10 Most Beautiful lakes in Idaho

Idaho, also known as the “Gem State,” is renowned for its diverse and breathtaking landscapes. Among its many natural treasures, Idaho boasts a plethora of enchanting lakes that offer an escape into tranquility and serenity. From crystal-clear waters to rugged mountain backdrops, the lakes of Idaho provide a stunning setting for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and adventure seekers. In this article, we will dive into the beauty and allure of Idaho’s lakes, highlighting a few of the most captivating ones that you should not miss.

Location of Idaho

Idaho is a state located in the northwestern region of the United States. It is bordered by the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, the states of Montana and Wyoming to the east, Nevada and Utah to the south, and Oregon and Washington to the west. The state’s capital and largest city is Boise, which is situated in the southwestern part of Idaho.


Number of Lakes in Idaho

Idaho is often referred to as the “Land of Lakes” due to its abundance of natural bodies of water. While it is challenging to provide an exact number, Idaho is estimated to have over 2,000 lakes throughout the state. These lakes vary in size, from small alpine lakes nestled in the mountains to larger reservoirs created by dams. The lakes in Idaho offer a range of recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, swimming, and camping, making them popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


Top 10 Most Beautiful Lakes in Idaho

  1. Redfish Lake: Nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains, Redfish Lake is known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, surrounded by rugged peaks. The picturesque setting, with the Sawtooth Range reflecting in the lake, makes it a favorite among photographers and outdoor enthusiasts.

  2. Lake Coeur d’Alene: Lake Coeur d’Alene is a scenic gem in northern Idaho. With its pristine waters, forested shoreline, and distant mountain views, it offers an idyllic setting for boating, fishing, and water sports. The charming town of Coeur d’Alene adds to the lake’s appeal.

  3. Priest Lake: Located in the northernmost part of the state, Priest Lake is a hidden paradise surrounded by lush forests and pristine wilderness. Its emerald-green waters, sandy beaches, and tranquil atmosphere make it a perfect destination for camping, fishing, and kayaking.

  4. Payette Lake: Situated in McCall, Payette Lake is a picturesque alpine lake surrounded by the beauty of the Payette National Forest. The clear waters of the lake, coupled with the stunning mountain backdrop, create a serene setting for water sports, fishing, and hiking.

  5. Stanley Lake: Nestled in the heart of the Sawtooth Mountains, Stanley Lake is renowned for its postcard-perfect scenery. The lake reflects the majestic peaks and offers opportunities for camping, boating, and hiking. It is an excellent base for exploring the nearby Sawtooth Wilderness.

  6. Lake Pend Oreille: Lake Pend Oreille is the largest lake in Idaho, spanning over 43 miles in length. Surrounded by mountains and national forests, it offers stunning views and a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, boating, and wildlife watching.

  7. Upper and Lower Palisades Lake: Tucked away in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the Palisades Lakes are a hidden gem. The two lakes are connected by a picturesque waterfall and are surrounded by lush greenery. Hiking, fishing, and camping opportunities abound in this tranquil wilderness area.

  8. Bear Lake: Straddling the Idaho-Utah border, Bear Lake is famous for its striking turquoise-blue waters. Surrounded by scenic mountains and sandy beaches, it offers a range of water activities such as boating, swimming, and jet skiing. The vibrant colors of the lake make it a must-visit destination.

  9. Alturas Lake: Located in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Alturas Lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and picturesque setting. The lake is surrounded by dense forests and offers opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and hiking along the nearby trails.

  10. Henrys Lake: Situated in Island Park, Henrys Lake is a serene mountain lake with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. It is renowned for its excellent trout fishing and is a popular destination for anglers. The peaceful ambiance and scenic beauty make it a haven for nature lovers.

These are just a few examples of the many stunning lakes that adorn Idaho’s landscape. Each lake has its unique charm and recreational opportunities, providing visitors with unforgettable experiences and a chance to connect with the state’s natural splendor. Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or simply a scenic retreat, Idaho’s lakes have something to offer everyone.


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