How many lakes does Alaska have

15 best lakes in Alaska

Alaska is the northwesternmost state in the United States and the westernmost point in North America. So much so that it is an outdoor lover's dream which has to do with its wildlife, snow-capped peaks, 54,720 kilometers of coastline, fjords and waterfalls.
Alaska is extremely diverse, with different terrain at different altitudes. It is home to over a million lakes; 3,197 of them are natural lakes. Alaska's lakes vary in size and height, with the lowest at sea level and the highest at over 1,000 meters. Here is a list of the 15 best lakes in Alaska.
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Lake Clark
Located in the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Lake Clark is one of Alaska's true gems and a famous place for photography. In fact, over 22,000 visitors come to the lake every year to admire the incredible scenery and wildlife.
The national park itself is a major attraction, with the lake being one of the biggest draws. There are no roads to Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, so visitors must arrange boat or seaplane transfers to take in the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and activities on offer.
Fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and boating are popular activities on Lake Clark. You can hike, bird watch, camp, and brown bear watching around the lake. Come visit us in winter and ride a fat bike right on Lake Clark.

2. Kenai Lake; Kenai Peninsula

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Kenai lake
This large, zigzag-shaped lake is located in southern Alaska in the Chugach National Forest. Lake Kenai is a popular destination for recreational activities, some of which can be practiced on the lake itself and others on land around the lake.
Fishing is particularly popular on this 5,590-acre lake, but many come to boating, kayaking, and canoeing as well. There are four campsites on the shores of the lake, the smallest of which has only eight primitive sites, demonstrating the true meaning of camping to nature lovers.
Hiking is also very popular at Kenai Lake, where there are four different trails that lead in different directions. Both the Sterling Highway and Seward Highway provide access to the lake and great views.
Check out our recommended Alaska (AK) hotels.

3. Skilak lake; Kenai Peninsula

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Skilak lake
Just west of Lake Kenai is the stunning Skilak Lake, a large natural lake that is fed by melted glacier water and makes the water extremely clear. The lake is located in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at an altitude of 59 meters above sea level.
Skilak Lake is accessible via a small road on the Sterling Highway and is only 30 minutes from the town of Soldotna. This road (Skilak Lake Loop Road) is also the starting point for many hiking trails that lead through the nature reserve.
Locals and tourists alike visit the lake for canoeing, kayaking, and camping. There are two campsites around the lake, one of which is more developed than the other.

4. Mendenhall Lake; Juneau

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Ndenhall glacier and lake
This spectacularly beautiful lake is located at the end of the 21 kilometer long Mendenhall Glacier in the Coast Mountains. It is located north of Alaska's capital, Juneau, and is part of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area.
The lake is easily accessible from Juneau via the Glacier Highway and Mendenhall Loop Road, followed by a scenic drive through the Tongass National Forest. There is a visitor center on the southeast corner of the lake as well as a path to Nugget Falls.
On the southwest corner of the lake is a campsite and cabins for rent, as well as the entry point of the West Glacier Trailhead. Canoeing and kayaking on the lake when it isn't frozen, although most people come for the scenery.

5. Wonder Lake; Denali Borough

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Wonder Lake
Wonder Lake is located in the middle of Denali National Park at an altitude of 610 meters above sea level. One of the lake's greatest features is the spectacular view of Denali. the highest peak in all of North America.
In the very south of the lake there is a campsite that is also closest to the mountain. All the places here are just tents and have no electricity. So if you want to camp overnight, be prepared for it.
Wonder Lake is accessible by road, although the drive here is particularly scenic. Note that only certain buses can run. Private vehicles must be parked at the Denali National Park Visitor Center.

6. Eklutna Lake; Anchorage

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Eklutna lake
The 22-mile drive from the city of Anchorage through Chugach State Park and along the east side of Lake Eklutna is one of the most scenic drives imaginable. In the warmer months, visitors make the journey back along the lake on foot, by off-road vehicle, mountain bike, or on horseback.
Here you have the opportunity to observe different plants at different altitudes, as well as fishing, boating and picnicking. In the very north of the lake there is a campsite with 50 parking spaces.
The lake and campsite are open all year round and the surrounding landscape changes from one season to the next. In winter, Lake Eklutna can be reached on cross-country skis, snowmobiles or snowshoes.

7. Portage Lake; Chugach National Forest

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Portage lake
Portage Lake is a beautiful glacial lake located 180 meters above sea level in a glacial valley in the Chugach National Forest. The lake is accessible on the north side via Portage Glacier Road, which is a spectacular scenic drive.
The Byron Glacier Trail Head is on the northwestern shore of the lake, while the Trail of Blue Ice is west of the Begich Boggs Visitor Center. The Boggs Visitor Center provides visitors with information about glacier activity and the Chugach National Forest.
The best time of year to visit Portage Lake is winter and spring, when cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, kite skiing, and hiking are all available. Aquatic activities are dangerous here due to the low temperature and possible glacial activity.

