Birch Lake, Alaska, USA

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

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All About Birch Lake

Lake Locations: USA - US West Region - Alaska - Interior Region, AK -

Birch Lake, along the Richardson Highway near Salcha in Alaska’s Interior, is a fantastic fishing spot and very accessible. Tucked in among some of the Interior’s most majestic mountains, Birch Lake is a great Alaska getaway.

Birch Lake is one of the four road-accessible lakes within a two hour drive of Fairbanks. The lakes, which include Harding Lake, Chena Lake, and Quartz Lake, are along an 80 mile stretch of the Richardson Highway that extends from Delta Junction to the town of North Pole. The highway was Alaska’s first road and was used by gold seekers as early as 1898 to travel from Valdez to Eagle. By 1902 the Gold Rush expanded travel to Fairbanks, and by the early 1920’s the Richardson Highway was improved to meet automobile standards. The road was further improved to a hard surface in 1957 and passes through one of Alaska’s most accessible areas. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline which carries oil 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay to Port Valdez follows the highway, and there are formal viewing points near Birch Lake.

The road accessibility of Birch Lake in the Tanana River Drainage makes it a very easy place to fish. The lake was first stocked by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in 1966 with rainbow trout. Since then the lake has been stocked with Coho (silver) salmon, grayling, and artic char. There are also chub, slimy sculpin, and Chinook or king salmon. In the spring the fishing from the shore of Birch Lake is exceptional, and in summer the boat fishing is better.

There are public boat launches on Birch Lake. The Birch Lake State Recreation Area has a boat launch along with a campground and campground host. There are lakeside picnic tables, fire pits, and restrooms. The Birch Lake Military Recreation Site, a USAF Recreation Camp, is on the same access road just beyond the State Recreation Area. Wildlife viewing is very good, and the moose are plentiful.

Birch Lake is very near a glaciated area and bordered to the south by the Alaska Range. With mountain peaks in excess of 11,000, 12,000, and even 13,000 feet, the Alaska Range is a beautiful backdrop to the lake, and there are ample recreation opportunities including “flight seeing” or sight seeing by plane and various winter sports. Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America, is in the Alaska Range.

Salcha is the town nearest Birch Lake, and it has shopping, restaurants and various accommodations. Birch Lake is also only about 50 miles from Fairbanks, however, so any amenities a visitor could want are within an easy drive. Fairbanks is the largest city in Alaska’s Interior and the second largest city, behind Anchorage, in the state. Started as a Gold Rush camp, Fairbanks has a rich history and plenty of cultural opportunities to explore.

With its easy accessibility, fantastic fishing, and abundant wildlife, Birch Lake is a great Alaska getaway. Its proximity to the amenities and cultural opportunities of Fairbanks make it a good choice for the entire family. Set against the backdrop of the Alaska Range in Alaska’s majestic Interior, Birch Lake and its neighboring lakes provide the quintessential Alaskan fishing experience.

Things to Do at Birch Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Shopping

Fish Species Found at Birch Lake

  • Carp
  • Char
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Grayling
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Sculpin
  • Trout

Find Places to Stay at Birch Lake

If you’re considering a Birch 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 Birch Lake Vacation

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

Birch Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 808 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 823 feet

Maximum Depth: 49 feet

Lake Area-Population: 953

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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