The highlight of a trip to Lake Spenard is watching the seaplanes take off from and land at the Lake Hood Seaplane Base. Some sightseeing tours of Anchorage include a visit to the base. Or, relax at Spenard Beach Park, followed by a walk or bike ride on one of the lakeside paths.
Things to Know Before You Go
Lake Spenard is a must-see for aviation lovers, and a fun destination for kids.
Admission to Lake Spenard is free.
Some tours that include the Lake Hood Seaplane Base are wheelchair accessible. Notify the tour company of your needs at least 24 hours in advance.
How to Get There
Lake Spenard is the eastern half of the Lake Hood Seaplane Base, which is located 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) southwest of downtown Anchorage, near the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. To combine a visit to the base with other Anchorage sights, a guided trolley tour is a convenient option. Otherwise, the airport bus (bus 40) provides easy access to Lake Spenard.
When to Get There
Lake Hood Seaplane Base is open year-round. The runway is busiest during summer, and planes take off and land throughout the day. Less active in winter, the frozen runway is maintained for ski-planes.
The Legend of Larry, Curly, and Moe
During the 1990s, seabirds kept interfering with flight operations at the Lake Hood Seaplane Base. After several attempts to control the birds failed, airport staff released three farm pigs—named Larry, Curly, and Moe—on the island that separates the runway lanes. Larry, Curly, and Moe’s mission: destroy the seabirds’ nests and eat as many of their eggs as possible. The solution worked for a while, then the displaced birds built their nests elsewhere around the airport.