Dot Lake

Quick Facts

  • Current Population 17 (2012 Alaska Department of Labor Estimate)
  • Legislative Districts (link to State Legislature page):
    • Senate District T
    • House District 39
    • Judicial District 4
  • Latitude: 63.5852
  • Longitude: -144.1699


Dot Lake is located on the Alaska Highway, 50 miles northwest of Tok and 155 road miles southeast of Fairbanks. It lies south of the Tanana River. Dot Lake Village is located nearby.


Dot Lake is located in the continental climatic zone, where winters are cold and summers are warm. In winter, cool air settles in the valley, and ice fog and smoke conditions are common. The average low temperature during December, January, and February is -22 °F. The average high temperature during June, July, and August is 65 °F. Extreme temperatures ranging from a low of -75 to a high of 90 °F have been measured. Average annual precipitation is 9 inches, and annual snowfall averages 27 inches.


Archaeological evidence at nearby Healy Lake revealed more than 10,000 years of human habitation. Dot Lake was used as a seasonal hunting camp for Athabascans from George Lake and Tanacross. A Native freight trail ran north to the Yukon River through Northway, Tetlin, Tanacross, and Dot Lake.

During construction of the Alaska Highway in 1942-43, a work camp called Sears City occupied Dot Lake’s present location. Fred and Jackie Vogle were the first non-Native settlers in the area. They received a home site and by 1949 had constructed a lodge, post office, school, and the Dot Lake Community Chapel.

Over the years, additional families homesteaded the area. Over 300 acres have been provided. A licensed children’s home was built by the Vogels in 1967, and the present-day Dot Lake Lodge was constructed in 1973. The North Star Children’s Home closed in the mid-1990s.

Community profile data provided by the State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.