This photo shows us flying through the Gates of Aniakchak Volanoes crater. We are about to land in Surprise Lake inside the caldera. You can see Vent Mountain and the tiny river about to flow down the side of the volcano!
The ANIAKCHAK RIVER lays 400 miles southwest of Anchorage, far out on the Pacific side of the Alaska Peninsula in Aniakchak National Park and Preserve . It's the United States most remote and least visited National Park. We land right in Surprise Lake inside the 6 mile wide caldera of Aniakchak Volcano! The lake is emerald green, colored by the warm springs' algae. The stay inside the caldera is magnificent. Some caribou, grizzly and moose live right inside. The desert like interior affords excellent hiking and photographic opportunities. Once across the lake in our rafts, the river flows fast down the side of the volcano. Rapids have boulders the size of a VW bus on end. Along the lush river banks grow alders and high grasses, no big trees. It supports large populations of all it's sea run fish including Char to 30 inches. Dime bright Chums come first in late June. Kings and Sockeye arrive in July. The Rainbow Trout population was wiped out in 1931 by the last volcanic eruption. The one year one of Ouzel's expeditions in early July caught and released 6 Rainbows! The next trip we caugt about 35 Rainbows! The Rainbow population is definately coming back. Late July fresh Humpies pour in. By mid August the place is full of Silvers. This trip is a real expedition into the most pure wilderness Alaska has to offer! It received national status as a Wild and Scenic River in 1980. The hillsides are open, trotting foxes, migrating caribou herds and bears are not hidden from sight. The Aniakchak has high densities of the largest Brown Bears in the state, and an incredible moose population. It's Caribou herds number in the thousands. We have seen 30 Bald Eagles at a time. This river has a wide variety of bird species. It's exceptional for photography and hiking from top to bottom. All bush flights included from King Salmon. The Aniakchak River is one of Ouzel Expeditions most remote Alaska fishing expeditions!