Nancy Lake State Recreation Area

Quick Facts

Nancy Lake State Recreation Area


(907) 495-6211

Map Directions

Things To Do


Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is different from most Alaskan park areas. It is one of the few flat, lake-studded landscapes in Alaska preserved for recreation purposes. The recreation area's clear waters are ringed with unspoiled forests, and provide tranquil settings for canoeing, fishing, hiking and camping. In winter, the rolling topography is ideal for cross-country skiing, dog mushing and snowmachining.

Map of Nancy Lake State Rec. Area (AK)

Latitude, Longitude: 61.693780, -150.025177



  • Boating

    Outboard motors are allowed on Nancy, Lynx, Butterfly, and Red Shirt lakes. Only electric trolling motors are allowed on South Rolly Lake. All other lakes within the recreation area are closed to motorized use.

  • Camping

    There are 13 rustic cabins that are available for rent on a nightly basis throughout the Nancy Lake State Recreation Area. Cabins are located on Red Shirt, Lynx, Nancy, James, and Bald lakes. The cabins are insulated and equipped with wooden bunks, counters, and wood-burning stoves. Each cabin has an outhouse and an outdoor fire ring. Occupants need to bring all personal items including drinking water and leave the site neat and clean when they leave. It is best to bring firewood, as finding firewood may be difficult. Only wood that is down and dead may be gathered. Use of the cabins is by reservation only.

    There are also two established campgrounds here.

  • Fishing

    Fishing is allowed. Follow state regulations.

  • Hiking

    There are many opportunities for hiking here.

  • Historic Sites

    The Alaska Railroad was built along the east side of the lower Susitna Valley in 1917. Fires caused by sparks from passing trains occasionally burned in this area. The nearby towns of Wasilla, Houston and Willow grew as more homesteaders settled on the lands opened up by rail access.

    Through the years, most of the Nancy Lake area has remained wild and natural. The area is too wet for ideal cultivation and is not mineral-rich, so it has escaped large-scale settlement by humans. Today, those assets make it a prime place for recreation and enjoyment of nature.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Motorized vehicles cause lasting damage to vegetation and trails; they are restricted to maintained roads and parking areas. Use of motorized snow vehicles is permitted throughout the recreation area, except for the closed area north of the Parkway, when there is sufficient snow cover to protect vegetation. Snow machine registration is required to operate on public land.

  • Picnicking

    There are many places to picnic in this area.

  • RVing

    There is space for RV's to park at this site.

  • Winter Sports

    Skiing, ice fishing, dog mushing, snow machining, and winter hiking are all available during the winter months.


The weather in the park is tempered by the relatively warm ocean waters to the south and the Alaska Range to the north, which protects it from the very cold temperatures common to interior Alaska.

Summer temperatures rise into the 70s, with occasional highs in the 80s. Nighttime readings, even in July, may dip into the 40s. Winter temperatures may fall to 40 degrees below zero and seldom rise above freezing until mid-March.

The first snow usually arrives by late October, about the same time the lakes freeze over. Snow depth in late winter averages three to four feet. Lakes are usually free of ice by late May.



Nancy Lake State Recreation Area is a ninety-minute drive north of Anchorage along the Parks Highway. To enter the recreation area, turn west onto Nancy Lake Parkway at Mile 67.3 of the Parks Highway. From there, the Nancy Lake Parkway travels 6.5 miles southwest to South Rolly Lake Campground; in winter the parkway is not plowed beyond the Winter Trailhead at mile 2.2. The community of Willow lies two miles north of this junction, and has a full range of services for the traveler.

Phone Numbers


(907) 495-6211