8. Iliamna Lake; Lake and Peninsula Community

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Iliamna lake
Iliamna Lake is the largest lake in Alaska and the second largest freshwater lake in the country. It is located in the southwest of the state, west of the Cook Inlet. The lake was named by the Tanaina Indians and, according to legend, it was inhabited by a mythical giant black fish that bites holes in canoes.
The 300,000 hectare lake is home to several islands and six villages lie on the shore. Tourism plays an important role for the villages, as does fishing. Lake Iliamna has the largest stock of sockeye salmon in the world.
The Kvichak River connects the lake to the west of Bristol Bay and makes it possible to sometimes spot beluga whales and seals in the lake. There is also a large population of freshwater seals in the lake.

9. Becharofsee; Lake and Peninsula Community

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Becharof lake
Alaska's second largest lake, Becharof Lake, is also one of the largest lakes in the United States. The lake is located on the Alaskan Peninsula in the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge in a very remote part of southwest Alaska.
The 117,000 hectare lake offers a spectacular view of the Peulik, on the north side of which the lake is located. It's also a fantastic place to see seals, sea otters, and whales.
There is no access to the Becharofsee. Instead, it's accessible by boat or a rugged path, though most arrive by plane from Anchorage.

10. Auke lake; Juneau

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Auke lake
The views of the mountain. McGinnis, on the north shore of Auke Lake, is one of the most photographed locations in all of Alaska. Due to its location, the shore of the lake is one of the most developed in the country.
Auke Lake is one of the most popular recreational lakes in Alaska, offering swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and rowing. The surrounding area is great for running, hiking and cycling.
There are no campsites here, but there are other places to stay nearby, as well as other amenities like restaurants and shops. But don't expect much; It's still a very calm lake.
Check out our recommended Alaska (AK) hotels.

11. Summit Lake; Chugach National Forest

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Summit Lake
Summit Lake is located at an elevation of 386 m on Canyon Creek in the Chugach National Forest. The Seward Highway runs along the lake, which not only provides easy access for visitors, but also offers beautiful scenery.
Tenderfoot Creek Campground is on the northeast side of the 104-acre lake and features 35 primitive locations as well as a boat ramp. Those who prefer to stay in more comfortable accommodations while enjoying the lake will appreciate Summit Lake Lodge's rooms and cabins.
In addition to being a great place to take in the scenery, Summit Lake is also a great place for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. Thanks to the surrounding forest, numerous activities on land are possible, including hiking, cycling and horse riding.

12. Aleknagik Lake; Dillingham Census Area

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Aleknagik lake
Beautiful Lake Aleknagik is located in Alaska's Southeast Park, east of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, and provides a wonderful backdrop. There are no roads around the lake that lead to its only settlement (Aleknagik), which is on the south coast.
Bearclaw Lodge in Alaska is located on the north shore of the lake and can only be reached by boat from Aleknagik. The lodge is popular for fishing trips, especially those looking to catch sockeye salmon.
Outdoor lovers will love Aleknagik Lake as it is completely isolated from the rest of the world. During your stay, you can enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking, mountain climbing, canoeing and kayaking.

13. Chilkoot Lake; Haines Borough

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Chilkoot Lake
Chilkoot Lake is part of the Haines State Forest and is located at the top of Lutak Inlet in the southeast corner of Alaska. It is a beautiful lake surrounded by natural beauty and offers many recreational activities to visitors.
The Chilkoot Lake State Recreation Site is nestled among Sitka trees on the southern tip of the lake. The resort offers camping, picnic areas, and a boat dock for canoeing, kayaking, and boating.
Visit the lake in winter and go ice skating right on the frozen lake. It is an amazing experience what to do with the surrounding snow capped mountains.

14. Goose Lake; Anchorage

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Goose Lake
This small lake is located just north of the University of Alaska Anchorage in the city of Anchorage. It's a calm lake and when you visit you have no idea you are right in town.
Goose Lake is a great place to swim in the summer months, although there can be a huge number of locals here who want to cool off. Pedal boating is also popular and can be done on one of the two beaches.
There is a 4.8 kilometer hiking trail around the lake, which is not only a nice walk, but also offers a great view of the lake and the university in the background. In winter the trail is open to cross-country skiers.

15. Tustumena Lake; Kenai Peninsula

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Tustumena lake
The state's eighth largest lake, Tustumena Lake (30,000 hectares) is the largest lake on the Kenai Peninsula in southern Alaska. It's a relatively secluded lake set against the backdrop of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and is a great place for a wilderness adventure.
Lake Tustumena is extremely clean as its water comes from the Tustumena Glacier and several nearby streams. Photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, will love taking photos of the breathtaking lake and its surroundings.
There is no road access to the lake that is only accessible by boat, hiking and horse riding. In winter it is a famous place for dog sledding and the venue for the annual Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race.
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