Explore the most popular Lake trails in Denali National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
snow
18 days ago

This trail is gorgeous in the winter. You’ll need good shoes to walk in the snow. Micro-spikes or additional traction will be needed. It is an easy hike, though. In the winter, it is dead quiet. Everything is covered in snow, occasionally marred by the animal prints that walk across the frozen lake for water from the little stream of water flowing in the middle.

Love this trail. Easy enough for the little ones. Well groomed trail, with many educational opportunities as well. We loved learning about the beavers and seeing their hard work. If you’re lucky there will be moose out eating in the lake.

Highly recommend this loop trail for a gentle introduction to the park. I can only imagine how busy it is in the summer, but we had it all to ourselves. Saw beaver noses and enjoyed the views and getting to walk along the Nenana River. Also 4 willow ptarmigans.

We walked in from the north the first day to where the trail sharply rises, past the suspension bridge, along Riley Creek, and above it. Very pleasant with nice fall colors. A very doable couple of hours stopping to take pictures and enjoy the foliage, including some amazing mushrooms. The second day we started at the south trailhead and walked to Lake 1 (after that the trail rises sharply). This was a great walk. Just a bit of a climb at the outset, but one foot in front of the other gets it done. After the turn to the west all the car noise from the road disappears (nice views of Nenana River along that bit). Not required to take the spurs down to the lake shores to make the walk worthwhile as there are good views from main trail above each lake. We took 4 hours, but took many pictures and did not walk fast. Highly recommend coming from the south for folks who want to see the lakes and want a manageable walk.

We made it to the second lake starting from the Denali Village. Didn't have a ton of time to hike, but beautiful views and easy to follow trail. If you have a little time to spend, this is well worth it!

A bit difficult incline for seniors. A lot of steps to climb but well worth the view. There is a bench at the top of the steps on your way out so you can stop and rest. We did not do the loop, we hiked back out the way we came in.

hiking
7 months ago

We left the car at Denali Village and took the resort shuttle to the Park Visitor Center. Hiked the trail one-way back to the village resort (southward - 9.5 Miles)

Lovely path along the river and a moderately strenuous climb up to beautiful views of the foothills (bring water). Three lakes toward the end are a treat and great lunch stop with a few moose sitings.

A few mosquitos toward the lake (early July) but otherwise bug-free walk.

hiking
7 months ago

Wonderful easy walk around a significant beaver habitat. Great with children.

hiking
7 months ago

Really nice trail. We saw our first wild Moose at the lake. It was so close. We sat there for a bit while the Moose was having its lunch.

hiking
7 months ago

Fun little trail good for almost anyone.

The trail head is at the railroad tracks on the Park Road. That throws some people off when the bus drops them off there but don't be discouraged. Walk along the tracks for about 75 yards and you come to the real start to the trail. It's just across the track. From there a short uphill takes you to the gradual decline into the lake area and then the stunning lake. Look for moose in the lake but be careful to keep your distance and don't get between mom and baby.

The path takes you along the banks of the Nenana River too where you can build your own cairn and eventually loops back around the lake. Trains come through at the top of the canyon often but they don't scare the beavers at all.

Wonderful and easy. Have fun.

hiking
7 months ago

I started from the trail head nearest to the Visitor Center just off of McKinley Station Trail.

The river flows alongside the trail for a mile or more including a crossing on a suspension bridge. From there, it was a pretty steep climb but with very well-maintained switchbacks. Once on top of the ridges, you could see for miles and there was no one else around.

On the back side, the hike down to the village was gradual and stunning with beautiful views of all three lakes and then the river. I had lunch at the Mariochi Moose food truck at the campground and rested a few minutes before hiking back to the visitor center from where I started.

The total trip including the side trails to the lakes and the approach to the park and the McKinley Station Trail was 22 miles and I did it in about nine hours including the lunch stop. I would highly recommend this trail for it's views and solitude.

hiking
7 months ago

Good hike. Easy. Great scenery. Came here while camping at wonder lake. Would do again.

P.s. bring deet and mosquito nets. It’s worth looking crazy in exchange for not going insane

Easy hike after long day in park. Beautiful views!!! Really enjoyed watching the beaver working on his dam.

