The USA has various awe-inspiring natural wonders you can visit and explore, including canyons, mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and crystal-clear lakes.
In today’s article, I will discuss some of the clearest and most beautiful lakes you should see in your lifetime. These gorgeous lakes will give you a feel of the Caribbean because of their cleanliness and breathtaking scenery. You will love these clear lakes in USA.
Some of the clearest lakes in the USA you should consider visiting include Lake Tahoe, Crater Lake, Lake Michigan, Lake George, Hanging Lake, etc. Without further ado, let’s discuss these lakes in detail and see why they’re worth visiting.
15 Clear Lakes in USA You Can Visit for a Memorable Experience
Table of Contents
- 15 Clear Lakes in USA You Can Visit for a Memorable Experience
- 1. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
- 2. Crater Lake, Oregon
- 3. Lake George, New York
- 4. Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
- 5. Hanging Lake, Colorado
- 6. Newfound Lake, New Hampshire
- 7. Lake Chelan, Washington State
- 8. Flathead Lake, Montana
- 9. Torch Lake, Michigan
- 10. Deer Lake, Minnesota
- 11. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
- 12. Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah
- 13. Lake Michigan, Michigan/Wisconsin/Illinois/Indiana
- 14. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
- 15. Lake Superior, Michigan/Minnesota/Wisconsin
- What’s Your Pick?
You can find stunning blue-green bodies of water literally anywhere in the United States. For instance, Lake Superior makes a great vacation destination for travelers who prefer visiting larger bodies of water. In fact, it’s the largest freshwater lake in the world.
Alternatively, you can hit the cleanest body of water in the USA, Crater Lake, and enjoy the stunning scenery with your loved ones or alone.
Let’s further explore the clearest lakes in the USA and make a pick.
1. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
If you’re a fan of large alpine lakes, consider visiting Lake Tahoe in North America. It’s a crystal-clear lake with a depth of 1,645 feet and 6,225 feet above sea level.
Moreover, it’s one of the cleanest lakes in the whole country. About 3 million people visit this lake annually because it’s stunning, popular, and offers different outdoor activities.
The fact that you can see over 70 feet below the surface confirms the cleanliness of this impressive natural lake.
If you visit Lake Tahoe during summer, you can sunbathe on the shores and even swim in the clear but chilly waters if you’re brave.
If you’re a fan of hiking, I suggest visiting the Nevada portion of this lake. This part has a state park with hiking trails and Sand Harbor Beach.
You won’t regret visiting Lake Tahoe during winter because it’s equally stunning all year round and offers exciting activities like skiing and biking.
2. Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake is the cleanest lake in the country, as it’s less polluted than other lakes. It’s also the deepest lake in the USA, with a depth of 1,943 feet and stunning surroundings.
So, if you’re looking for a crystal-clear lake you can visit with your friends and family and explore nature, consider Crater Lake in Oregon.
If you stop by this lake, you can also enjoy the forests surrounding the lake consisting of dense pine trees that will leave you breathless.
Additionally, this lake is part of a closed water system filled with a large amount of snow and rain.
If you visit this stunning lake, you can take a hike with your loved ones, drive the 33-mile Rim Drive surrounding the lake, or complete the junior ranger program. Other exciting activities include camping, fishing, and stargazing.
Lastly, you can see the popular 30-foot tree stump, known as the “Old Man of the Lake,” which has floated in the waters of Crater Lake for over a century.
3. Lake George, New York
The Queen of the American Lakes, Lake George New York State will impress you. It’s one of the biggest and clearest lakes in the USA.
Moreover, Lake George has 300 islands and about 100 miles of shoreline. This lake sits in the Adirondack State Park and attracts approximately 50,000 people in summer. Outdoor summer activities include jet skiing, water skiing, kayaking, rafting, etc.
However, it’s worth the visit in winter as well. You will love the charming restaurants, ice bars, the Winter Carnival, and Ice Castles. Outdoor winter activities include winter hiking, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, etc.
Look no further than Lake George if you’re looking for a summer or winter vacation spot this year.
4. Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
The Coeur d’Alene area in Idaho consists of 55 lakes. They’re all remains of the glaciers in the Ice Ages, so they’re stunning natural wonders.
This vast collection includes Lake Coeur d’Alene, a well-known vacation spot for friends, families, and solo travelers. Here, you can soak up the natural beauty of the lovely beaches and surrounding nature. The Idaho sunsets will make you feel peaceful and appreciate life.
