Visit Twin Lakes

Home in the Wilderness

Located on the south shore of Upper Twin Lake, the remote Alaskan wilderness where the Richard Proenneke Cabin is situated provides prepared travelers opportunities to discover firsthand why countless individuals have connected to this place. This page provides the information you need to plan your trip.

 
 
 
from a mountain, a yellow plane lands on a blue lake surrounded by mountains
In the distance, a plane lands at Upper Twin Lake for a Proenneke Cabin tour led by onsite backcountry rangers. The cabin is in a remote location, surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

NPS/K. Lewandowski

Getting to Upper Twin

Flying to the Proenneke Cabin
Landing gear: Floats

Dick Proenneke's cabin is located in a roadless wilderness, so unless they are backpacking from other locations in the park, visitors arrive by small planes that land on Upper Twin Lake. There are no suitable beaches or runways for wheeled planes, so visitors traveling in the summer will need a plane that operates on floats. Winter landings can take place on wheels, skis, or wheeled-skis depending on the snow and ice conditions. The flight from Anchorage is just over an hour. The flight from Port Alsworth is typically 30 minutes. Site staff have air to ground radios on the local area frequency 122.9.

Air taxi prices depend on group size, type of airplane, length of flight, and where the flight originates. Contact each air taxi operator directly to determine availability and the cost for your trip.

Air taxi operators are permitted to operate within the national park under FAA Part 135 air taxi regulations which require three miles visibility and glide distance to shorelines while crossing open water such as Cook Inlet. There are also guide services permitted to guide in the park who fly aircraft, land outside the park and walk into the park for guiding purposes. Those guides operate under FAA part 91 regulations which have lower safety visibility and glide distance requirements.

 
 
a park volunteer talks to visitors in front of the Proenneke cabin
Park rangers and volunteers lead tours of the Proenneke Cabin in summer.

NPS/T. Vaughn

Proenneke Cabin Hours, Seasons and Considerations

Late September through late May
The Proenneke Cabin is locked during the winter months. You may explore the area year round, but may only enter the cabin in the summer months. The spring opening date of the historic cabin is tentative due to ice melt.

There are a few amenities and regulations at the Proenneke site designed for your safety.

  • Attend your food. If you have any food with you, you must keep it packed out of site and in your possession at all times or stored in an approved bear-resistant food container. Bear-proof food lockers are located near the Proenneke cabin and at the Hope Creek Campsite for your convenience.
  • Secure your fish in an approved bear-resistant container as soon as you catch it.
  • A pit toilet is available down a trail behind the Proenneke cabin. Follow the fork to the left. In addition, there is an "outcan" located at the Hope Creek campsite across Hope Creek. To avoid public health hazards, please utilize these facilities when visiting the National Historic Site instead of digging cat holes.
  • Rangers and Volunteers are housed nearby late May to late September. Staff have air to ground radios on the local area frequency 122.9.
  • State of Alaska Fishing Regulations apply to all anglers in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.
 
a tent in the setting sun along the shore of a lake
Discover why Proenneke loved the Twin Lakes area by taking a trip into the wilderness.

NPS/K. Lewandowski

Camping and Backpacking

The Twin Lakes area is one of the busiest camping and backpacking areas in the park. For this reason, each year between April 15 and September 30 camping within two miles of Twin Lakes is limited to a total of 21 days.
  • Camping is prohibited within the National Historic Register boundaries and sleeping in or occupying the cabin, cache, or woodshed is prohibited by law.
  • Bear resistant food containers (BRCs) are required when camping within half a mile of the shoreline along Upper and Lower Twin Lake or in any location where food cannot be hung at least ten feet above the ground and four feet horizontally from a post, tree trunk, or other object on a line or branch that will not support a bear’s weight. Trees large enough to properly hang food are rare in this area; therefore, we highly recommend that all campers not staying at Hope Creek campsite bring enough BRCs to store all food, garbage, harvested fish, and other scented items. BRCs may be borrowed from the visitor center in Port Alsworth or rented from a variety of outdoor gear shops in Anchorage. For campers utilizing the Hope Creek Campsite, all food, garbage, harvested fish, and other scented items must be stored in the bear-proof food lockers provided on site.
  • Camping at Hope Creek Campsite is limited to a total of 14 days. There are no time restrictions October 1 - April 14. A few hardened tent sites are available for overnight camping on a first come, first served basis across Hope Creek from the Proenneke cabin. The area is intended for sharing with other groups.
  • To prevent public health hazards, campers should utilize the "outcan" provided at the site instead of digging cat holes nearby.
  • Be prepared for a creek crossing to access the Proenneke cabin from the camping area. As with any river, Hope Creek may not be passable if flooding due to heavy rainfall or at the peak of spring breakup.
 
