2

 After leaving the comfort of your sleeping bag, you’ll sip coffee as your guide prepares a sumptuous breakfast that is sure to fuel you for the adventure ahead.  We’ll strike out for a day of hiking in the grand canyon of Lake Clark National Park.  Our goal today will be the Turquoise Glacier, 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.  If weather and river conditions allow, your guide will take you up onto the glacier ice to wrap up a unique and absolutely Alaska hiking experience. All meals included.  Distance: 12 miles, Elevation Gain: 1500'

Day
3

Today we'll break camp and head west into the high country.  You’ll quickly get accustomed to the off-trail backpacking in remote Alaska.  Out here, the only trails are made by animals!   Our destination for the night will be a cluster of alpine tarns nestled beneath jagged peaks with breathtaking views of the Turquoise Lake basin.  All meals included.  Distance: 4.5 miles, Elevation Gain: 2000'

Day
4

  We’ll pack up camp on the third day, hoist our packs, and begin the trek to Sheep Lick Valley; our home for the next two nights.  We’ll trade the wide-open expanses of the Turquoise Lake drainage for the intimacy of our river camp, nestled in a glacially carved valley below the sheep lick.  While the hike to the Sheep Lick Valley is strenuous and includes a climb of 1500’, the hiking itself is on a carpet of open and dry tundra.  Glacier erratics litter the landscape and views of the surrounding mountains are simply astounding.  By the end of the day, you’ll be accustomed to real Alaska backpacking and comfortable hiking and exploring this incredible wilderness region of Lake Clark National Park.  All meals included.  Distance: 6 miles, Elevation Gain: 1000’

Day
5

 Today will be dedicated to exploration!  Stripping our packs down to carry only the day’s essentials,  we’ll look to the surrounding peaks for inspiration and head out on another long hike that’s bound to leave us in awe of Alaska’s sublime beauty.  All meals included.  Distance: 5-8 miles, Elevation Gain: 1500' - 3000'

Day
6

  After another great breakfast, we’ll again hoist our loaded packs and begin the ascent out of the Sheep Lick Valley.  We will be rewarded for the efforts of our climb with spectacular views of Twin Lakes and the Chilikadrotna River, an aquatic highway stretching to Bristol Bay.  We’ll descend out of the high country and through the boreal forest to the north of lower Twin.  Once on the shores of Twin Lakes, we’ll pack up our gear, and await the arrival of our floatplane.  If weather and lake conditions permit, we'll make the quick flight to Dick Proenneke's cabin at Hope Creek.  We'll then spend 1-hour on the ground at world famous Proenneke site where you'll have the chance to truly experience the legacy of one of Alaska's most respected wilderness legends.  We’ll return to Port Alsworth on Lake Clark by early evening, where you’ll check into the lodge’s lakeside cabins.  After hot showers and a celebratory dinner in the lodge dining room, we’ll tally up our wildlife sightings, and begin to absorb a powerful sense of accomplishment.  All meals included.  Distance: 5 miles, Elevation Gain: 1000'

Day
7

  After a hearty 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 of the area, and share your trip with park staff.   We'll spend the rest of the day hiking to Tanalian Falls, 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.  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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The trip was awesome. The food was way above expectations and the guide was knowledgeable and professional. It was the trip of a lifetime.
Greg Edgar
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