Among the National Parks that are the least visited in the United States, Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve ranks right up there.
Situated in south west Alaska, Aniakchak could be, if you were understating the case, considered remote. If you were to be honest the area is nothing less than isolated.
Frankly it’s for good reason that many people never get here, however the area is deserving of more traffic than it gets, but requires special planning and attention to detail.
This area of the world is absolutely a challenge, and if you’re the kind of person who loves to rise to the challenge, or to challenge yourself to a bout with mother nature, then Aniakchak is the place for you to start.
Quite simply, its for a hardy stock of person, who loves the outdoors.
If that’s you, then plan a trip to the Aniakchak National Monument.
Virtually a living, breathing reminder of exactly where Alaska fits into the volcanic circle of things, Aniakchak Monument sits inside the active volcano area known as the “Ring of Fire,” and the monument itself is the home of a six mile wide and nearly half a mile deep caldera that was created during an eruption taking place over three thousand years in the past.
It is said that the Aniakchak Caldera was created by an eruption of the volcano that collapsed a mountain that must have been about seven thousand feet tall.
Aniakchak National Monument takes in over five hundred thousand acres of some of the most unspoiled wilderness in the world today.
The primary reasons for the lack of people visiting the area are that the area is notorious for its brown bear population and its horribly unpredictable weather.
The possibilities for an adventure here, given the remote area and the climate, are absolutely endless.
A few of the activities that can be pursued here are rafting the Aniakchak River, or hiking, which can be done across the floor of the caldera.
The fishing is incredible as it is in most areas of Alaska, however your trip to Aniakchak will require some preparation prior to the actual event.
Since Aniakchak is assuredly bear country, you’re going to want to be prepared for the inevitable meeting with a brown bear, as well as for what might prove to be some extreme weather.
The area, as previously mentioned is a remote one and with the exception of some few guided trips, there is very little in the way of interaction once you are dropped off at Aniakchak by the air taxi services, so you definitely want to be prepared for your visit.
Before you go to Aniakchak, take the time to familiarize yourself with the safety rules for brown bear interaction by making use of the pages that can be found on the National Park Service Bear Safety Pages.