Aniakchak is the country’s least-visited national park site, seeing fewer than 300 tourists in a typical year. The monument is only accessible by a long journey of flying, boating and/or backpacking, and its rugged, difficult environment features foggy, rainy weather and a high concentration of bears and wolves. Those brave few who do venture down the Alaska Peninsula and into the monument are rewarded with a jaw-dropping six-mile-wide, 2,000-foot-deep volcanic caldera. Within this deep, ashy crater is Surprise Lake, source of the Aniakchak River, as well as Vent Mountain, a 2,200-foot-tall cone formed by a volcanic eruption in 1931.


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