Most tourists explore the North Idaho Centennial Trail, along the Washington and Idaho state line, and spend quality time with their loved ones.
Lake Coeur d’Alene averages 1-2 miles in width and 25 miles in length, with around 135 miles of shoreline. The lovely shoreline has parks, trails, beaches, and campgrounds for exploration and enjoyment.
Outdoor activities include hiking, wildlife viewing, boating, fishing, etc.
5. Hanging Lake, Colorado
You can access the Hanging Lake in Colorado by taking the Hiking Lake Trial. The hike takes 2-3 hours, and you will probably feel exhausted when you reach your destination.
Nonetheless, your pain and suffering will be worth it because this lake offers visitors one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring views.
A geological fault caused the lake bed to fall away from the valley’s floor, and that’s how this lovely lake was created. The Bridal Veil Falls fill the lake and provide stunning views for travelers.
Common outdoor activities at this beautiful lake include hiking, fishing, kayaking, rafting, exploring caves, enjoying hot springs, off-roading, etc.
In short, Hanging Lake is a paradise for outdoorsy people and nature enthusiasts.
6. Newfound Lake, New Hampshire
The Newfound Lake in New Hampshire has crystal-clear water and a lovely beach you can enjoy with your loved ones.
You can spend a day, week, or whole vacation at Newfound Lake with your family and friends and have a good time. The clear waters and local eateries make this lake great for enjoying a picnic and exploring nature.
The stunning lake is 6 miles long and 2.5 miles wide with a minimum depth of about 183 feet (it’s the deepest and cleanest lake in New Hampshire).
This beautiful lake is filled with eight underground springs twice yearly, making this well-known natural wonder so clean and worth visiting.
If you visit this lake, you will likely spend much of your time in the Wellington State Park, swimming, hiking, or exploring the lake by boat.
Alternatively, you can rent kayaks in Hebron and step up your vacation game.
7. Lake Chelan, Washington State
Lake Chelan in Washington State makes a great vacation spot for partiers, water-sports enthusiasts, sunbathers, and outdoorsy people. The area has sunny weather and offers many things you can do with your family.
The most popular attractions of this lake include surrounding nature, lovely vistas of the lake, boating, beautiful hikes, fishing, vineyards, orchards, and festivals. Other activities include water sports, music, and wine tasting.
There’s something for everyone at this lake because it’s one of the biggest and deepest lakes in the state. Lake Chelan is 1,486 deep and about 50 miles long.
However, it’s a narrow lake formed by glaciers during the ice age.
Moreover, the lake has 300 sunny days. Therefore, you can explore this natural beauty anytime and enjoy the stunning landscapes.
8. Flathead Lake, Montana
The Flathead Lake in Montana attracts people who enjoy aquatic activities. So, if you’re searching for a vacation place to spend quality time with loved ones, doing something new and exciting, consider Flathead Lake.
It’s the largest lake west of Mississippi, guarded by the two beautiful Mission and Swan mountains. The mountains complement the lake and offer stunning views for visitors.
This freshwater lake is over 27 miles long and 371 feet deep. Common exciting activities at this lake include boating, sailing, fishing, picnics, etc. You can also explore and enjoy the beauties of Glacier National Park.
In winter, you can also visit this lake and enjoy cold-weather activities like cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and more.
9. Torch Lake, Michigan
A collection of rivers and lakes known as the Chain of Lakes includes Torch Lake. It’s a large and unique lake 19 miles long and 285 feet deep that’s worth your visit.
The Ojibwe Tribe is responsible for the name of this lake because they used torches for hunting at night. I like this lake because it’s clear and surrounded by pine trees that offer fresh and aromatized air.
In my opinion, this lake has the most beautiful turquoise color. And National Geographic agrees with me—they ranked Torch Lake as the third most beautiful lake in the world.
Common summer activities include absorbing the lake’s natural beauty, sailing, paddle boarding, swimming, kayaking, and buying cheap souvenirs. In winter, you can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowboarding, and sledding.
10. Deer Lake, Minnesota
There’s a wide selection of Deer Lakes in the country. However, you can find this one in Minnesota. The waters of Deer Lake stay clean because the water comes primarily from rainfall, underground, and surface springs.
This lake is about 5 miles long, 1.5 miles wide, 121 feet deep, and filled with many rock piles and reefs that boost the lake’s scenery but pose a danger for boaters.
Additionally, this lake can change colors during summer. If you visit Deer Lake on a bright summer day, you can see the body of water going from crystal blue to red, purple, orange, and pink as the sun goes down.
