Dick Proenneke's Cabin
Many of our visitors ask to take a 15 minute flight to tour Dick Proenneke’s Cabin on Twin Lakes. An elite naturalist, conservationist, writer, and wildlife photographer, Proenneke chose to dedicate his life to wilderness living at the age of 51, his story was published in a staple Alaskan novel “One Man’s Wilderness.”
Upper Twin Lakes Documentary
Crafting a log cabin with his bare hands and devoid of power tools, he spent three decades living off the land. He was never married or had kids. Since his passing, his property now belongs to the park service and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
For a deeper understanding of his mountain man legacy, be sure to watch his original 1977 documentary film. It will give you some perspective on what life was really like before the advent of smartphones and other technology. To put it in perspective, most of his home was made from natural materials around the site. Whether it was the rock taken from the lake to create the cabins foundation, the tree's he selected, and hand-cut with interlocking joints, or the fireplace and flue, he engineered it from scratch.
Proenneke maintained a close relationship with the Park Service, aiding in various ways, such as alerting them to poaching activities. To delve into his life and get a first hand account, consider reading "The Early Years: The Journal of Richard L. Proenneke 1967-1972" by Alaska Geographic. Alternatively, explore "A Life in Ful Stride: The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke 1986-1991," or the final collection, "Reaching the End of the Trail: The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke 1992-2000," if you can't visit the park.
His skills extended beyond tangible creations, showcasing a profound understanding of wilderness survival. From crafting tools to navigating Lake Clark National Park's rugged terrain, Proenneke's connection to the land exemplified a lifestyle now scarce. Beyond structures and shared knowledge, his legacy stands as a tribute to simplicity's beauty. His enduring influence inspires future generations to cherish craftsmanship, and cultivate a true appreciate for conservation and wilderness.
"I have found that some of the simplest things have given me the most pleasure. They didn't cost me alot of money either. They just worked on my senses. Did you ever pick very large bluberries after a summer rain, walk through a grove of cottonwoods, open like a park, and see the blue sky beyond the shimmering gold of leaves? Pull on dry woolen socks after you've peeled off the wet ones? Come in out of the subzero and shiver yourself warm in front of a wood fire? The world is full of such things."
Lake Clark National Park was established in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. Its creation aimed to preserve the park’s unique ecosystems, protect its wildlife, and offer opportunities for outdoor recreation while keeping the area’s natural beauty intact. It was also established to protect a region of dynamic geologic and ecological processes that create mountain landscape, the watershed supporting Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon, and habitats for fish, wildlife and thousands of years of human history.
Lake Clark is a 1 hour flight from Anchorage, Homer or Kenai. Most visitors fly into the park headquarters in Port Alsworth. Visitors at Lake Clark Lodge will be flown directly to and from their designated location to our private landing strip on Keyes Point. You won’t have to worry about coordinating your flight. We provide the air taxi service to and from Anchorage.
The weather in Lake Clark National Park can be quite dynamic. Around summer solstice, the sun sets approximately at 11:30 PM and rises again around 4:30 AM, providing just over 5 hours of daylight. The brevity in daylight hours contributes to swift seasonal changes, influencing the weather accordingly. In general the temperature ranges from the mid 40’s to upper 60’s through our 4 month season. To ensure you are well-prepared for a variety of weather conditions that may arise, we recommend consulting our Trip Checklist.