Lakes in Southeast Alaska are on the dark side, often clear with muddy bottoms. In the summer the sun warms them enough to make them tolerable. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I often get asked why there aren’t as many lake sports in Alaska compared to southern states, and my response has usually been; because we have the ocean! Why contain ourselves to a lake when the ocean is often more convenient, has more space, and is a little salty!
My Top 3 Swimming Lakes in Juneau
1. Naked Man Lake - At the top of Black Bear Chair up at Eaglecrest Ski Area is my absolute favorite swimming lake! It’s about an hour’s hike from the base, and by the time you arrive you’re ready for a cool down! The lake is small, clear, and has incredible surrounding scenery!
2. Cropley Lake - Also nestled inside the ski area boundary at Eaglecrest is a much bigger lake with a shorter hike from the parking lot. With approximately a 600ft gain you can drag your 4 year old up! The trail peters out once you get to the top of Log Jam Ski Run, but there is cell reception so you can use your GPS to locate the lake!
3. Auke Lake - Easily the most accessible, this lake is massive. Room for jet skiing, laying out on the docks, and kayaking. From my understanding no one really knows exactly how deep it is! Many years ago I learned that Native Alaskans historically did not swim in “dark water.” I’m not entirely sure as to why, other than superstition, but I personally stick close to their beliefs when it comes to the magic of Southeast!
However, I do know of one other lake. I just came across a photo of it. I have never been as it is a top secret location and an extensive hike into the wilderness. Once I get there, I’ll pass along better details!
Which lakes are your favorite and why?!
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