Johnson Lake State Recreation Area
Guide

Share your visitation dates

Introduction

Looking for excellent camping, fishing and water sports? Johnson Lake State Recreation Area has all that, and more! As the name suggests, Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is surrounded by Johnson Lake. Located on the Kenai Peninsula in the state of Alaska, the park contains 332 acres of mostly wooded park grounds and is a very popular place to adventure and relax in during the summertime.

Johnson Lake offers some great boating, skiing and angling opportunities for a variety of fish, including walleye, white bass and wipers. Along with the popular recreational activities the park is also home to many different species of wildlife, including moose, black and brown bear, lynx, squirrels, and hares.

Wanting to stay the night? RV campers will be very happy with the amenities in the park that include 18 sites that are non-powered, pit toilets, water collection points, picnic areas, swimming beach and accessible fishing piers. Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is open all year round, however due to the location of the park during the winter it is inaccessible. Due to the cold weather the camping window is quite short in comparison to most state parks in North America. Camping season runs from Memorial Day weekend until the end of Labor Day weekend.

RV Rentals in Johnson Lake State Recreation Area

Transportation in Johnson Lake State Recreation Area

Driving

Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is on the western side of Johnson Lake in southern Alaska. The main way to access Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is via the Sterling Highway as it runs to the west of the park. Besides this way, you can also use N Cohone West Loop Road which links up to Sterling Highway. Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is close to a few small towns, including Kalisof (around three and half miles away), Calm Gultch (around eight miles) and Kalifornski (around 10 miles). The closest major city to Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is Anchorage, which is around 130 miles to the north of the park.

Getting to the park is usually no problem as the roads in and around the area are very flat and feature no major obstacles that will prevent you from entering. This can also be said for when you enter the campground as the roads are large and gravel so you shouldn't have any problems getting to your camp site. During the winter time the area is known for having large snowfalls and the park can become completely inaccessible. If you are planning to visit during winter we would advise to reconsider your plans as you will not be able to make it to the campground during this time.

Parking

There is plenty of parking available at Johnson Lake State Recreation Area.

Public Transport

Unfortunately there are no public transport options available for you to access Johnson Lake State Recreation Area.

Campgrounds and parking in Johnson Lake State Recreation Area

Campsites in Johnson Lake State Recreation Area

Reservations camping

East Loop Campground

There is one camping area available for RV campers in Johnson Lake State Recreation Area. East Loop Campground has 18 RV-friendly sites for you to enjoy. All 18 of these sites are non-powered and are gravel pads that are usually very level. The campground is known for being very quiet with wide and private campsites. The roads in the park are also gravel and there are pull-thru sites available if you have rigs of the bigger end of the spectrum.

The campground is known to have very clean amenities and the park is well looked after by its staff. Camp sites also have a picnic table, fire ring and grill. Other amenities in the campground include pit toilets, water collection points, lake access and overflow parking. You should be able to get cell reception on any network within the campground and it is a pet friendly campground. Reservations at Main Area Campground are available up to a year in advance.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Johnson Lake State Recreation Area

In-Season

Picnicing

Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is a fantastic place for you to have a picnic. The park has many great areas for friends and family to gather for a cookout or picnic during the summertime. You will find a wide variety of options for those looking to picnic, including multiple picnic tables and grills scattered throughout the park. If you have a large group there are also shelters that are available for you to use. Check in with the park to see if you can reserve a shelter if you are visiting the park with a large group.

Boating

If you don't like fishing but still love the water, you are in luck. Johnson Lake has great facilities that are suitable for many different types of boating. All types of boats are permitted at the lake and during your stay you’ll see fishing boats, sail boats, paddle boats and other personal water craft such as canoes and kayaks. There are two boat ramps available for you to use that can be found on the sides of the lake.

Fishing

Are you a fishing fan? Johnson Lake SRA on the banks of Johnson Lake offers excellent angling for fishing lovers of all skill levels. There are some great amenities for fishing, including numerous locations along the bank of the lake to fish from and fish cleaning stations. You can catch a variety of fish at Johnson Lake, including trout, salmon and steelhead. There is no guarantee that fishing gear will be available for hire, so make sure you bring your own if you want to cast a line.

Off-Season

Birding

A popular recreational activity for visitors and locals to Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is to go birding. Due to the heavily wooded areas and the lake there is a diverse environment that birds flock to in all seasons. The best place for birding is in and around the lake where eagles can be viewed migrating or looking for prey throughout the year. Common species that will be found at Johnson Lake State Recreation Area include waterfowl, warblers and eagles.

Wildlife Viewing

Alaska’s amazing wildlife is one of the most unique features that the state has to offer. Seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat is a very special treat that not many people on planet earth get to experience. Johnson Lake State Recreation Area is similar to other areas of southern Alaska in regards to wildlife species. During your stay at the park you may be able to see some curious and not so curious animals, including moose, black and brown bear, lynx, squirrels, and hares. Make sure to stay safe and keep your distance at all times.

Hiking

Johnson Lake State Recreation Area has multiple trails available for you to explore and enjoy during your stay in the park. There are many different marked and unmarked trails that you can use, with some giving you direct access to the popular Lake Johnson. The hikes will not be too strenuous as the area is quite flat. This means that the trails are suitable for people of all ages. During the wintertime it is not recommended you go hiking as the weather can turn very quickly.

Share your Johnson Lake State Recreation Area experience

List Your RV

Make Money Renting your RV

Outdoorsy RV owners make up to $32,000 a year renting their RVs.

List Your RV
Search Now

Find Your Perfect RV

Your next adventure starts here by searching thousands of available RVs for rent.

Search Now