Nancy Lake, Alaska, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Alaska - Southcentral -

Also known as:  Nancy Lake State Recreation Area

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

Nancy Lake Photo Gallery

    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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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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