Most Beautiful Lakes In The US. Photo: knowinsiders.
Most Beautiful Lakes In The US. Photo: knowinsiders.

Are you planning a vacation? Instead of traveling to exotic international locations, why not go down to a local lake? Don't be put off by the ordinary language we've used to describe 'local' lakes. The are hundreds of prettiest lakes in the US spread out over varying geographical backgrounds, and all of them are beyond compare. Most of the lakes are gorgeous with sun-filled backdrops, breezy winds, looming mountains, and emerald-clear waters filled with a range of sea life.

If you want a wonderful vacation, all you have to do is find a lakeside cabin alongside any of the beautiful lakes in the USA, and you are guaranteed a great time.

We've listed our top 10 most beautiful lakes in the US that are a must-visit if you are in the area.

1. Crater Lake, Oregon

2. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

3. Finger Lakes, New York

4. Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

5. Yellowstone Lake,Wyoming

6. Flathead Lake, Montana

7. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

8. Lake Martin, Louisiana

9. Maroon Lake, Colorado

10. Echo Lake, New Hampshire

1. Crater Lake, Oregon

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
The water of Crater Lake is a deep, gorgeous blue. Photo by Vince Warren.

Crater Lake is unique as it formed when Mount Mazama erupted nearly 8000 years ago. The crater formed by the mountain eventually filled up with water creating a land-locked lake that is now called Crater Lake. As the lake is filled with rain and snowmelt, it remains pristine and crystal clear all through the year. The clear waters allow sunlight to penetrate nearly 400 feet down in the 1943 feet deep lake.

This makes the lake a great place to swim, fish, and scuba dive. Nearly 2000-foot cliffs surround the lake, and the scenery around the lake is awe-inspiring. Scientists marvel at its purity: fed by rain and snow, it’s the deepest lake in the USA and one of the most pristine on earth. Artists, photographers, and sightseers gaze in wonder at its blue water and stunning setting atop the Cascade Mountain Range. Its geologic history spans back thousands of years and inspires visitors today as they swim, snowshoe, ski, hike and cycle through the mountainous terrain. With countless other activities and thousands of acres to explore, adventure is endless at Crater Lake.

Crater Lake is a great place to test your cycling skills. The hilly landscape requires extreme endurance and plenty of training prior to participation. But don’t worry -- the breathtaking nature around you will still be there to admire at your leisure when the ride is over. Rim Road goes vehicle-free two days a year for the Ride the Rim event. Bicyclists from across the country take part in this ride to enjoy the scenic roadway.

Crater Lake is the only place in the world to find the Mazama newt. This subspecies of rough-skinned newt, also called the Crater Lake Newt, is native to the lake. Threatened by invasive species, scientists are trying to combat non-native crayfish and preserve the existence of these unique newts. Usually found hiding under rocks or logs, lucky visitors may spot one of these rare creatures around the edge of the lake.

2. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
Lake Tahoe. Photo: travelinusa.

Lake Tahoe is one of the prettiest lakes in the USA. It is a favorite destination for tourists due to the several ski resorts overlooking the river banks. The crystal-clear alpine lake is famous for its clear waters, and the panorama of the surrounding mountains reflects on the water, making it a photographer's dream.

Straddling the border of California and Nevada is Lake Tahoe—the largest freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada range. The clear alpine beauty formed more than two million years ago, with the majority of its shape having taken place during the ice ages.

Lake Tahoe is a big blue centerpiece, surrounded by massive granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada, with skies reflecting into the largest alpine Lake in North America. North Lake Tahoe spans two states, California and Nevada, with top rated lodging for your perfect family, romantic or relaxing vacation. Unique and beautiful communities dot the shores of North Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountainsides, each offering fine, casual and leisure dining options. Lake Tahoe offers hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, dozens of beaches, and 39 trillion gallons of water to enjoy. Many nationally recognized Lake Tahoe events including music festivals, concerts, food pairings and sporting events take place each season. With so much to do, you may need to stay awhile.

