Activities For Dogs In Lake Clark National Park

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Introduction

The Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is located near Alaska's southern coast, not that far away from the city of Anchorage. Leashed dogs are allowed on the premises, though extra caution is levied at those who bring pets along; bears and moose live in the area and can become startled by a dog who is not on their best behavior. Bringing your dog to the Lake Clark National is perfectly fine - you'll just have to be extra vigilant and responsible if you do. Visitors and their pets can engage in a number of activities together which include things like camping, backpacking, kayaking, power boating, bird watching, river rafting and spending the night at one of the park's public cabins.

Power Boating

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Any Day
Expensive
Easy
3 - 4 hrs
Items needed
Winter Attire
Leash
waste bags
Activity description
Though power boating is the easiest activity that we'll be discussing in this guide, it's certainly the most expensive; the average cost of a power boating tour around Lake Clark can cost upwards of $800 per person. While the price of admission for this activity is steep, the experience will be worthwhile for anyone who loves sailing and cruising. There are a number of companies that either offer guided power boating tours or will allow you to rent one for a predetermined period of time. As an added bonus, most of those companies will allow you to bring your dog aboard the vessel at no extra charge. You and your dog can attempt this activity during any kind of weather that suits your fancy, as the both of you will be inside the vessel throughout the trip.
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1
Renting or touring?
This will be your first decision; are you going to rent a boat from a company that lends them out or are you going to pay for a tour and let someone else steer the ship? If you've got experience helming a boat and have the necessary licenses to commandeer the more complex vessels, then the choice will really come down to preference. Consider which would be easier as well; steering a ship with a dog by your side or letting someone else do it while you and your pet chill?
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2
Develop your sea legs
That is to say, develop your ability to resist seasickness. Dealing with the ebb and flow of the ocean becomes a lot easier with time, but you can still be proactive to make your power boating experience much easier. Head to a nearby lake or harbor that you live close to, talk with the captain of a ship, and see if you and your dog can spend some time on their vessel to get you both acclimated to the motion of the ocean. You can also take a small paddle boat to a lake without having to ask anyone for help.
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Canoeing

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Sunny Day
Expensive
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Canoeing Equipment
Life Jackets
Leash
Wetsuits (For you and your dog)
Activity description
Canoeing is a very relaxing, spiritually soothing activity that will help paddlers truly feel at one with nature. Paddlers can bring their dogs along for the trip as well, so long as they're able to teach their pets a number of ground rules that will keep the both of them safe during the trip. We'll go over those rules a little later but, for now, we'd like to talk logistics; a reliable canoe will cost about $300 at least, plus an additional $30 for a paddle. Add another $100 for a life jacket for yourself and another $20 for a dog life jacket. Top your purchases off with a wetsuit for yourself and your dog help the both of you to stay as warm and as dry as possible. Since the waters of Alaska can get pretty cold, it's best to try this activity out on a sunny day. You will want to canoe very closely to the shore as well, as weather conditions can change fairly rapidly in this area.
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1
Obedience refresher
A dog has to be able to follow instructions if they're going to accompany anyone on a canoeing trip. Before either of you even look at a canoe, practice a few basic obedience training concepts with your dog to ensure that they'll follow your lead at sea. We're talking about the really basic stuff - staying put on command and the like. The basics will take time to get down but without knowing them, your dog just won't be ready to go canoeing with you.
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2
Specifics of the logistics
It goes without saying that you'll need a canoe for this activity, but be mindful of the size of your boat and always think if your dog will be able to comfortably in it. When looking for canoes, see if you can find the weight capacity of a particular vessel that you're interested in. Weigh your dog and yourself to see what your combined weight will be before checking to see if you two will overload the canoe. If it looks like the combined weight of yourself and your dog will just barely fall under a boat's capacity, look for a bigger vessel as the weight of your equipment will also factor in later.
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3
Canoeing essentials
Besides a canoe, you'll need a paddle and functioning life jackets for yourself and your dog. You may also want to bring some sort of storage unit that you can keep snacks inside. You'll probably want to get one of those for yourself and your dog respectively. Bring your own water (for yourself and your dog) as well - you might think that the water you're paddling through is safe enough if it's got a low salinity count, but bacteria lives in all kinds of water.
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Backpacking

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Hard
24 - 48 hrs
Items needed
Backpack
Blanket
First Aid Kit
Food and Water
Pepper Spray
Dog Leash (Hands Free)
Activity description
Backpacking refers to the act of walking across large stretches of terrain over the course of days, weeks, or months. When it comes to roughing it in the wilds, this is about as hardcore as it gets. Most dogs actually make for great backpacking companions, provided they stay on their best behavior and by your side at all times. You can get most of the supplies you'll need for a typical backpacking trip for less than $200 dollars, but there are a few items you'll need to add to your list for a trip in Lake Clark - a can of long distance pepper spray and a hands-free dog leash being must haves.
Step
1
How to backpack
The actual act of backpacking is simple enough; all you and your dog need to do is walk from one part of the Lake Clark National Park to the next. Things get more complex in terms of how one is supposed to do this over multiple hours, days, or weeks at a time. Before heading out on any length of backpacking trip, make sure that you have the essentials packed in your backpack. This includes the all important First Aid Kit. Your dog can carry a pack, too; they can bring the blanket needed for warmth just in case a situation arises.
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2
Map out your path
You'll actually want to do this as soon as you can. Even if you wait until the very moment that you and your dog touch down in Alaska, you'll want to use a map of some sort to plan out the route you intend on walking with your dog. Figure out which areas of the park contain which kinds of animals and strive to avoid their territory to the best of your ability. Lake Clark has a few streams that run through it, so you can use them as markers to guide your way. Let your family know exactly what your plans are while in the Lake Clark park area.
Step
3
Stick together
No matter what else you do, make sure that your dog sticks by your side. Chances are you're going to spot a moose or a bear off in the distance during this trip. So long as your dog is by your side, you can gently and casually steer your dog away from the direction of other creatures. This advice also applies if you decide to go backpacking with a group of family members or friends.
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More Fun Ideas...

Priest Rock Public Cabin

It will cost you approximately $65 per night to spend some time at this old school, wooden cabin. Your dog will be allowed to join you for free, but you'll need to clean up after yourselves and strive to leave the cabin in better condition than how you found it. Visitors with mushing dogs will be happy to have a place where they can clean their team up as well as catch their second wind.

Bird Watching

The National Park Service proudly proclaims that the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve is home to about 187 species of birds. You and your dog can observe them in their natural habitat so long as you bring the appropriate equipment. As bird watching sessions are typically held a great distances away from the birds, you don't have to worry about your dog giving chase to them.

Conclusion

If you're an adventurous sort, you'll likely fall in love with the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve after just one visit. Adventurous pet parents can also have an equally great time with their pets, but you will need to be on top of things and remain cautious at all times. Certain activities like boating with a dog or even bird watching with a dog will require less caution than others, but it's always necessary for one to keep their guard up in a wilderness area. You and your dog will ultimately be visitors in the home of these wild and free creatures. So long as you respect them and their boundaries, these creatures will do the same.