This vast Alaskan wilderness is close enough to Anchorage to be fairly accessible (by plane), yet its wild, stunning offerings are often overlooked. Visitors can kayak on the lake or the park’s rivers and backpack through the tundra amid spectacular mountain scenery, including two active volcanoes smoking in the distance. This park is also an excellent place to observe brown bears—professional guides specialize in trips to see them—as well as other wildlife, including caribou, moose, and a variety of birds.

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Lake Clark National Park and Preserve was designated in 1980 to protect Bristol Bay’s one-of-a-kind ecosystem. It protects the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak River -- the heart of the world-famous Bristol Bay salmon run and the home of a $2billion fishing industry.

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