Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve

Quick Facts

Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve


(907) 246-3305

Map Directions

Things To Do


The Aniakchak Caldera, is the result of a series of eruptions, the last in 1931. Given its remote location and notoriously bad weather, Aniakchak is one of the least visited units of the National Park System. A vibrant reminder of Alaska's location in the volcanically active "Ring of Fire," the monument is home to an impressive six-mile wide, 2,500 ft. deep caldera formed during a massive eruption 3,500 years ago.

Map of Aniakchak

Latitude, Longitude: 56.923022, -158.254721



  • Camping

    The National Park Service maintains no campgrounds in Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve; all camping is primitive.

  • Fishing

    Sport fishing is permitted in both the monument and preserve in accordance with Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) regulations. An Alaska sport fishing license is required of all nonresidents 16 and over, and most residents 16 to 59. You may also need a harvest record card and/or king salmon stamp before you fish. For more information and to buy your licenses, stamps, and tags online, visit ADF&G's License and Permits web site.

  • Hiking

    While there are no formal trails within Aniakchak National Monument & Preserve, hikers and backpackers will find excellent hiking conditions atop the ash and cinder fields of the caldera floor.

    Because the Aniakchak landscape also features swift, cold rivers and seemingly impenetrable patches of dense vegetation, the path of least resistance will often be an animal trail. Be sure to make noise as you walk in these conditions to warn wildlife of your approach.

  • Hunting

    Sport hunting and trapping are permitted in Aniakchak National Preserve, but not in Aniakchak National Monument. To hunt and trap in the preserve, you must have all required licenses and permits and follow all other state regulations.

    The National Park Service and the State of Alaska cooperatively manage the wildlife resources of the Preserve. An Alaska State hunting license is required for all hunters age 16 or older. Bag and possession limits vary by species and by area. Always check current hunting regulations.

  • Water Sports

    The weather on Aniakchak is severe; life-threatening conditions can develop rapidly. Extremely violent winds in the caldera, particularly near 'The Gates,' can shred tents and prevent air rescue. A hefty budget and pre-tested skills and gear are absolutely necessary.

    You can float from inside a volcano to the ocean, past spectacles of wildlife and geology. From Surprise Lake, the river flows a peaceful mile to The Gates. The river moves swiftly through this narrow gorge in the caldera wall, and large rocks demand precise maneuvering. A gradient of 75 feet per mile makes this section challenging. After a more gentle 10 miles comes the confluence with Hidden Creek, and the river is again filled with car-sized boulders, abrupt bends, and a narrow bed requiring extreme caution. After 5 more miles, the river slows to meander toward the Pacific Ocean and the seals, sea otters, bald eagles, and sea birds of Aniakchak Bay.

    Total float time: 3 to 4 days from Surprise Lake to the bay. Camp on sandy gravel bars for flat tent sites and fewer bugs--and so that your human impacts are readily erased by subsequent high water. Use a small backpacking stove; firewood is scarce in treeless tundra.


Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve is a truly primitive landscape with no federally-maintained public facilities. The National Park Service imposes no operating hours or seasonal restrictions. Access to and movement within Aniakchak, however, may be limited or restricted at any time depending upon prevailing weather conditions and/or volcanic activity.



Located on the Alaska Peninsula, 450 miles southwest of Anchorage, Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve is inaccessible by road. Notoriously bad weather makes access to Aniakchak unpredictable. Drop-offs and/or pick-ups may be significantly delayed.


Aniakchak National Monument may be directly accessed via air taxi flights chartered from King Salmon, AK and other nearby small towns and villages. Air charters can land you at Meshik Lake, Surprise Lake in the caldera, or Aniakchak, Amber, or Kujulik bays on the Pacific Ocean. Regularly scheduled commercial flights to King Salmon (AKN), the location of National Park Service administrative headquarters and the starting point for many Aniakchak adventures, are available from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) via PenAir and Alaska Airlines.

Public Transportation

Power boats can reach the Preserve portions of Aniakchak from villages along the Pacific Ocean coastline.

Phone Numbers


(907) 246-3305