Just shy of 15 miles long, Skilak Lake is one of the most impressive lakes on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s part of the Kenai River system and is known for its glacial runoff, which is fed by the Skilak Glacier. Driving along the lake is a favorite pastime, and the spring season offers unique views—especially as the local wildlife is starting to get energized after a sleepy winter. Located just a few miles from your Kenai hotel, you can round the 18-mile gravel road loop to access some of the best wildlife viewing areas in town.

Bring your camera and snap some fantastic views of the glaciers. Various stopping points and trails are available so you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the region. Located in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and accessed by Skilak Lake Loop Road by way of the Sterling Highway, you’ll be amazed at how clear the lake is. You can often see the rocky bottom thanks to the lack of aquatic vegetation.

Alaska at Its Finest

At its deepest, the lake reaches 328 feet. In some places, the impressive lake is four miles wide. For years, early Russian explorers thought the Skilak and Tustumena Lake were one and the same. It remains a popular stop for locals, especially since it’s just two hours from Anchorage.

Campgrounds are available around the lake, and one is well developed with hosting facilities. However, for many April is still a little too chilly for camping. Hiking, driving, and mountain biking before turning in at your cozy Kenai hotel is a much better option for most visitors.