Lake Hood and Lake Spenard started out as two separate lakes on west side of Anchorage. By 1916, Joe Spenard ran a “resort” and recreation area next to the lake named for him. Over time, more plane traffic led to a need for a bigger, more formal place for planes to land. In 1940, Lake Hood and Lake Spenard were joined by a channel to be used as a taxiway, and a 2,200 foot east-west gravel runway was built.
Over the years, float plane parking slips were added. A new north-south runway replaced the first one. The Lake Hood Seaplane Base is now owned by the state of Alaska. Today, there are 404 float plane slips leased by private plane owners and air taxi businesses. The lake stays busy with float planes in the summer, and planes on skis on the winter. Several wheeled planes land on the strip and park in designated lots on land.
Lake Hood is a great place to catch a sightseeing or fishing flight, or just watch the planes. The Alaska Aviation Museum is on the south edge of the lake. If you’re curious about Alaska aviation history, or you love planes and stories of flying, I highly recommend it.