Twin Lakes Paddle
Lake Clark National Park

Twin Lakes Paddle - Lake Clark National Park

Twin Lakes exudes the truest essence of Lake Clark National Park; a wilderness nirvana, where the allure of living a more simple life, in tune with nature and the changing seasons, captured Mr. Proenneke and will certainly captivate you.  For over 30 years Dick Proenneke carved for himself a life in this wilderness, and his hand-hewn log cabin reminds us of his enduring presence. You’ll marvel at the old world resourcefulness and craftsmanship that went into the building of his backcountry home, and sense the overwhelming, yet comfortable, solitude that he enjoyed.

With our inflatable kayaks providing unlimited access to the waterways, we’ll paddle and camp along the shorelines of both Upper and Lower Twin Lakes. Along the way we’ll stop to stretch our legs hiking into the valleys of Hope and Beech Creeks, climbing into Low Pass, and making a loop through the curiously named Death Valley. These day hikes offer a nice compliment to the clear water kayaking and offer amazing views of the Twin Lakes basin! As the sounds of our floatplane break the calm, we’ll ponder waving off our pilot and building our own cabin on the shore of Twin Lakes.

*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 Details

DURATION 7 days
LENGTH 25+ miles
INTENSITY Level 2
SEASON Summer
BEGINS IN Anchorage, Alaska
ENDS IN Anchorage, Alaska
AIRPORT Anchorage International Airport (ANC)
WILDLIFE/
SCENERY
bears, sheep, wolves, caribou, moose
Price$3,450
Youth Price$3,450
Great ForFamilies Couples Individuals

Recognized in 2010 as one of National Geographic's "Tours of a Lifetime", join us to experience Alaska’s best kayaking and hiking trip. The supreme wilderness of Twin Lakes, located in the heart of Lake Clark National Park, is a wonderland of crystalline waters set beneath a rugged rim of mountains and vast tundra expanses. It’s home to various birds of prey, moose and caribou, Dall’s sheep, black and brown bears, and the legacy of Dick Proenneke – the conservationist featured in the popular PBS documentary, Alone in the Wilderness.

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
  • Large, backpack-style drybag for transporting and storing personal gear while on trip
  • Trekking polesComplementary airport transfer
  • Ground Transportation to Merrill Field on Day 1
  • Round trip bush flight transportation from Anchorage to Port Alsworth
  • All necessary floatplane flights
  • 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 you'll load into float planes and lift off into the afternoon skies bound for Lower Twin Lake; a spectacular 30 minute flight.  We’ll spend 2-3 hours setting up camp on the south side of the lake and assembling our kayaks while we begin to absorb the solitude of this sublime wilderness.  After our first delicious wilderness dinner, you’ll have the chance to do an evening paddle on the lake or relax on the sandy beach in front of camp. Lunch & dinner included.

Day
2

Today we’ll hoist daypacks and head off to explore an area locally known as “Death Valley.” This fluvial filled wash is as spectacular as it is surreal, and it leads us directly into the open tundra country above the lake. We’ll climb out of death valley and up to a pass with spectacular views of the locally named Big Valley and the mountains surrounding Twin Lakes.  Your first sample of Alaska wilderness hiking will give you taste of off-trail navigation and Dick Proenneke’s favorite terrain around Twin Lakes.  All Meals Included.  Distance: 4-5 miles, Elevation Gain: 1500'-2000'

Day
3

 After yet another great breakfast, and a thorough kayaking orientation from your guide(s),  you’ll load the kayaks and begin paddling up the shores of Lower Twin.  We’ll spend the day kayaking, picnicking for lunch, and enjoying the remote splendor of this special slice of Alaskan wilderness.  As we head east toward the Upper Lake, the mountains will become more dramatic and rugged.  We’ll scope the shore for wildlife and eventually mak camp at Beech Creek near the stream connecting upper and lower Twin Lakes by early afternoon.  With plenty of Alaska's summer daylight, we’ll grab a couple of energy bars and start hiking up Beech Creek in search of more wildlife and alpine tundra.  We’ll return to camp for another amazing Adventure Appetites dinner and wilderness celebration.   All Meals Included.  Kayaking Distance: 3-4 miles, Hiking Distance: 3-4 miles, Elevation Gain: 1000'-1500'

Day
4

The early dawn will greet us with more adventure and we’ll start it all by lining our kayaks up the connecting stream. After a couple of hours of walking our boats up the creek, we’ll be kayaking the azure waters of Upper Twin Lake, where we'll paddle toward Hope Creek and our camp for the final 2 nights.  We’ll pause at Emerson Creek for a hike up to Emerson Falls.  Emerson is a spectacular Alaska drainage and the waterfall was one of Dick Proenneke’s favorite places to visit.  After a couple of hours exploring Emerson, we’ll jump back into the kayaks and continue toward Hope Creek.  Alaska size peaks will dominate our panorama and the solitude of kayaking Upper Twin is certain to entrance the group.   Camping near the mouth of Hope Creek allows a short walk to the Dick Proenneke site.  After a hearty dinner, we’ll make our first visit to Proenneke’s cabin – his year-round home from 1968-98. All Meals Included. Hiking Distance: 3-4 miles, Kayaking Distance: 5 miles, Elevation Gain: 500’

Day
5

A visit to Twin Lakes, and Hope Creek in particular,  wouldn't be complete without a hike to Eye of the Needle - an obscure rock formation at the head of one of the many tributaries of Hope Creek.  This full-day hike will take us up to the Cowgill Benches before heading into alpine tundra, where we'll train our eyes on the crags above for glimpses Dall’s sheep.  Before long we'll traverse along a beautiful canyon as we negotiate thousand year old game trails on our way to the head of the alpine valley.  With luck, the weather will cooperate and we'll get a glimpse of the Eye of the Needle from the high point of our hike - a glacial cirque and source of the crystal clear waters of Hope Creek.  The day will conclude with another great dinner and, as always, a home-baked dessert that will initiate a good night’s sleep.  All Meals Included.  Distance: 8 miles, Elevation Gain: 2500'-3000'

Day
6

After a leisurely breakfast, we'll break down camp and prepare our gear for an afternoon float plane flight back to Port Alsworth.  After the morning chores, we will take the rest of our time in the wilderness immersing ourselves in the Proenneke site and perhaps even doing a short hike to Teetering Rock – a Proenneke favorite.  We hope you feel Dick’s spirit as you wander about his property, admire his craftsmanship and imagine an existence so far from our modern world.  By early evening we'll be at the Farm Lodge in Port Alsworth, and checked into the beautiful lakeside cabins.  After hot showers and a celebratory dinner in the lodge dining room, we’ll tally up our wildlife sightings, and attempt to absorb the solace that Proenneke himself must have felt after spending 30 years at Twin Lakes.  All Meals Included.  Distance: 2-3 miles, Elevation Gain: 500'-1000'

Day
7

After an amazing breakfast at the lodge, we'll spend the day hiking to Tanalian Falls before paying an afternoon visit to the Lake Clark National Park visitor’s center, where you’ll have a chance to purchase maps and postcards, enjoy multiple interpretive displays and videos, and share your experience with park staff.  You’ll then board a late afternoon charter flight back to Anchorage.  If you are departing Alaska on this day, please schedule all homebound flights for after 9PM.  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 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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I can't think of much of anything that would have improved the trip, except perhaps myself having previous experience in Alaska!

Stuart Smith
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