How To Get To Lake Tahoe

Distance between Lake Tahoe and San Francisco: about 3 hours and 15 minutes via I-80 E and US-50 E

Distance between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento: 2 hours via US-50 E

Distance between Lake Tahoe and Reno: 45 minutes via NV-431 and I-580

3. Finger Lakes, New York

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
The Finger Lakes. Photo: Flickr/Sue Reynolds.

The Finger Lakes Region of New York State is a 9,000 square mile, four-season playground, set against a backdrop of Mother Nature's best work: from waterfalls and gorges to rolling hills to miles of spectacular shoreline around 11 glacial lakes and one Great Lake. No matter what you like to do, you'll find it in abundance in the Finger Lakes.

Eleven finger-shaped lakes cross the heart of New York in this region of refreshing waterfalls, gorgeous gorges, sun-kissed vineyards, and lush forests. Fantastic state parks like Buttermilk Falls, Watkins Glen, and Letchworth are perfect for activities like swimming, hiking, biking and camping. From pretty Owasco Lake to mighty Great Lake Ontario, boating and fishing are world-class! Complementing all the natural beauty, vibrant cities and towns present cultural treasures.

The Finger Lakes is a popular tourist destination located in Upstate New York. The lakes are so-called as they are long and narrow, resembling fingers. The eleven lakes are enormous, and tourists can do dozens of things throughout the year. The lakes have picturesque waterfalls, magnificent parks, gorgeous beaches, one-of-a-kind museums, and resorts all along the borders. The Finger Lakes area is also New York's premier wine-producing region, with more than 100 different vineyards and wineries located on the lake borders.

4. Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona. Photo: attractionsofamerica

Lake Powell is in northern Arizona and extends across the border into southern Utah. It’s part of the Colorado River in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It’s not often that humans accidentally create something of such extraordinary natural beauty. Initially, this man-made lake stirred loud outcries when Glen Canyon was dammed and the Colorado River rose to create the second-largest reservoir in the U.S. But there’s no denying the allure of this long lake, as its warm blue waters wind through sheer red sandstone cliffs, filling more than 90 side canyons. However, nature made her mark on the shore of one such canyon with the sandstone Rainbow Bridge, regarded as the world’s longest natural arch.

The impossible deep blue waters of Lake Powell have stunned almost every visitor. On top of that, this is a man-made lake, and it is utterly surprising that the lake turned out so beautiful. Of course, there was a considerable hue-and-cry when the Glen Canyon was dammed and the Canyon filled with the waters of Colorado River, but it turned out to be worth it. Visitors can see the red sandstone river banks through the pristine, sapphire-hued river water. The river is lined with gorgeous beaches, and tourists flock to the area during the peak summer season.

The lake also offers sport fishing and water sports for interested visitors. If you are in Arizona, a short drive to this man-made wonder is a must.

Interesting facts

-Lake Powell holds up to 27 million acre-feet of water and is 560 feet deep at the dam. That amount would cover the state of Ohio with one foot of water!

-The lake is 186 miles long, and with 96 major side canyons with more small ones, it has more than 1,960 miles of shoreline—more than twice the length of the California coastline.

-Hundreds of colorful sandstone side canyons, coves, and natural wonders make Lake Powell a paradise for house boating, fishing, photography and of course paddleboarding!

-It took 17 years for the Colorado River to fill it up. Lake Powell started filling in 1963 and reached full pool for the first time in 1980.

-Lake Powell is the second-largest reservoir in the United States (Lake Mead in Nevada and Arizona is the largest).

5. Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
Yellowstone Lake. Photo: Getty.

Yellowstone Lake has 136 square miles of surface area and 110 miles of shoreline. Its deepest spot is in excess of 390 ft. according to recent research. It is a natural lake. It begins on the slopes of Yount Peak in the Absaroka Mountain Range outside the southeast boundary of the park and completes its 671-mile run by joining the Missouri River near the Montana and North Dakota border. Its waters then travel to the Mississippi River and on to the Atlantic Ocean at the Gulf of Mexico.

