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If you look at areas of Alaska on a map it almost looks like Swiss Cheese. That’s because there are roughly three million lakes in Alaska! Alaska’s water systems are greater than the landmass of Massachusetts and Vermont combined.
Alaska itself is a largely undeveloped area providing refuge for fish, birds, and other animals. The state is full of protected areas and massive preservations. From top to bottom, left to right there are water systems everywhere. Rivers flow down giant mountains and feed into enormous lakes.
So, what are the most interesting lakes in Alaska?
One lake is on the top of a mountain in a volcano, while another is rumored to house a giant lake monster. Alaska boasts isolated, remote lakes accessible by plane only creating bucket list style angling adventures. It was tough to choose ten lakes to focus on but here are the absolute gems we think you will find interesting and amazing.
|Surface Area||289,920 acres|
|Max Depth||600 feet|
Enjoy year-round fishing at Becharof Lake where you could catch one of the six million sockeye salmon that swim through its chilly waters. Don’t be shocked to spot a brown bear, the salmon are one of their preferred food sources. Be sure to be prepared with prepper supplies for travel and your homestead.
Moose, caribou, wolverine, and fox also roam the area providing excellent photography and hunting opportunities. seals, sea lions, sea otters, eagles, and falcons are also often spotted by visitors of Becharof Lake.
Becharof Lake is the fourteenth largest lake in the United States and the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge protects 1,157,000 acres. Becharof Lake sits stop roughly 300,000 acres of the refuge.
|Surface Area||204,800 acres|
|Max Depth||33 feet|
Remote Teshekpuk Lake is the largest lake in Arctic Alaska and home to a plethora of important wildlife species. The area is protected from oil drilling and provides a safe harbor for the many endangered species of birds and animals.
White-fronted, brant, Canada, and snow geese flock to the lake in the tens of thousands for molting. Teshekpuk Lake provides a sanctuary for these flightless, molting geese due to its remote location and protected areas.
Many other species on the Alaska WatchList rely on the lake to survive. The Teshekpuk Lake Special Area and other parts of the lake are off-limits for energy development. The lake gets its name from the Inupiaq word tasok-poh, which translates to “big coastal lake” or “the largest lake of all.”
|Surface Area||150,016 acres|
|Max Depth||568 feet|
Located in Southern Alaska, Naknek Lake is a salmon angler’s paradise. Multiple species of salmon and other fish swarm the lake’s waters providing killer fishing opportunities. It’s not a surprise the lake got a five-star review on TripAdvisor, the public has spoken.
The Neknek River flows into the lake and this symphony creates the perfect ground for insanely huge trout and salmon of many varieties. Different species will spawn and move waters during different times of the year so be sure to do some research before heading out.
Visitors can also enjoy the amazing Katmai National Park and Preserve famous for the ash-filled Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and brown bear population. There is a generous selection of camping options available for overnight trips to the lake.
|Surface Area||60,000 acres|
|Max Depth||950 feet|
Contained within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Tustumena Lake is a remote body of water accessible only by the Kasilof River. Boating is permitted on the lake but there are no roads or docks present at the lake.
The Tustumena 200 Sled Dog outdoor equipment pro rally is named after Tustumena Lake. The Tustumena 200 is an annually held two hundred-mile dog sled race on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The race offers a large prize and takes place on the last weekend of January.
|Surface Area||160 acres|
|Max Depth||113 feet|
If you’re looking for a lake closer to the city there isn’t a better bet than Auke Lake in Juneau. This isn’t some boring body of water on the outskirts of town. Anglers can catch dolly varden, trout, tteelhead, and four varieties of salmon at Auke Lake.
Boating is also popular at Auke Lake as it’s the only lake in the area that has a boat ramp. Swimming and hiking are regularly enjoyed by travelers and city dwellers looking for an expedition that’s not too far from home.
Rainbow trout and steelhead are the most popular catches at Auke Lake. There are tons of species that frequent the waters but the sea-running spawning variety are sought and caught the most. Auke Lake is minutes from the Juneau International Airport.
|Surface Area||192 acres|
|Max Depth||37 feet|
For locals and tourists to the city, Goose Lake offers a wonderful little outdoor atmosphere with trails, fishing, and options for swimming when the weather agrees. The lake is close to the University of Alaska Anchorage so students can stroll through the park after class if it suits them.
Goose Lake is essentially in the heart of Anchorage so amenities are about. Hotels, restaurants, shopping, and everything else are within minutes of the lake. If you happen to pass through Anchorage and have a minute check out Goose Lake and mark Alaska lake off your bucket list.