Byers Lake

Byers Lake, Talkeetna: Address, Phone Number, Byers Lake Reviews: 4.5/5

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110 reviews
Very good

Anchorage, AK31 contributions
Jul 2013 • Family
We decided to spend the extra long 4th of July weekend at Byers Lake campground after we read about it in our camping handbook and figured we'd give it a try after reading the author's rave reviews. Unfortunately for us Mother Nature decided to work against us as it rained all but one of four days we stayed but we still found ways to enjoy ourselves.

The hike around the lake (about 4 miles) was very nice and relatively easy, I'd say 3 out of 10 on the difficulty scale with the biggest challenges being how narrow the trail is at times which only becomes an issue when passing other hikers and the other being the slightly raised wooden path that weaves through about 25 yards of swampy area on the southwest end of the lake. The wooden path is fairly wide and level but there is no hand rail to hold onto which was no problem but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone with stability issues and I wouldn't recommend trying to mountain bike the trail either as it's really not designed for biking (lots of roots, narrow trail, rocky and lots of other hikers to dodge, especially on the campground side of the lake...). You can also access the trail that goes up to the summit on the other side of the lake. I can't remember the name of the summit now but a few hikers I spoke to told me the trail goes all the way (27 miles??) to Coal Creek. They said the summit, which was not too far into the hike, is one of the best places to view Denali from. We didn't hike the trail due to weather conditions but plan on doing so next time we go to Byers Lake.

The campground itself is very nice, with lots of pull through spots for larger RVs as well as plenty of tent or smaller back-in sites for smaller RVs. There is a well, a dump station and fresh water fill station - all of which are fairly hard to find in the area and you can't beat the price at $10 a night to camp and $5 to dump (as of summer 2013). The campground is located just off the highway (we could at times here a little highway noise but it wasn't terrible) near mile point 147 of the Parks Highway. There is also overflow sites as well as firewood available at the Alaska Veteran's Memorial which is just past Byers Lake (there is a nice hiking trail worth checking out that connects the two areas).

The campsites themselves offers lots of privacy as they are all surrounded by natural Alaska plant life - high bush cranberry bushes, aspen, birch, firs and other trees surround all the campsites. There is also a cornucopia of floral delights for the wildflower seekers - wild geraniums, watermelon berry or twisted stalk (watch out for the false hellebore which looks an awful lot like the watermelon berry plant but is very poisonous and is growing in close proximity to the twisted stalk!), devil's club, dwarf dogwood and many more. Be sure to take your favorite Alaska wildflower field guide with you on your hikes as I'm sure you'll find it will come in handy.

I was a little disappointed that there wasn't really anywhere to ride our bikes as we lugged them along thinking we'd be able to ride the trail around the lake. We rode around the park a few times but that gets a little old after a while. The hiking trail that works its way around the lake wasn't bike friendly as previously mentioned but not a big deal, we just spent more time in our Kayaks for which the lake was PERFECT! You can rent Kayaks from the Kayak rental place there onsite or you can take your own. We took ours down the main lake access trail from the campground and pushed off right from there. The lake is shallow and rocky at the edges making for easy boarding and push-off of our kayaks.

For fisherman the lake has some rainbows, lake trout, burbot, and I've read some salmon make their way there via Byers creek as well. The best fishing is near the outflow of the lake into Byers Creek. There is a bridge from which you can look own on the lake and rainbow trout as they dodge your favorite fly like they did mine. Although I can say I did catch the biggest rainbow trout I've ever caught in my life which made the multiple hikes (about 50 minutes from the campground via the hiking trail - wear your bear bell or be sure to make lots of noise as the trail goes through some thick wooded areas which I'm sure is home to a bear or two) and kayak trips (about 20 minutes if you beeline it or about 50 minutes if you stick to the edge of the lake) very much worthwhile.

There was very little cell service in the campground although we were able to walk down to the lake to get enough signal to make calls. Personally I like disconnecting from technology when we camp but we'd told people we'd have our cells as we heard there was cell coverage in the area but found that we did not once we arrived so it was necessary to update our family - just mentioning it in case its something that matters to potential travelers to this area.

