The Alaska Range doesn’t suddenly stop at Denali. It keeps marching southwest to merge with the Aleutian Range and form the vertebrae of the Alaska Peninsula, Alaska’s rugged arm that reaches out for the Aleutian Islands. This volcanic peninsula stretches some 550 miles from Cook Inlet to the tip at Isanotski Strait. It includes Alaska’s largest lakes – Lake Clark, Iliamna Lake and Becharof Lake – and some of the state’s most active volcanoes, with Mt Redoubt and Mt Iliamna topping more than 10,000ft in height. Wildlife abounds, communities do not.
The peninsula’s most popular attraction, Katmai National Park & Preserve, has turned King Salmon into the main access point. Two other preserves – McNeil River State Game Sanctuary & Refuge and Lake Clark National Park & Preserve – also attract travelers, while the Alaska Marine Highway stops at four small communities along the peninsula on its way to the Aleutians.