Swans fly over Big Lake, Alaska
Photo Credit: ATIA, Michael DeYoung

Big Lake

Big Lake

Located on the shore of its namesake lake and sprawling over 138 square miles is the community of Big Lake, with a population of almost 3,000 people and lots of sled dogs, including the kennel of four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Martin Buser.


Many residents of Big Lake commute to work in Anchorage, 60 miles to the south, but choose to live in Big Lake for its limitless recreation opportunities and the views of Mount Susitna, Denali, and the Talkeetna Mountains.


Not surprisingly, recreation in the area centers around the lake - and it is indeed big - with 67 miles of shoreline. Popular activities include swimming, camping, boating, fishing, jet skiing, and tour boat rides in the summer. Local outfitters rent out all the equipment you need to enjoy the water - including jet skis, pontoon boats, kayaks, and more – on an hourly or daily basis. Once Big Lake freezes over in winter, the area becomes a playground for a wide range of winter activities including snowmachine competitions, dog mushing, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing.

Big Lake North State Recreation Site is located on the lake and has overnight parking spaces, walk-in tent sites, picnic area, shelters, and an outstanding view of Denali on a clear day. Big Lake South State Recreation Site has additional campsites and a boat launch. Also nearby is Fish Creek Park, a popular day-use area with a salmon spawning observation deck, swimming area, and picnic area, and Rocky Lake State Recreation Site with 40 campsites and a boat launch that is closed to motorized boats.


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