One of the most un-spoilt states in the United States in Idaho. Here you find mountainous terrains like the Rocky Mountains, Great Basin, and Snake River Plain. Therefore, you can imagine how beautiful Idaho is. Landscapes attract many visitors to explore. If you enjoy seeing scenic views and live for the countryside this is a place you should put on your bucket list to visit. Here we have selected the 15 best lakes in Idaho to make your trip worthwhile.
The Best Lakes to Visit in Idaho, United State
1. Lake Pend Oreille
In Bonner & Kootenai counties, you find one of Idaho’s largest lakes Lake Pend Oreille. The lagoons surrounded by national forests, offering you a scenic landscape to explore. Furthermore, it is the fifth deepest lake as well. When standing on the State Highway 200 and Pend Oreille Scenic Byway, you will notice the lake looks like an ear. The entire shoreline comprised of mountains. So if you enjoy hiking, fishing, paddling, and many other sports you can do it here.
2. Bear Lake
In Bear Lake County, you find a natural freshwater lake Bear Lake on the border at Idaho-Utah. The lagoon splits between the two states with the Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge found on Idaho’s side. Here you see whitefaces ibis, geese, sandhill cranes, mule deer, and so much more. Furthermore, the lake also goes by the name of the Caribbean of the Rockies with its turquoise color. While there, you may even spot the folklore Bear Lake Monster. You can lie on the three-kilometer beach; do hiking, sailing, scuba diving, and fishing.
3. Coeur d’Alene Lake
Another fabulous lake in Benewah & Kootenai Counties is the Coeur d’Alene Lake. The lagoon stretches across both counties with an incredible shoreline to explore. While it came into being by the Missoula Floods Saint Joe and Coeur d’Alene feed it today. The ponds surrounded by forest and mountains. During summer, it is a popular vacation spot for enjoying the stunning views and beaches. You can find two trails and two golf clubs here.
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4. Redfish Lake
One of the most beautiful lakes found in Idaho is the Redfish Lake in Custer County. What makes the lagoon so spectacular are the mountains surrounding it. Here you can see the sockeye salmon swimming in the water but you cannot remove them. There is a long shoreline stretching for 18kms and encircled by a trail. Furthermore, you can camp, kayak, and canoe here.
5. Priest Lake
Another stunning lake is the one found in Bonner County, Priest Lake. The area separates into the Upper and Lower Priest. The lagoon is ancient and plays an integral part in the logging industry. Furthermore, it is a popular destination for wildlife exploring, hiking, hunting, and so much more.
6. Lake Cascade
Lake Cascade, also named The Mile High Playground is the nature lover’s outdoor play area. Do you enjoy fishing? Then this is the place to catch trout, salmon, smallmouth bass, and many other fish species. Further, it is the home to the state park with a wide selection of campsites available. You can enjoy hiking, snowmobiling (winter), bird watching, and boating. For a more comfortable stay head over to the Tamarack Resort on the western side that is open all year round.
7. Stanley Lake
The lake’s surrounded by alpine trees and found at the base of Sawtooth Mountain. Here you can find three camping sites surrounded by the lagoon. Take the family to enjoy swimming, picnicking, boating, or canoeing. You can enjoy some fishing and spot the wildlife around the lake.
8. Henrys Lake
Now we head over to Fremont County for another stunning lake, Henrys Lake. You find the lagoon on the southwest side of the mountains in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. The pond might not be massive but has the best scenic view to enjoy. Furthermore, it is also the home to the Continental Divide Trail, Henrys Lake State Park, and Frome Park. One of the most popular recreations is fishing as you can find many fish species here. On the other hand, it is the home to different birds as well.
9. Alice Lake
The next lake is federally protected within the Sawtooth Mountains in Blaine County. Here you can enjoy scenic views to capture on camera, as it does not offer you many water activities. The reason for not being able to swim here is that the lagoon remains frozen even in summer. Here you can hike and visit the surrounding areas by taking the Pettit Lake trailhead or visit by car.
10. Sawtooth Lake
You can access the Sawtooth Lake via Iron Creek trailhead and the campgrounds. The lake remains frozen into July and does not offer many activities to do except camping and hiking. However, to make up for the loss of water sports, it provides you an incredible view of Mount Regan and Alpine Peak.
11. C.J. Strike Reservoir
You find this magnificent lake along the Snake River in Idaho. The lagoon is a great summer place that offers you family-friendly activates. You can bring your angling gear for some fishing and can camp out along the shoreline. Here you find four campsites providing a boat launch and picnic areas.
12. Alturas Lake
The lagoon is the second largest lake found in Blaine County. You can access the Alturas Lake by road, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Therefore, You can also boat, swim, water ski, fish, and so much more and you can even do mountain biking as well. Here you can find different campgrounds along the shore with a stunning view of the mountain range.
13. Warm Lake
One of the largest lakes found in Boise National Park is Warm Lake. Here you can enjoy the magnificent scenery offered in the area. You can get the best glimpse of elk, bear, moose, and mule deer here. Furthermore, it is an excellent place for bird watching, fishing, and camping. You can cool down in the water at the beach or rent a comfortable spot at the two lodges available.
14. Lucky Peak Reservoir
The lake stretches over three counties along the Boise River. You can relax on the sandy beach in The Luck Peak Reservoir State Park and is an excellent spot for swimming. On the opposite end, you have the recreation area with a boat ramp, beach, and tables to enjoy a picnic. To get to the lagoon, you need to take State Highway 21.
15. Deadwood Reservoir
Another lagoon you can visit in the Boise National Forest is the Deadwood Reservoir. Here you can find a recreation area for water skiing, swimming, and fishing. Alternatively, you can go hiking and camping here as well. There are three camping sites available along the lagoon. All of the camping grounds have a boat ramp accessible.
As you can see, Idaho has some great spots for you to enjoy camping out, fishing, boating, and more. So next time you plan your vacation, make sure to visit the 15 best lakes in Idaho.