Northern lights over Birch Lake in Birch Lake State Recreation Area in Interior Alaska
Photo Credit: Design Pics Inc, Alamy Stock Photo

Birch Lake State Recreation Site

Birch Lake State Recreation Site

This lake offers excellent year-round fishing in peaceful surroundings.

Located between Fairbanks and Delta Junction along the Richardson Highway, Birch Lake State Recreation Site is a 191-acre park nestled between a lily pad-covered lake and forested wetlands.


The lake is popular for camping, swimming, fishing, jet skiing, and water skiing in summer and ice fishing and snowmachining in the winter. The site is also a popular winter location to view the northern lights.

The fishing is excellent year-round: anglers fish on shore in the spring, from boats in the summer, and from the ice in the winter. Birch Lake is stocked with rainbow trout, king salmon, silver salmon, grayling, Arctic char, and northern pike. Ice fishing huts are available for rent in winter, usually between November and April. The five ice fishing huts were constructed by the Department of Fish & Game as part of the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program and are managed today by Alaska State Parks.


The lake provides ideal habitat for waterfowl. Moose and caribou can be seen wading in the lake and surrounding area.


Birch Lake is close to a glaciated area and surrounded by forested wetlands. At the south of the lake, the Alaska Range decorates the horizon with snow-capped peaks. Sandy beach wraps the lake, and yellow pond lilies bloom mid-summer from the blanket of lily pads that cover the lake’s surface.


There are 19 long parking spaces for motorhomes and two shorter parking spaces for smaller vehicles or tent campers. There are also five tent sites and a picnic area with tables, fireplaces, and benches for day use as well as a boat launch and courtesy dock.

Birch Lake has a public use cabin that sleeps six and is available for rent year-round. Cabin furnishings include plywood sleeping platforms, a kitchen counter, shelves, table and benches, wood stove, fire extinguisher, and an outhouse. The recreation area also has five day-use ice huts that can be reserved by anglers in the winter. The cabin and ice huts can be rented through the online state parks reservation system.

Firewood is not provided and can be hard to find at some cabins, so gather dead and down wood on your way in.


Birch Lake is at Milepost 305.5 of the Richardson Highway, 57 miles southeast of Fairbanks.

For more information, visit the Birch Lake State Recreation Site website

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