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Picturesque Lakes Across the US That Will Take Your Breath Away

By: Cityseeker
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The US is home to several picturesque lakes that are known for their tranquil beauty and pristine waters. Shimmering beautifully in shades of blue and green, these lakes are often surrounded by verdant landscapes and beautiful scenery. Each of these lakes boasts its own unique charm, whether it's the crystal-clear waters framed by towering mountains, the mirror-like surfaces reflecting a kaleidoscope of colors, or the lush shoreline teeming with wildlife. Ideal for adventures and peaceful getaways, the lakes offer a diverse range of experiences such as fishing, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, or lakeside hiking.

Yellowstone Lake

Nestled in the heart of Yellowstone National Park, the beautiful Yellowstone Lake is surrounded by mountain ranges and splendid scenery. This magnificent lake freezes and forms a thick layer of ice on the surface during the beginning of winter in December and January. The lake thaws out once summer is close and the temperature rises in May and June. Considered as one of the highest mountain lakes in North America, this massive lake drains into the Yellowstone River in the North. This turquoise blue lake is also a breeding ground for a variety of trouts, making it a popular spot for trout fishing.

Grand Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone National Park, WY, United States, 82190
Crater Lake

The Crater Lake is a beautiful expanse of water that offers scenic views to the visitors. Formed over 7,700 years ago when a volcanic eruption caused the collapse of Mount Mazama, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States and one of the deepest in the world, with a maximum depth of 1,943 feet. The lake is surrounded by beautiful trees like pine, fir and hemlock. The azure waters of the lake are perfect for boat tours and visitors can also enjoy walking and hiking trails.

Rim Drive, Crater Lake National Park, Chiloquin, OR, United States, 97604
Bear Lake

A picture-postcard attraction, Bear Lake is encased by Hallett Peak and the Continental Divide. Perched at an elevation of 9,449 feet, its banks are dotted with ponderosa pines that are sure to have a soothing effect on your eyes. One of the most popular lakes in Rocky Mountain National Park, it is also a great spot for those who enjoy bird-watching.

Bear Lake Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO, United States, 80517
Jenny Lake

Jenny Lake is a must-see destination in Grand Teton National Park. This stunning glacial lake is surrounded by steep, rocky peaks that reflect in the crystal-clear waters of the lake, creating a picture-perfect view. The lake is popular among visitors for its scenic boat tours and hiking trails. You can take a boat across the lake to the Cascade Canyon Trailhead, which provides access to some of the park's most popular hiking trails. Or, you can simply take a leisurely walk around the lake on the flat, paved trail that offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks.

Moran, Grand Teton National Park, Moran, WY, United States, 83414
Lake McDonald

Located in the heart of the Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald charms visitors with its stunning blue waters against the backdrop of imposing alpine landscapes. It is the largest lake in the park, spanning over 10 miles (16 kilometers) in length and up to 1.5 miles in width (2.41 kilometers), with a maximum depth of around 470 feet (143.2 meters). One of the defining features of Lake McDonald is its crystal clear water, which is fed by the surrounding mountain streams and rivers. The lake's water is cold, even in the summer, and has a blue-green tint due to the presence of glacial rock flour suspended in the water.

West Glacier, Glacier National Park, West Glacier, MT, United States, 59936
Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is a pristine alpine lake that is encased within rugged mountain peaks. This includes Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain which rise to a height of 12,713 and 12,324 feet respectively. Here, you will also be able to hear the sound of gushing waterfalls which is sure to have a soothing effect on your mind. Emerald Lake is the most prominent spot on the Bear Lake Trail.

Off Bear Lake Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO, United States, 80517
Mono Lake

Considered to have existed for almost 760,000 years, the Mono Lake is among the oldest in the country. Boasting an extremely productive ecosystem, the desert lake has always been a source of wonder for many. The wonder only escalated when, after huge amounts of water were diverted to another location, massive calcium-carbonate formations were exposed. These geological formations, called tufa towers, are almost 30 feet (9 meters) tall. Owing to the mystique of the tufa towers, the rare flora and fauna, and the brilliant green shade that the lake takes on in spring, a large number of tourists visit this spot every year.

Off US-395, Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve, Lee Vining, CA, United States, 93541
Lake Clark

A pristine attraction, Lake Clark is nestled in the Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Named after the chief of the Nushagak trading post, John W. Clark, this lake spans across 64 kilometers (40 miles). The crystal clear waters of the lake are sure to soothe your eyes and calm your mind.

Lake Clark, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Port Alsworth, AK, United States, 99653
Fontana Lake

Fontana Lake is a pristine site encased with lush forests and rolling hills. This is a massive reservoir that spans about 17 miles (27 kilometers) and forms part of the southern border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the northern border of part of the Nantahala National Forest. The lake is named after the local Montvale Lumber Company logging town. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, and picnicking at the site. This attraction warrants a visit during your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Fontana Lake, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN, United States, 37738
Tenaya Lake

Tenaya Lake is one of the most beautiful attractions in the Yosemite National Park. An awe-inspiring site, the crystal clear waters of this alpine lake vividly mirror their environs. Surrounded by majestic mountains and fringed with pine trees, Tenaya Lake epitomizes serenity and rightly beckons a number of visitors annually. Keep your cameras ready, especially on clear days, as the scene created around the lake should be frozen in time for a future memory.

Off Tioga Road, Tenaya Canyon, Yosemite National Park, CA, United States, 95389
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