Nancy Lake, Alaska, USA

Also known as:  Nancy Lake State Recreation Area

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Nancy Lake.

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Nancy Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - West - Alaska - Southcentral -

Nancy Lake, near Willow, Alaska is part of the 22,685 acre area known as the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area. With limited development the area has remained wild and natural, both Nancy Lake and Nancy Lake State Recreation Area offer year round wilderness experiences.

Over nine thousand years ago, archaeologists believe that the Nancy Lake area was once covered by massive glaciers that carved into the land as they moved across the area. Once the glaciers retreated, the area was filled with hundreds of lakes and waterways. Scientists have found two prehistoric villages in the area and believe the people of these villages survived with the abundant fishing, hunting and trapping opportunities in the Nancy Lake area. In 1917 the Alaskan Railroad was built nearby bringing new homesteaders but the Nancy Lake area remained relatively unsettled due to the fact that the area is too wet for cultivation. Today, the land is still relatively untouched by human development making the area a great get away for recreation and nature enjoyment.

Nancy Lake has an area of 761 acres with 15 miles of shoreline. Although most of Nancy Lake’s shoreline is privately owned, there are many opportunities for visitors to enjoy Nancy Lake. Property owners have some cabins that they offer as vacation rentals. The State Parks Department also offers three public use cabins on Nancy Lake that can be reserved in advance. Access to these rustic cabins is by canoe, foot or floatplane in the summer and in the winter by skis, dog sled, snow mobiles, or ski planes, if the ice is thick enough to support the plane. A privately owned resort on Nancy Lake also offers cabins and camping,

The State Park provides three public boat launches to Nancy Lake. There is also a privately owned marina and boat launch located on Nancy Lake. Fishing for Burbot, Coho Salmon, Dolly Varden, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Sockeye Salmon, and Whitefish makes Nancy Lake a favorite for fishing enthusiasts. Nancy Lake freezes in late October and is ice free by late May making it a great ice fishing location.

Nancy Lake is just one of the many lakes, rivers, and streams that connect in the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area to make an extensive waterway system that is great for canoeing or float trips and preserved for recreation purposes. Nancy Lake State Recreation Area with its unspoiled forests and tranquil settings offers opportunities for hiking trails, picnic areas, campgrounds, and canoe launches. The canoe and hiking trails of summer magically change into beautiful snow covered trails in the winter for cross country skiing, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

The Nancy Lake State Recreation Area offers rustic cabins that are spread throughout the scenic area for rent to visitors. All of these are accessed by canoe, hiking, or floatplane in the summer and skis, dog sled, snowmobiles, or ski planes in the winter. As some cabins are located on islands, a canoe is required to reach the cabin. Canoes will either have to be carried along with supplies and necessities on the hike to the cabin or contact a rental agency to have a canoe waiting for you at the correct destination.

Nancy Lake is bird watcher’s haven as Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is a favored nesting area by many species of birds and water fowl. The common loon and Pacific loon can be seen nesting on the shoreline. Arctic Terns are summer residents of Nancy Lake as they choose to return here each summer to nest in the wetlands.

Beavers and their dams play an important role in the water levels in Nancy Lake State Recreation Area and are frequently seen at their work and play along the waterways. Moose and black bear are commonly sited throughout the park. Grizzly bears are only seen occasionally.

Nancy Lake and Nancy Lake State Recreation Area offer all visitors an opportunity to commune with nature and appreciate the wilderness of Alaska. Plan your exciting adventure today by visiting Nancy Lake.

Custom Nancy Lake house decor

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Things to do at Nancy Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Dog Sledding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Nancy Lake

  • Burbot
  • Coho Salmon
  • Dolly Varden Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Sockeye Salmon
  • Trout
  • Whitefish

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Nancy Lake

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Nancy Lake photo gallery

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Nancy Lake statistics & helpful links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 761 acres

Shoreline Length: 15 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 218 feet

Average Depth: 25 feet

Maximum Depth: 65 feet

Water Volume: 19,118 acre-feet

Drainage Area: 19 sq. miles

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