Most people visit this lake because of the crystal-clear waters, surrounding forests, and various outdoor activities like fishing, birdwatching, kayaking, canoeing, and boating. You can also visit the golf courses nearby.
11. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
If you visit New Hampshire’s Lake Regions, you can see one of the largest lakes at the edge of the White Mountains. The popular crystal-clear Lake Winnipesaukee is about 9 miles wide, 28 miles long, and 213 feet deep.
Many visit this lake for the famous annual Ice-Out Contest, while others see this natural beauty for simple reasons, like enjoying the beaches and swimming in summer.
Most people stay at the Ellacoya State Park because of the changing rooms, campsites, and sandy beaches. You can also drive around the beautiful lake and absorb the beauty of the surrounding regions.
Common activities at this lake include cruising, visiting the 20th-century castle and other attractions, swimming, sunbathing, exploring nature, playing games at Funspot at Weirs Beach, etc.
12. Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah
Although Lake Powell is a manufactured lake, this Arizona lake still stunning and worth your visit.
Many visit Lake Powell because it’s one of the prettiest lakes in the USA. It’s about 186 miles long, 25 miles wide, and 132 feet deep. The cobalt waters complement the colored canyons and maroon cliffs of the Southwest, leaving visitors speechless.
If you visit Lake Powell on a sunny day, you can see the sky’s reflection in the water, as it’s so clear. You can explore this lake by kayak or partake in outdoor activities like boating, exploring the surrounding nature, taking a scenic drive, etc.
13. Lake Michigan, Michigan/Wisconsin/Illinois/Indiana
The charming Lake Michigan belongs to Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. However, this crystal-clear lake is mostly a part of Illinois, also known as the Windy City. The USA and Canada have the largest collection of interconnected freshwater lakes by total area and the second-largest by total value.
The Greatest Lakes of North America include five lakes, which comprise around 21% of the world’s total freshwater by surface area. Lake Michigan is the third-largest of these lakes, with a shoreline stretching four states. It’s about 300 miles long, 118 miles wide, and 925 feet deep.
Many stop by Lake Michigan because of the wide range of activities. Common activities at this lake include swimming at one of the stunning beaches, fishing and boating at the many marinas, and hiking and camping at one of the numerous parks along the shoreline.
Lake Michigan has something for everyone, so explore places to stay near this lake and soak up the beauty of this natural wonder.
14. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Most Missourians spend their summer vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks. Although it’s a human-made lake, the Lake of Ozarks is still stunning and attracts many tourists.
The impounding of the Osage River in central Missouri resulted in the well-known, clear Lake of the Ozarks. The deep blue waters and unique serpentine shape make this lake a popular summertime destination for locals and travelers.
This stunning lake is about 220 miles long, 250 miles wide, and 130 feet deep, with over 1,100 miles of shoreline.
If you visit this lake, you can enjoy the public beaches, hike through the forests and take in the fresh air, dive into the crystal-clear water for a good time, or have a delicious meal at some of the many lakeside restaurants.
You might enjoy reading my article on the largest inland lakes in the US.
15. Lake Superior, Michigan/Minnesota/Wisconsin
The well-known Lake Superior offers 2,700 miles of shoreline stretching over Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota and branching over Ontario, Canada. It’s one of the clearest and largest lakes by surface area.
The isolated location and long freezing winters decrease farming along the shores and keep the lake clean. It’s about 350 miles long, 160 miles wide, and 500 feet deep.
You will fall in love with the crystal-clear waters of Superior Lake at first glance because this body of water looks like something you would expect to encounter in Hawaii.
Popular tourist attractions include the Shipwreck Museum, Great Lakes Aquarium, Split Rock Lighthouse, etc. You can also visit the Copper Falls State Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Isle Royale National Park, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Presque Isle Park, the Porcupine Mountains, Munising Falls, etc.
You can’t get bored in this area because Lake Superior is superior. It’s the perfect place for a summer or winter family vacation.
What’s Your Pick?
Many outdoorsy people pick lakes as their holiday destination because they’re versatile. You can relax by the lake and try different outdoor activities.
Moreover, most lakes offer outstanding scenery, fresh air, impressive views, and nature you can explore. I say most lakes because some aren’t as clean as others.
The lakes above can make your summer or winter vacation unforgettable and enjoyable because they’re some of the clearest lakes in the USA with a lot of traction.
So, choose your preferred lake and escape the busy city streets and buildings with your loved ones or alone.
I covered all of the costs involved in the writing of this post on clear lakes in USA. However, this post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.