There was no camp host during our stay but the park ranger did come through daily. The multiple bear-proof trash containers were cleaned out often and the toilets were cleaned daily which was nice. Overall this was a very nice campground which definitely lived up to its expectations, just wish Mother Nature would have been a little nicer to us and given us some nicer weather but oh well, there's always next time!
Written July 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wasilla, AK2 contributions
Aug 2013 • Friends
I have lived in Alaska 42 years and this is my favorite camping spot. We have gone here as many times as 10 a summer. It has it all. Each camping spot is large, almost 1/4 acre, picnic table, fire pit, lots of room for even large vehicles. Hike to the waterfalls, my favorite and well maintained trails. Hike around the lake, good hike but lots to see. We even biked the trails around and especially down from up by the road. Weeeeeeee. Canoeing or kayaking for the best view of Mt. McKinley on middle or other side of lake. Good fishing (consult your regulations for keepers), trout in winter, and great salmon in summer. LOTS of wildlife, beavers, otters, Trumpeter and Tundra Swans, loons, moose, but be prepared as quite a few bears. Also connects with 20+ mile hike along Kesugi Ridge above treelike. This place has it all and above the campground a great Memorial honoring Veterans with great Mt. views, picnics, or just stretching lake. A must stop!!!!!!
Written May 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

talkeetna, alaska6 contributions
Sep 2012
If you don't know about Byers, you may drive right past it, but PLEASE don't. It is one of the most beautiful and easily accessible spots in the state with incredible views of Denali and the Alaska range. You can rent a boat or get out on a tour and with just an hour or few, really enjoy some of the best Alaska has. One the best things about getting on the lake is the resident wildlife, swans, beavers, loons, otters that you can get up close and personal with. Not to mention the hundreds of salmon that migrate through the lake. An experience few will experience so close up when on a kayak or canoe tour. Whatever you do,.. don't miss it. You can call Denali Southside about it at 907-733-7238. There are also public use cabins available through Division of Natural Resources.
Written April 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peg H
Sioux Falls, SD138 contributions
Jun 2014 • Couples
We did the hike around Byers Lake and it was our favorite 6 mile hike during our Alaska visit. Best to wear hiking shoes and take plenty of water. Takes around 3 hours with stops at the waterfall and to take LOTS of photos. Best place to view Denali on a clear day!
Written June 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Coral Gables, FL61 contributions
Sep 2014 • Couples
Our guide was fantastic. She helped us pick and eat a variety of berry (she also told us which ones to avoid) and gave us a comprehensive history of the lake and area. The lake was quite seriene and the hike not too difficult. We were outfitted by our quide with all the necessary equipment, did not need to bring anything additional
Written December 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Barb B
New River, AZ42 contributions
Aug 2018 • Couples
We did the guided walk booked through our Princess Cruise. We had a great hike and our naturalist guide, Malia, was amazing! She pointed gave us so much info about all the plants we were seeing and even gave us opportunities to taste some berries. Even though it was raining we were provided adequate gear to keep us clean and dry. I highly recommend this tour!
Written August 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia18,219 contributions
Jul 2018 • Solo
In this Post, I am going to focus upon the CAMPGROUND here at Byers Lake. The entrance is just South of the Alaska Veteran's Memorial at Milepost 147 on the Parks Highway.

The cost to camp here is $20-per-site-per-night and $5-per-vehicle-per-day. The rates vary IF you have an Alaska State Parks Annual Parking Pass.

In all honesty, I feel that the Byers Lake CAMPGROUND would rate average for Alaska but very good for other areas. Which is to say, Alaska is blessed with amazing outdoor venues.

The campground was full. It is the height of the tourist season after all. All of the necessities, including fire wood !!, seem to be furnished.

I recommend that you BRING quality, over-the-head mosquito netting and BUG-DOPE if you plan to be outdoors for any length of time. Long sleeve clothing also helps.
Written August 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Guthrie, OK48 contributions
Aug 2017 • Family
If you like to hike, this is a "must do"! My hubby and 2 older teens stopped here for a break on our way from Anchorage to Denali. We took a hike around the lake and views were incredible! Yes, it was a clear day (which is definitely important). There is a trail that runs all the way around the lake. We started at the boat ramp. It took us about 3 hours to go all the way around. I'm guessing it's about 6 miles. Be sure and take water/snacks, etc. You could certainly just walk part of the way and come back. The trail is between easy/moderate...nothing too tough if you are somewhat athletic. Make sure you have good sturdy tennis shoes or hiking boots. Take you time and enjoy! Don't forget the camera!! I believe it cost us $5 per car load to enter the park..well worth it!
Written August 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Shelley E
Anchor Point, AK63 contributions
Jul 2015 • Friends
A hidden gem often bypassed for the Alaskan Jurrassic Park i.e. Denali National Park. Denali State Park has it all...Byers lake has a suspension bridge to plop down on and watch salmon spawn below you. How cool is that????
Written March 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

alaska2 contributions
May 2015 • Family
Byers Lake is an awesome place with easy access to mountain views, the Veterans Memorial, trails and canoe or kayak rentals. If you are working or lodging at Princess McKinley Lodge there is now a shuttle services as well. It is reasonably priced and runs between 8am and 6pm daily. You do have to call ahead, but Denali Southside is helping to make this area even more accessible. (907) 733-7238 is the number.
Written May 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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