Best Lakes Near Anchorage: Anchorage, AK Local Lakes Guide
Best Lakes in Anchorage: Anchorage, AK Local Lakes Guide
Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, is also its most populated. Perhaps it's because of its beautiful views, fun things to do, and waterfront homes. For nature lovers and outdoor adventurers, Anchorage is a popular place to live, as it has a lot of beautiful land and water to offer. Whether people are looking for fantastic views or want to explore out and about, they may want to know what the best lakes are in the area. The following five are excellent destinations for a day full of relaxation and fun.
Goose Lake Activities
- Basketball courts
- Softball field (available for rental)
- Playground equipment
- Covered picnic shelter
- Picnic tables
- Paved parking
- Bike trail access and non-motorized small craft area
Located near the university district in central Anchorage, Goose Lake is a popular swimming spot during the hot summer months and has one of the best beaches in town. There is also a three-mile walking trail close by, so visitors may choose how they would like to view and enjoy the lake during more than just the warmer seasons.
Although this lake is in the heart of the city, its surrounding nature offers views of many beautiful birds such as loons, Canada Geese, herring gulls, songbirds, and American widgeons. Those who would like to get close to the water but not necessarily get into the water can rent paddle boats to cruise around in while observing the incredible views.
Jewel Lake Amenities
- Picnic tables
- Ping pong table
This 26-acre lake is popular for fishermen, as it is stocked annually with landlocked salmon, rainbow trout, and arctic char. Located off Jewel Lake Road and Diamond Blvd, Jewel Lake is a part of the Anchorage Municipal Park.
This lake is great for a day of fun, where visitors can choose to go fishing at different parts of the lake by utilizing its public dock or covered areas. Jewel Lake is also a popular spot during the warm and sunnier Alaskan days, but it can be enjoyed in other weather, too.
Symphony Lake Activities
- Nature viewing
Taking a hike around beautiful Symphony Lake and Eagle Lake is a fun and popular way to view these lakes in Anchorage. With a trail that starts over a ridge and descends into a valley, hikers can see the beautiful aquamarine color of Symphony Lake near the milky green Eagle Lake.
Symphony Lake has a surface area of over 35 acres and a depth of almost 70 feet. Regularly stocked with rainbow trout, Symphony Lake isn't a fishing lake, but rather a natural beauty to view and admire. Regular hikers and backpackers alike enjoy the trail that can be accessed off Glenn Highway on West Creek Drive.
Symphony Lake can get quite popular in the warmer weather months, and some people even choose to camp to do more exploring nearby.
Eklutna Lake Activities
- Horseback riding
- Riding ATVs
- Cross-country skiing
- Dog mushing
- Wildlife viewing and photography
Located within Chugach State Park off Glenn Highway, Eklutna Lake has its own campground in a mountain wilderness valley with a network of 25 miles of multi-use trails. This lake is seven miles long and is fed by melted snow and glacial streams.
Visitors of Eklutna Lake can paddle on a kayak or canoe (but not on motorized boats), or enjoy the lake by fishing for some Dolly Varden trout. For those who would rather stay near the lake than get into the water, there are a multitude of trails nearby to either hike or bike on. Many people like to use these 12 miles of trails as an introduction to mountain biking for younger generations. Visitors can also travel to an area where people build tipi-like shelters with piles of driftwood.
There are 50 campsites at Eklutna Lake Campground, as well as 15 sites at an overflow camping area. This campground features picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms.
Eklutna Lake has another important purpose besides for entertainment and enjoyment — it is responsible for contributing 30 million gallons a year to Anchorage's drinking water, and it even helps produce three percent of the region's electricity by feeding a nearby power station.
Carmen Lake Activities
- Guided tours
Another lake that fishermen enjoy is Carmen Lake. In the Anchorage Borough about 44 miles from the actual city of Anchorage, this lake is a good option for any fisherman, whether fly-fishing, spinning, or bait casting.
Visitors can fish on their own or may want to go on a boat trip with a guide. Additionally, they can boat and kayak around the lake, as both motorized and non-motorized boats are permitted. Apparently, not all locals are privy to the beauty that is Carmen Lake, so it may be a great option for people to visit if they would rather avoid the crowds and take in the scenery of mountains and waterfalls without too much buzz and activity happening around them.
Enjoy Anchorage's Best Lakes
Whether someone already lives in Anchorage, is thinking about moving to the city, or perhaps just wants to plan a trip to visit, these best lakes near Anchorage are great choices for water and nature lovers to visit. Depending on which outdoor activity (or activities) people like to do, there are certain lakes that will fulfill their wishes more or less than others. People can choose to go to the lake year-round, but they should be aware that the available activities at each will differ depending on the season and weather.