Kick back lakeside and enjoy the stunning snow-capped mountains and lush rain forest that surrounds you. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, grab your hiking shoes and tent and go deep into the back-country to enjoy some of the last frontier’s most spectacular secluded spots. Lake living in the 49th state is anything but ordinary. We offer the perfect balance of utter relaxation and extreme outdoor action, so no matter which option you fancy – the last frontier has exactly what you need to refresh your soul. There’s something truly magical about these 15 Alaska lakes in the summer, and you absolutely MUST experience them in person.
1. Wonder Lake - Denali National Park
Located deep in Denali National Park at mile 85, Wonder Lake is definitely the most epic place to camp in all of Alaska. Not only do you have beaming views of the tallest mountain in North America but you are also submerged in an area that is filled with huge wildlife and stunning fireweed in the fall. Breathtaking is an understatement!
2. Kenai Lake - Cooper Landing
This turquoise lake located on The Kenai is an outdoor lover's dream. Fish, kayak, float or just kick back and enjoy the sun beating down on you. It's hard not to feel like you're living the dream while you're enjoying the zig-zag shaped Kenai Lake.
3. Eklutna Lake – Chugach National Forest
With over 50 campsites, Eklutna Lake is perfect for individuals and families of all shapes and sizes to enjoy the great outdoors. Popular activities here include camping, picnics, hiking, kayaking, riding ATVs and fishing.
4. Mendenhall Lake – Juneau
Located just below the stunning Mendenhall Glacier, visitors to this Juneau hot spot enjoy the water splashing down from Nugget Falls and paddling their kayaks around the lake.
5. Lake Clark - Port Alsworth
This lake is surrounded by roughly four million acres of the Lake Clark National Park & Preserve. The land is filled with steaming volcanoes, bears feasting on salmon, serene campgrounds, endless hiking trails and a fly-fishing mecca.
6. Portage Lake - Chugach National Forest
This is a glacial lake that is known for its truly unique beauty. Visitors enjoy taking day cruises up to the glacier, kayaking around the lake or hiking in to see the astounding beauty. It's a must-experience in the summer months.
7. Big Lake - MatSu
We like to think of Big Lake as the unofficial party lake in Alaska. It just truly seems like it is impossible to go to Big Lake and not have a great time. There is always fun to be had on boats, rafts, kayaks and jet skis.
8. Becharof Lake – Aleutian Chain
This 37-mile-long lake located on the Alaska Peninsula is surrounded by the most unwavering beauty in the last frontier. This hot spot is most popular for its epic salmon runs and great access to killer hunting spots.
9. Lower Dewey Lake – Skagway
This stunning lake is only accessible after a relatively steep uphill climb. The hike is beautiful yet slightly challenging and offers a great array of fragrant flowers, colorful mushrooms and peaceful moments away from all the tourism crowds. Once you arrive at the lake your eyes will truly be rewarded with some of the most still beauty in all of southeast Alaska.
10. Lost Lake – Chugach National Forest
Located from the Primrose Trail closest to the town of Seward on The Kenai, Alaska's Playground, this 7-mile trail (one way) will have you working for the reward at the end of the trek. Enjoy a lush rainforest, alpine terrain and beautiful flowers along the trail. Once you get to the lake you will be pleasantly surprised by the unsurpassed beauty that Lost Lake beholds. If you have a mountain bike and love to play in the mountains, this is a bucket list MUST!
11. Tangle Lakes - Interior
Stemming from the Delta River, the tangle lakes are essentially a 16-mile chain of lakes connected by streams. Camping along the river while floating the entire length is a very popular way to enjoy this beautiful place.
12. Bonnie Lake – Chickaloon
Experiencing the stunning autumn colors along the Glenn Highway and ending the day taking a paddle along Bonnie Lake is the perfect way to spend a summer day in Alaska.
13. Skilak Lake - Kenai Peninsula
Skilak Lake on The Kenai is where so many great adventures begin, from fishing on the Kenai River for dollys, rainbow trout and salmon to hiking and hunting deep into the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Visitors can end the day camping lakeside and soak in a stunning sunset overlooking the south.
14. Nancy Lake - Willow
This recreational lake offers excellent opportunities to go kayaking, canoeing, fishing and camping. It is always important to be bear-aware in this area as many are spotted each year.
15. Auke Lake - Juneau
This 160-acre lake located in Juneau is home to excellent dolly varden, cutthroat, steelhead and salmon fishing. Visitors and explorers can enjoy a lush rainforest backdrop and stunning snow-capped mountains in the distance.