Becharof Lake, Alaska, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Becharof Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Becharof Lake

Becharof Lake, the second* largest lake in Alaska, is located on the Alaskan Peninsula. Stretching an incredible 290,000 acres, the lake measures 35 miles long and 15 miles wide and reaches depths of as much as 600 feet. Deep in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Becharof Lake offers its visitors an unforgettable setting for hunting, fishing, hiking, and observing wildlife.

Located in the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge, Becharof Lake provides a scenic and unforgettable backdrop for such pastimes as fishing, hunting, hiking and enjoying Alaska’s plentiful wildlife. The wildlife refuge offers a variety of breathtaking scenery, from craggy cliffs along the coast, sandy beaches, gently slopes, stark tundra and volcanic Mount Peulik on Becharof Lake’s southern shoreline. The 1.2 million-acre wilderness can only be reached by boat , plane or a rugged hike along an unmarked trail. Most visitors take a commercial flight from Anchorage to nearby King Salmon Airport before heading into the wilderness.

Popular activities at the refuge include hunting, especially for bear, caribou, and moose, fishing, hiking, and camping. The refuge’s stunning vistas and varied wildlife also make it an ideal place for wilderness observation and photography. Approximately 500,000 acres of the refuge have been designated by Congress as the Becharof Wilderness, insuring that this land will be protected for many more generations of nature lovers to enjoy.

Becharof Lake is best known for its salmon population. The lake and its tributaries spawn an estimated 6 million sockeye salmon per year, making it the second largest producer of the fish in the world. In addition, the lake and surrounding streams are home to arctic char, grayling, trout, dolly varden, northern pike, and burbot. Fishing is available year-round, and most visiting anglers take advantage of local commercial fishing guides to find the best fishing spots.

The lake’s large population of salmon attract brown bear, which can be found at Becharof in some of the largest numbers in the state. The bear have been known to inhabit dens on islands in the lake, a behavior that has not been observed anywhere else in the world. Large numbers of caribou also reside in the land surrounding Becharof Lake, as well as moose, wolverine, and fox. A trip to the nearby coastline affords more nature watching opportunities. Eagles and falcons often nest in the steep cliffs towering above the shoreline. Seals, sea lions, and sea otters can be spotted frolicking in the frigid waters and basking on the sandy beaches, and whales can be found just offshore.

Becharof Lake can be enjoyed from the air by visitors not inclined to weeks of strenuous hiking: ‘Flightseeing’ trips can be arranged over the Wildlife Refuge so the visitor can see as much as possible in a short period of time. Mount Peulik’s 4846-foot cone is reflected in the lake’s surface and gaseous clouds can often be seen rising from the cone. Volcanic activity has been observed near here as recently as 1977 when the Ukinrek Maars craters formed. Thw gassy rocks produce a steady stream of carbon dioxide: the gases heat the water at the base, causing hot springs often reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees.

For those seeking adventure in the heart of the Alaskan wilderness, Becharof Lake offers the trip of a lifetime. Whether you enjoy fishing, hunting, or just observing the beauty of your surroundings, Becharof won’t disappoint. The Becharof Wilderness beckons, promising its visitors a glimpse of natural wonders that they will never forget.

*Acreage figures are from the Alaskan Dept of Hydrology. Shoreline lengths are not given as most of Alaska’s large lakes have ill-defined shorelines: water collecting in the lakes does not pass thru the permafrost level and thus must either dissipate via evaporation or river drainage. Most shorelines are seasonal wetlands and their size depends on the amount of snow-melt and precipitation. Many lakes have no outlet so water simply continues to collect there, causing the lake to grow larger.

Things to Do at Becharof Lake

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge

Fish Species Found at Becharof Lake

  • Burbot
  • Char
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Dolly Varden Trout
  • Grayling
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Becharof Lake

If you’re considering a Becharof Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Becharof Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Becharof Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Becharof Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 289,705 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 13 feet

Maximum Depth: 600 feet

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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