Clear, deep, and cold, Yellowstone Lake is found in one of the world’s most geologically active areas, under the watch of the Beartooth and Absaroka mountains. More than 2 million visitors pour into the national park each summer, but winter could very well be the best time to see the lake; the bubbling geysers along the West Thumb shoreline appear as colorful cauldrons in the snow, steam rising eerily from the icy landscape. Indeed, Yellowstone Lake is typically frozen over for half the year.

Moose are seen fairly commonly in the Lake District. Look in the marshy areas around the river, particularly at the Fishing Bridge. They are also seen with some frequency in the large meadows near Bridge Bay and the marshes along Pelican Creek. Moose are most often seen at dawn and dusk.

What kind of Fish live in Yellowstone Lake?

Yellowstone cutthroat trout, longnose dace, redside shiners, longnose suckers, and lake chubs. In the summer of 1994, illegally introduced lake trout were discovered in Yellowstone Lake. Cutthroat trout and longnose suckers are often seen from Fishing Bridge. The longnose dace, redside shiners, and lake chubs are all small minnows and are, therefore, harder to detect from the bridge.

6. Flathead Lake, Montana

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
Kayakers on Flathead Lake, Montana. Photo: HGTV.

Flathead is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, with clean, crystalline waters cradled in the Flathead Valley by the Mission Mountains to the east and the Salish Mountains to the west. The lake is blessed with an unusually mild climate for an area so far north and inland, allowing for surrounding fruit orchards, and vineyards on its west side. There’s even a Flathead Lake Monster, which, judging by some accounts, may have a close cousin living in Loch Ness. It’s more likely, however, that you’ll spy wild horses roaming the state park.

To be accurate, there are actually two rivers, the Flathead and Swan rivers supply clean fresh water to Flathead Lake year-round. Created by Ice Age glaciers, almost thirty miles long and fifteen miles across at it’s widest point, Flathead lake is the largest natural lake in western U.S. A 160 mile shoreline and water covers nearly two-hundred square miles of Montana – and at 300 feet deep, you’d better restring your fishing reel with some extra line.

For ever-changing views, visitors can use Highways 35 and 93 to drive around the lake. Spring means the fragrant white blooms of the cherry orchards where you can pick your own delicious Flathead Cherries in late July and August. Six units of Flathead Lake State Park provide sites for picnics, boating, sailing, fishing, hiking, camping and swimming. Two golf courses offer spectacular views and challenging play.

7. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. Photo: Dreamstime.

It is located in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire at the foothills of the White Mountains. Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the state at 72 square miles. Surrounded by three mountain ranges, the wooded shoreline and crystal clear water of this spring-fed lake make it a popular summer resort and a place to rest and relax in beautiful surroundings and enjoy water sports of all sorts.

Visitors may explore the numerous villages on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee by boat or by car. Each one offers something unique. Weirs Beach has arcades and boardwalks, waterslides, a public beach and an activity center. Meredith is a restored mill village, where you can browse through antique, art and craft galleries. Wolfeboro is a picture perfect village, right down to its historic Main Street. Center Harbor, Moultonborough, Tuftonboro, Alton, Gilford and Laconia all have their own special flavor. All communities have public parks and docks, and feature varied activities such as fireworks displays and band concerts throughout the year.

Lake Winnipesuakee offers visitors four seasons of vacation fun! Launch your boat at one of the many launch sites on the Lake. Whatever your choice of craft, Winipesuakee has 72 square miles to explore. If you don’t own a boat, you can rent one, charter one or take a cruise on one of the many excursion boats on the “Big Lake”. In the winter months when temperatures dip, families still enjoy the lakes. Ice fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, cross country skiing or ice boating provide great family recreation.

