Nancy Lake, Alaska, USA

Also known as:  Nancy Lake State Recreation Area

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

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Nancy Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Nancy Lake

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.

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

Find Places to Stay at Nancy Lake

If you’re considering a Nancy 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 Nancy Lake Vacation

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

Nancy Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


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

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.

Shop Nancy Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Nancy Lake Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Nancy Lake Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Nancy Lake Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Nancy Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!