 

Lodging and Guided Camping Trips

Windsong Wilderness Retreat rents a private cabin on the opposite shore of Upper Twin Lake. Several licensed commercial outfitters rent backpacking, kayaking, and other outdoor equipment and/or specialize in guiding day-long and overnight trips to the Twin Lakes area.

Click the link above to see a list of all the companies that are permitted to operate in the park. Contact each company directly to determine the cost for your trip.

 
a ranger works on an exposed cabin roof
A ranger works on the exposed cabin roof in 2017. While the park has ongoing work at Upper Twin, protecting a cabin in a remote wilderness takes everyone's help.

NPS/L. Rupp

Protecting a Treasure

Help us protect Dick Proenneke's cabin so that generations of visitors will be able to experience what it has to offer.

Leave everything you find behind. Removal of artifacts from public land is prohibited by law.

Please stay on the trails. The tundra is fragile. Even Dick Proenneke admonished his guests to stay on his trails to protect the vegetation.

Be gentle with the door. The handcrafted door mechanisms are fragile and have been repaired.

Camp at the Hope Creek campsite or on other durable surfaces in the Twin Lakes area so that others may also enjoy the cabin and area.

Build fires in the fire ring at the Hope Creek campsite or use personal camp cook stove outside. Fires are not allowed in the stove, fireplace, or any other location within cabin or other historic structures.

Eat and prepare food outside. In order to maintain the integrity of the historical items in the cabin and other structures, we ask that you please cook and eat outside. Many visitors enjoy the view from the beach in front of Proenneke's cabin during their lunch break.

Report any damage or suspected violation to the National Park Service at (907) 781-2218. Damage to the site including the structures, furnishings, and fixtures is prohibited by law (36CFR2.1).Thank you for your assistance!
 
A bear stands pensively on a mud flat

Staying Safe in Bear Country

You may encounter either brown or black bears during your trip to Twin Lakes. Learn how to stay safe.

An angler fishes while standing on the float of a plane on a lake with mountains in the background

Fishing in Bear Country

Become familiar with the responsibilities that come with fishing in bear country prior to your trip to Twin Lakes.

 
Vintage photo of a man filming with an old movie camera on a tripod near a blue lake and mountains.

Proenneke: the Man, the Myth, the Legend

The source of Sam Keith's book "One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey," Proenneke embodies humanity's fascination with wilderness.

The wooden ceiling of a log cabin

Proenneke's Cabin

Explore details of how Proenneke built his cabin.

Vintage photo of a man looking across a glaciated mountain valley with binoculars.

Proenneke's Wilderness Ethos

From hunter to conservationist - explore the evolution of Richard L. Proenneke's wilderness ethos.

mountains and autumnal trees reflect in Twin Lakes

Richard Proenneke Journal Collections

Proenneke was a tireless writer, documenting his observations in a series of journals that span nearly 30 years.

a wooden plaque with

Photo Gallery: Proenneke Collection

Explore a few of Richard Proenneke's belongings now in the park's museum collections.

Image of a man in front of a fireplace in a log cabin.

Explore Lake Clark's Museum Collection

View Lake Clark's entire online museum collections which includes some of Richard Proenneke's belongings.

Last updated: October 13, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 227
Port Alsworth, AK 99653

Phone:

(907) 644-3626

Contact Us