8. Lake Martin, Louisiana

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
Photo: RedGuillotine

Lake Martin — a swampland that's part of Louisiana's 9,500-acre Cypress Island Preserve — is equally known for its vegetation and wildlife. Alligators and bird species such as great egrets and roseate spoonbills inhabit this swamp, which is lined with cypress and tupelo trees.

Lake Martin is a swamp in south-central Louisiana, just east of the city of Lafayette. There are over 9000 acres of swampland that is a staple landscape of Louisiana. Many animals live in the lake, including alligators, bullfrogs, cottonmouth snakes, and many species of birds like egrets and herons.

If you are interested in seeing the animals, specifically alligators, many boat tours will take you through the swamp. These tours include boats like pontoons that have a whole group with a tour guide. There are also options to rent paddleboats where everyone is in their boat. There is also a boardwalk and boat launch area if you want to take your boat on the swamp to explore, but be cautious of the wildlife. The animals in the swamp can be dangerous if you are not with a trained guide.

9. Maroon Lake, Colorado

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
Maroon Lake. Photo: Dreamstime.

Maroon Lake is in western Colorado. The lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the US. It is completely surrounded by mountains adding to its majestic beauty.

The lake has a very high elevation since it is located in a mountain range. The mountains surrounding the lake are high peaks called the Maroon Bells. If you want to visit Maroon Lake, you can hike to the lake or take a bus from the Aspen Highlands. Hiking is great if you're going to camp near the lake so you can easily access the nearby campsites. The hiking trails do not fully circle the lake because of the mountains, but you can still get beautiful views of the lake while hiking on them.

Home to one of the best views in all of Colorado, the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail follows the north shore of this famous lake, with Instagram worthy views of the Maroon Bells in the distance. The absolute best at sunrise or sunset, Maroon Lake is worth getting up early for or staying late after the crowds. If you’re into photography, this is the place to be set up early or at the end of the day.

You only need about one hour for this hike. This is a great one with small children and elderly folks, or if you don’t have as much time as you wished.

The lake at the base of Colorado's Maroon Bells — two 14,000-foot peaks in the Elk Mountains — is a sight to behold. Its highly reflective surface offers photographers and sightseers a new perspective on the rock formations.

10. Echo Lake, New Hampshire

Top 12 Most Beautiful Lakes In The US.
Echo Lake, New Hampshire. Photo: Getty.

New Hampshire is an outdoors lovers dream. Especially in the spring and summer months when hiking is at its best. When the weather gets warm and the sun is shining, there are few things more fun than heading outside with a trusted companion and smelling that fresh air. This lake, located in near North Conway is one of our favorite ways to get outside!

Echo Lake rests under the shadow of Whitehorse Ledge, whose reflection nearly covers the 16 acres of water. White Horse and the nearby 500-foot cliffs of Cathedral Ledge are popular rock-climbing destinations; both reward hikers with gorgeous views of Echo Lake below and the distant mountains. Fall is particularly lovely, when those slopes erupt in brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges; get an up-close look along one of the 1,000 hiking trails.

Echo Lake State Park is a great place to take the family for a swim and picnic. Several hiking trails originate in the park including a scenic trail around the lake and others which lead to Cathedral Ledge State Park where views of the Saco River Valley are spectacular. To take in the entirety of the beauty, we recommend the one-mile trail around the lake. It's flat and relatively easy for mobile folks and offers a great way to soak up the fresh air and sounds of nature.

Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US Top 15 Most Beautiful Places In The US

Are you looking for your next adventure or travel destination in the United States? Let's check our top 15 most beautiful places in the US.

Top 10 Most Historical Cities In The US Top 10 Most Historical Cities In The US

For those who love discovering a new place through its past, here is the list of the top 10 best historic cities in the US.

Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains In The U.S Top 10 Most Beautiful Mountains In The U.S

America has some of many beautiful spots that are visited most by people from around the world. Check out the list of top 10 most ...