Lake Hood Harbor
Lake Hood Harbor
4.5
Bodies of WaterPoints of Interest & Landmarks
About
With Lake Spenard, to which it is joined by canals, Lake Hood is considered to be the largest floatplane harbor in the world.
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  • sage97
    Laurel, Maryland505 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    EXERCISE AND WATCH THE PLANES
    A nice thing to watch, float planes taking off and landing on the water. A nice long walk around as well to see all sorts of planes on the grounds. Located right by the airport. Great views, NO COST
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 27, 2023
  • Ronit L
    22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Breathtaking seeing the sea planes take off and land
    Must see - the largest sea plane airport in the world. Anywhere you stand you will see planes taxing take off and landings. The views are breathtaking and being so close you can feel the wind off the planes.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 11, 2023
  • Jill
    New Jersey743 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very cool!
    You can walk around and see all the seaplanes. There is a lovely grass area, with picnic tables, where you can hang out and watch the planes land and take off. It's quite a busy area, so you will definitely see some action! Cool and unique spot to check out.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written September 24, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles195 reviews
Excellent
110
Very good
72
Average
12
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Jeanie
Baton Rouge, LA113 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
The lake is beautiful and very serene. We drove around to take a look at the planes and the area. If anyone is interested in aviation, this is a nice area in Anchorage to explore. We did not see any planes taking off while we were there because it was early in the day.
Written October 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sage97
Laurel, MD505 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Friends
A nice thing to watch, float planes taking off and landing on the water. A nice long walk around as well to see all sorts of planes on the grounds. Located right by the airport. Great views, NO COST
Written July 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Derekanddoc
Odessa, TX171 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2021
When you have 50% of all of the float planes on 1 harbor, you are going to see some incredible sites. We did! The planes average age is 56 years of age. Handed down from family for generations. Really cool to see them take off, land, stored by the little buildings etc. The transportation system in tact! Spoke to a couple of pilots and all were friendly and informative.
Written July 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jill
New Jersey743 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends
You can walk around and see all the seaplanes. There is a lovely grass area, with picnic tables, where you can hang out and watch the planes land and take off. It's quite a busy area, so you will definitely see some action! Cool and unique spot to check out.
Written September 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen W
Brisbane Region, Australia2,182 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Make sure you drive around the lakes shoreline entirely to see all of the seaplanes and how massive this is, so many seaplanes. This is a not to be missed if staying in Anchorage.
Written February 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rhys J
Llanbedr, UK2,929 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Couples
My wife and I travelled through the Lake Hood Harbour area during our 'Natural Wonders of Alaska' escorted tour with Titan Travel. We'd stayed our final night of the tour at the friendly and comfortable The Lakefront Anchorage Hotel located in a stunning location on the shores of Lake Hood. The hotel offers an excellent vantage point to view the seaplanes take off and land on Lake Hood. It's a captivating sight as I experienced whilst enjoying a delicious breakfast in their restaurant overlooking Lake Hood. Our motor coach journey through the Lake Hood Harbour area gave me the opportunity to appreciate the seaplanes up close - it's a massive plane park but with row upon row of seaplanes! They come in many sizes and colours and I saw some huge hangars to house and repair the seaplanes. This method of travel is a way of life in Alaska and by the end of my tour I'd come to appreciate it's necessity in order to cover such large distances across a vast state as Alaska.
Written March 24, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kenny S
Anchorage, AK470 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2014 • Solo
Never heard the reference, "Lake Hood Harbor", until now, as it is almost always refered to as the "Lake Hood Seaplane Base". The base is a subsidiary of Anchorage International Airport (Ted Stevens International). It is by far the largest seaplane base in the world, I'm not aware of even a close second. Used to be that down in Louisiana they had quite a few floatplane operations. A big negative there though is corrosion which a horrendous problem due the heat and salt water environment.

Attached is an aerial photo of Anchorage International (ANC) taken back in the 1970s about the time I ran the airport. Notice Lakes Hood and Spenard. Spenard is the lake to the right. The lakes were connected by a canal built in the late 1940s. When I was there we built a second canal to be used exclusively as a taxiway, so as not to clog the takeoff and landing channel. There were two aspects of the job I liked best, one was managing the seaplane base the other was the extensive involvement with the world’s largest passenger air carriers.

Some time after I left, the Boeing 747-400, with its extended range, came upon the scene and the Russians opened up their airspace to transit commercial air traffic. These two happenings virtually wiped out Anchorage International as a major cross road hub for international passenger traffic. Reason being, Anchorage was no more than a big gas station for those aircraft.

When visiting the Lake Hood/Spenard seaplane complex one might wonder why so many little shacks on the edge of the lakes look the same?

That began before my time, around 1968. There was still ample light aircraft parking out there then, for both seaplanes and wheel planes, but things were tightening up fast. Management at the airport often received complaints that the road to the airport was unsightly for visitors and locals because of all the derelict looking buildings on both sides of the roadway near the airport and that the shores of Lakes Hood and Spenard were being cluttered with junk, fuel tanks and vagabond looking sheds. At one time it was nearly a shanty town. With the exception of the public bathing beach on Spenard Lake, the two lakes were the exclusive domain of aircraft operators. Owning an expensive aircraft in Anchorage was beginning to be an interest relegated to only the affluent. So why use such a nice lake system for only the aristocratic few? Fact was/is that the public at large uses the facilities too, since there are both lease lots and tie down permits on the lake. The lease-hold permits are utilized by quite a number of common carrier air taxi operations which transport the general public to remote sport fishing camps/lodges and/or sport fish locations as well as provide flight-seeing for visitors, etc. during the tourist season. A must for any aviation enthusiast is to visit the "Alaska Aviation and Heritage Museum" which occupies a prime location on the south shore of Lake Hood. So it wasn't hard at all to convince the public that the base is a plus for the aviation community and an asset for metropolitan Anchorage.

Heat was on though, back in the 60s and 70s, to clean things up. Hence, the airport carpenters build a number of small sheds with steep pitched roofs. They sold these to users for cash or installments. Building plans were given to those wanting to construct their own. Then, the airport ordered that any new sheds on the lake must be permitted and the new schematic would dictate the design.

Notice on the aerial shot of Anchorage International the seaplane tie-down fingers running north off of the taxiway canal between Lakes Hood and Spenard. This project was in the final stages of completion when I departed. If I recall correctly, approximately 75 new seaplane tie down permits were created by this. A number of older ones were eliminated by the construction. During the late 1960s, if one applied for a floatplane tie down permit they usually got it. But by the time I arrived in early 1973 there was a waiting list of about 300. When I left the list had grown to over 550 and the attrition rate was like three a year.
Written May 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

B M K
Melbourne, Australia77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
The Worlds Largest Float Plane landing area, from sunup to sun set they continual take off and land. Anyone just slightly interested in planes would love it, and of course you can book a flight to travel to many great fishing and hunting locations throughout Alaska. If you stay at The Front Lake Hotel as we did you can sit outside with a coffee and enjoy the action going on around you plus watch out for aircraft taking off from Ted Stevens International Airport just a mile or so away
Written August 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lew D
Rio Verde, AZ135 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
Busiest float plane park in North America. Planes everywhere with constant takeoffs and landings less than 2 miles away from Anchorage International. A 20 minute drive-through is plenty of time to experience it.
Written July 30, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

My3Sons2800
Phoenix, AZ85 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
Sat in a little park and enjoyed the beautiful late evening light.
Enjoyed watching the float planes periodically land and take off right in front of us.
Written July 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Lake Hood Harbor - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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