A Guide to Anchorage’s Best Beaches

While Anchorage is well known for its mountains and world-class access to the wilds of Chugach State Park, the city is also dotted with lakes and lined with ocean — which means it has the perfect beaches for afternoon picnics, a day on the water, or a morning stroll along the tideline. Here are a few local favorites.

  1. Kincaid Park: Follow the paved trail west from the chalet, winding down through the woods toward the bluff at the bottom of the hill. There, you’ll find signs directing you along a dirt path down the bluff onto the beach, part of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. Bring a camera and watch for moose, bears, migratory birds, and beluga whales in the inlet (just remember to stay on the shore).
  2. Point Woronzof: From the parking lot at Point Woronzof, beachgoers can follow the path down to the tideline. Those seeking sand can head north (right): Go past the brightly painted water tower and around the corner for Anchorage skyline views, a short, sloping beach, and an up-close look at planes taking off overhead. Check the tides before you go: This beach is best accessed within an hour or two of low tide.
  3. Goose Lake: Located in the middle of Anchorage adjacent to the University of Alaska Anchorage, Goose Lake offers a family-friendly beach with picnic facilities, a sandy shoreline, and a supervised swim area (although Anchorage lakes are currently closed to swimming: click here for more information). 
  4. Mirror Lake: Chugiak’s scenic Mirror Lake is an ideal place for boating, paddle-boarding, sunbathing, or cooling off in the shallows. Pack a lunch, and bring a bike if you’re feeling adventurous: the park features picnic facilities and a single-track mountain bike trail through the woods alongside the lake.

Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge