Alaska is one of the most beautiful and unique places on Earth, and lakes are a big part of that. There are lakes everywhere you look, and they offer all kinds of adventures for travelers. Whether you’re looking for a long vacation, or just a quick weekend getaway, Alaska has some world class lakes to offer those who enjoy spending time out on the water.
Alaska and its lakes are wonderful for those who love hiking, hunting, and fishing. You can find some of the world’s best hiking trails in scenic national parks overlooking picturesque lakes. Or, you can find a secluded boat launch and spend the day on a lake catching trophy fish. In the warmer months, you can find a recreation area with a swim area and take a refreshing swim. In the winter, the lakes also offer a charming view, and you can rent a log cabin and try some winter motorsports or cross country skiing. At the end of the day, we’re here to help you plan your perfect Alaska getaway. We provide the info and you can make your own decisions. Our listings can help you find:
- Perfect spot for an Alaska lake vacation
- The clearest lake in Alaska for fishing
- The best Alaska lakes for swimming
- The best lakes for boating in Alaska
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Our picks for the top ten lakes will be discussed here, but if this doesn’t meet your tastes feel free to do your own research and pick the perfect lake for your Alaska vacation.
Top 10 Best Lakes in Alaska
One of our top picks is Kenai Lake in Kenai Peninsula Borough, with its 3,000+ surface acres it makes for a great day trip or weekend getaway.
There are five campgrounds around the lake, and plenty of spots to launch your boat or watercraft. There are also several hiking trails nearby, giving you some options for exploring during down time in addition to the lake’s many fishing opportunities. If this gets old try checking out one of Alaska’s other lakes in Kenai Peninsula Borough like Seven Lakes or Skilak Lake.
Another favorite in Alaska is Ruth Lake, located on the Alaska Highway about 26 miles west of Northway Junction. This little-known gem is perfect for an adventurous weekend getaway! The lake has multiple private cabins surrounding it so if you want a bit more privacy check out Seven Mile Beach or Juneau Beach which are a little further from the road but provide more seclusion. Ruth Lake is also a popular spot for ice fishing in winter.
Many travelers make their way to Caribou Lake, located within Petersburg city limits and Petersburg Creek State Recreation Site. The 5,280 surface acre lake is the third largest lake on the Alaska Peninsula, and provides anglers with good catches of largemouth bass, northern pike, perch, and many other species. If you’re looking for a weekend trip that includes hiking trails then check out nearby Fox River or Governor Mountain.
One of the biggest Alaskan lakes is Blueberry Lake, located on the Alaska Highway east of Tok Junction. Blueberry Lake is one of Alaska’s best lakes for catching trophy-size northern pike. There are five cabins around the lake that you can rent, and it’s perfect for boating, fishing, or just taking in the scenery. If you want to explore more lakes check out nearby Grayling Lake, Lucille Creek, or Oil City Lake.
Many fishermen are huge fans of Fishhook Lake, which is located about 14 miles East of Tok Junction on the Alaska Highway. This lake is most known for its runs of king, silver, red, and chum salmon as well as rainbow trout. It has several private campsites around it including Twin Lakes Territorial Campground, Blueberry Beach Campground, and Minnie Lake Resort.
One of the most picturesque locations in Alaska is Turnagain Arm, Alaska’s longest fjord. This arm of the Cook Inlet stretches for 90 miles and is home to some world-class freshwater fishing opportunities. The lakes on the western half of the fjord such as Rainbow Lake and Crow Creek Lake make for a perfect day trip or weekend getaway. For those looking for something more adventurous check out Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park about halfway down the fjord off highway 1. If you want to spend longer exploring the area we recommend checking out Crow Creek Licks, Fort Richardson State Historical Park, and McHugh Creek.
Tustumena Lake is located on the west coast of the Kenai Peninsula near Kasilof. This lake is most known for its runs of silver and chum salmon as well as rainbow trout. The lake has several private cabins around it, and connects with O’Brien Creek which provides a great hike and fishing access.
Skilak Lake is Alaska’s second largest lake behind only Iliamna Lake. Located in Kenai Peninsula Borough on the Cook Inlet, Skilak is one of Alaska’s premier lakes for trophy-sized rainbow trout as well as Dolly Varden char. There are six campgrounds around the lake Woodland Beach Campground, Skilak Lake Campground, Ship Creek Landing, K Chak Ranch Lodge, Skilak Lookout Resort, and Cinnabar Cove Cabins. Cinnabar Cove is especially popular with anglers because of its two boat ramps. If you want to explore the lakes in the area check out nearby Seven Mile Beach or Endicott Arm.
Swan Lake is located on the Alaska Highway about 6 miles East of Summit Lake. The lake has 6 private cabins around it including Rainbow Point Resort. It’s most known for its trophy-sized northern pike which can be caught throughout summer. There are many lakes in the area after this one, so if you’re interested in exploring more lakes check out nearby Whisky Lake or Summit Lake.
Clam Gulch Fishery Management Area lakes
The last entry on our list are the Clam Gulch Fishery Management Area lakes located just south of Anchorage city limits. This fishery management area has several lakes within its borders which all provide great fishing opportunities for anglers looking for trophy-sized rainbow trout, Dolly Varden char, kokanee salmon, brown trout, and Arctic grayling. The best thing about this fishery management area is that you can fish for these species without having to pay a license fee. If you’re interested in traveling around this fishery management area, check out nearby Girdwood, Eklutna Lake, and Clam Gulch.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, lakes in Alaska are a great option. No matter what time of year it is, lakes in Alaska offer something for everyone: fishing opportunities, boating adventures, outdoor recreation activities like hiking or camping…the list goes on. There’s so much beauty around lakes in Alaska that we hope this article sparks your curiosity about these incredible bodies of water!