Top Ten Offbeat Summer Parks

Lake Clark National Park
Lake Clark National Park, Alaska
Lake Clark National Park, Alaska (TTVo/Flickr)

4 million acres

4,300 annual visits

Attractions: Lake Clark National Park and Preserve stretches from the shores of Cook Inlet, across the Chigmit Mountains, to the tundra covered hills of the western interior. This is a region of big volcanoes, big glaciers, and big lakes. The Chigmits, where the Alaska and Aleutian Ranges meet, are an awesome, jagged array of mountains and glaciers which include two active volcanoes, Mount Redoubt and Mount Iliamna. Lake Clark, 40 miles long, and many other lakes and rivers within the park are critical salmon habitat.

Activities: Numerous lake and river systems in the park and preserve offer excellent fishing and wildlife viewing. Hiking is a joy: but you should have excellent map-reading skills. Just as there are no roads to Lake Clark, you'll find no trails within it. Solitude: pure and simple.

Finding Solitude: Did you catch the number of annual visitors? A mere 4,300. That's less than the number of visitors in a single summer's day to Yellowstone. And Lake Clark is almost twice as big. No roads travel to Lake Clark: it is reachable only by airplane or boat. So you don't have to worry about throngs. We can't guarantee that you won't see a soul—but they'll be few and far between.


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