Omg talk about spectacular! This hike was amazing! Pretty easy trail with an intense incline at the beginning (and end if you do the loop) & the views are amazing! We passed several moose... a female standing in the water grazing paying no attention to us. It’s pretty surreal to realize how small you are when surrounded by the sheer size of the mountains. I would do this hike frequently if I lived in the area.

You can start this hike down by Denali Village, or from the park. Starting at the park is considerably more strenuous, as you begin by criss-crossing up the mountain between you and the Triple Lakes. You then summit and ridge line gradually down to the lakes. It is a lot of uphill. Starting at Denali Village gives you the Lakes up front, and lets you gradually climb up the ridge line, with the criss-cross descent. Much less climbing.

It is a beautiful hike, with a different hiking environment with every turn: creekside, lakeside, forest, canopy, ridge line, crest, basin...truly wonderful.

This trail shows off Denali taking you through tundra, which fades into a beautiful spruce forest. It ends at the huge glacier runoff where you can see Denali on a clear day. We went in the beginning of July 2018 and the Mosquitos were crazy bad. We sprayed several times with mosquito spray which kept them at bay. We never got bit but they were thick in some spots. It was so worth it because the views are amazing. I would do this trail again and again.

hiking
8 months ago

Easy hike. Great way to see the wildlife without venturing too far into the park. Moose, birds, and beaver.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked 3.2 miles in from the north end over July 4th weekend. Camping at Riley Creek Campground so another 1/2 mile to the trail head, so 7.4 miles total. Trail in excellent condition. Wide pathways along Riley Creek. No overgrowth to deal with. Trail heads upwards at just over mile number 2.0. Fairly steep grade, with switch-backs. Wouldn't say that the trail is hard like others.

Easy trail. We saw beavers and mooses. The lake is beautiful!

hiking
8 months ago

Well-kept trail. From the Wonder Lake stop you'll need to backtrack on the road 1/3 mile or so to get to the trailhead. In June the mosquitoes were HEAVY around Wonder Lake and at the river itself. Along the trail it wasn't AS bad, but still pretty rough. Don't laugh at the people with the mosquito nets on their heads, cuz you'll start wishing you had bought one for yourself. Amazing views of Denali if you get lucky with the clouds!

on Horseshoe Lake Trail

hiking
8 months ago

Easy hike with great views. Will likely see beavers and moose even though it’s a busy trail usually.

hiking
9 months ago

Long but beautiful trail. Wonderful views at the top of every incline that make you forget about your legs hurting. We got lucky and did it on a clear day and saw a rainbow at the top of the mountain. The lakes are at the beginning of the trail but the second half of the trail offers scenic landscape views and up close encounter with the river. Two cool footbridges to cross at the very end too. Easy to catch a shuttle at the back end so you don’t have to repeat the trail going both ways. We finished in 4.5 hours including all of the individual lake trails. Totally worth it!

hiking
9 months ago

We hiked this trail on June 10, 2018. It was a misty day but the trail is well-maintained and great.

We parked at the Denali village and hiked to the Dinali visitor center. It was just over 10 miles from parking lot to parking lot. There are shuttle buses from the Dinali visitor center which run every ~ hour that will take you back to the Denali village

Lots of moose skat & some wolf. Scenery at the summit area was incredible for us and on a clear day, not sure how you would take it all in.

This place is special in many ways

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Easy

hiking
Sunday, January 14, 2018

Great little year round hike. Did it in Jan, -20s temps. The lake is frozen in the winter and you can walk on parts of it. Most stunning is the opening along the Nenana River—bright water against the snow covered banks and mountain views.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Beautiful hike!! SO worth the drive:)

hiking
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The trail crossed several different types of landscapes and it was a fun trail to hike. The end of the trail is a river bank and it gives a unblocked view of Denali. Unfortunately it was cloudy when we got there. Saw footprints of bears, old though.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

It's an easy hike. Fun for kids. Lots of beaver dams and squirrels along the trail. Lake is unbelievably clear. Suggest doing it if you have the time on your trip to Alaska!

hiking
Friday, August 11, 2017

Awesome hike, lots of beavers at lake 1.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Extremely easy loop, not much to it. The lake is gorgeous and the occasional beaver may peek it's way out from its dam.

I recommend combining this hike with a few of the others in the area; like the roadside or maybe even MT Healy.

Load More