Selawik Lake, Alaska, USA

Selawik Lake is located on the Arctic Circle in the the northwestern part of Alaska. Covering an impressive 263,000 acres*, the lake is the third largest in the state.Selawik Lake’s name comes from the Inupiaq word for “place of sheefish,” and the lake and its tributaries are especially known for this variety of fish. The lake is about 7 miles from the town of Selawik, Alaska. Because of its remote – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Selawik Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Selawik Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Selawik Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Selawik Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Selawik Lake

Lake Locations: USA - West - Alaska - Far North -

Selawik Lake is located on the Arctic Circle in the the northwestern part of Alaska. Covering an impressive 263,000 acres*, the lake is the third largest in the state.Selawik Lake’s name comes from the Inupiaq word for “place of sheefish,” and the lake and its tributaries are especially known for this variety of fish. The lake is about 7 miles from the town of Selawik, Alaska. Because of its remote location, the approximately 800 residents of Selawik live much as their ancestors did, subsisting on the abundant native wildlife.

The landscape surrounding Selawik Lake is both beautiful and foreboding. Temperatures range from an average low of about -12 degrees F in the winter to an average high of around 58 degrees F in the summer. Due to its location on the Arctic Circle, Selawik is light 24 hours a day for much of June and July, but receives only an hour and a half of sunlight each day during the month of December. Because of the rugged terrain surrounding Lake Selawik, locals still travel the area using traditional methods: by boat in the warmer months and by dogsled in the winter. Visitors usually access the area by plane, via commercial flights from Anchorage to the nearby city of Kotzebue. Despite the harsh climate, Selawik is home to beautiful vistas of untouched wilderness. The Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, a 2.15 million acre wilderness area that borders Selawik Lake, contains a variety of landscapes including mountains, tundra, wetlands, grassy meadows, and forests.

The Selawik National Wildlife Refuge is a prime destination for anglers. In addition to Lake Selawik, the refuge contains nearly 22,000 lakes and ponds, as well as the Selawik and Kobuk Rivers. The area offers the best sheefishing in the world, and catches of sheefish weighing 50 pounds or more are common. Anglers fish by boat in the warmer months, and visiting anglers can have the unique experience of fishing under “the midnight sun.” Ice fishing Selawik Lake for sheefish is popular from March through May. In addition to sheefish, the area is also home to arctic char, burbot, whitefish, grayling, and northern pike. The Selawik Wildlife Refuge is also popular with hunters, especially during the fall season. The refuge is home to the largest herd of Western Arctic Caribou in Alaska. Hunters are also drawn to Selawik in search of moose and bear.

Wildlife observation is another activity that visitors enjoy at Selawik. The lake is a birdwatching paradise, being home to hundreds of thousands of migratory birds who use the area for breeding and as a place to rest before continuing their migration. Geese, tundra swans, and sandhill cranes all nest on the lake and its surrounding wetlands. Ducks, loons, and sandpipers can also be seen on the shores of the lake. The nearby woodlands are home to songbirds, including the yellow wagtail, yellow warbler, white-crowned sparrow, and Lapland larkspur. In addition to birds, many small mammals can be found in the woodlands near the lake, including wolves, arctic fox, red fox, lynx, wolverine, and beaver.

When the weather permits, visitors can enjoy scenic rafting trips down the Selawik River. Rafters can float all 168 miles of this gentle river from its beginnings in the Purcell Mountains at the eastern edge of the Selawik Wildlife Refuge to where it flows into Selawik Lake. The trip provides excellent views of the wild, undeveloped lands at the river’s edge. In winter, local residents and visitors alike often enjoy a trip to the hot springs at the head waters of the Selawik River. The thermal springs prevent this area of the river from freezing and were once prized by native tribes for their medicinal value.

Selawik Lake offers adventurers many ways to experience the Alaskan wilderness. Visitors can get a rare glimpse of what life might have been like hundreds of years ago–from the untamed landscapes that surround Selawik Lake, to the hardy people who live off the land as generations before them have done. A visit to Selawik Lake is truly a step back in time.

*Acreage figures are from the Alaskan Dept of Hydrology. Shoreline lengths are not given as most of Alaska’s large lakes have ill-defined shorelines: water collecting in the lakes does not pass thru the permafrost level and thus must either dissipate via evaporation or river drainage. Most shorelines are seasonal wetlands and their size depends on the amount of snow-melt and precipitation. Many lakes have no outlet so water simply continues to collect there, causing the lake to grow larger.

Things to Do at Selawik Lake

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge

Fish Species Found at Selawik Lake

  • Burbot
  • Char
  • Grayling
  • Northern Pike
  • Pike
  • Whitefish

All About Selawik Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Selawik Lake

The Selawik Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Selawik Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
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Find a Campspot
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Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Selawik Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Selawik Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Selawik Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Selawik Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 262,809 acres

Lake Area-Population: 800

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More Selawik Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
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  • New Selawik Lake photos coming soon!
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Do you have a vacation rental property at Selawik Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

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Looking for the Selawik Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

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Click here to advertise your Selawik Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Selawik Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Selawik Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Selawik Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Selawik Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

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New Selawik Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi