10 Beautiful Lakes In Montana, USA

lakes in montana
Matthew
Matthew  
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Nestled on the western side of the US, Montana is a state that showcases diverse terrains. It has mountainous regions, vast rolling plains, and lush forested areas. Because of its topography, this state is one of the most visited places for outdoor adventures. Some of the most beautiful parks in this region include Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald, Big Sky Resort, Logan Pass, and a lot more. Besides these enchanting natural attractions, Montano is home to captivating cities and charming towns: Helena, Bozeman, Billings, Whitefish, and Missoula, to name a few. For tourists who are planning to go on a road trip and visit different attractions on this side of the US, here is a list of the most beautiful lakes in Montana, USA. Browse below just in case you would want to swing by.

1. Flathead Lake

Flathead River, Flathead Lake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Katie Brady used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Are you a nature-lover and an adventure-seeker by heart? Have you been thinking of going on a road trip to Montana any time soon? If so, you might like to swing by the breathtaking Flathead Lake. Nestled on the western side of Montana, Flathead Lake is a vast natural freshwater lake that is home to an abundance of largemouth bass, brook trout, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and brown trout. It has 185 miles (297km) of shoreline and 200 square miles (517 square kilometers) of water. Flathead Lake is a superb destination for sailing, waterskiing, fishing, swimming, and more.

Flathead Lake

Address: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 490 N Meridian Rd, Kalispell, MT 59901

Website: Flathead Lake

2. Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jürgen Regel, Mar... used under CC BY 3.0

Nesting in the enchanting Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald is one of the numerous lakes in the park, and it is also the largest. It spans a lengthy 10 miles (16km) of land. For tourists who are planning to come to this stunning piece of heaven on earth for swimming and a picnic, the best spot is at the west entrance of the park. If you are into hiking, the area by McDonald Creek is the best place to start. The hiking routes are scenic, well-trafficked, and there’s a little beach area where you can stop by for a swim. Plus, you might want to take souvenir pictures of the famous colorful rocks in Lake McDonald.

Lake McDonald

Address: Glacier National Park, Flathead County, Montana, US

Website: Lake McDonald

3. Saint Mary Lake

Lower Saint Mary Lake MT1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Acroterion used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Just like Lake McDonald, Saint Mary Lake nestles in Glacier National Park, and it is next to it when it comes to size. Right on the eastern side of the park, this picturesque lake is a superb place for tourists who like to watch wildlife in its natural habitat. Grizzly bears, deer, and elks are a common sight at Saint Mary Lake. The flora in this paradise is also breathtaking. Aside from admiring nature and its life force, you can hike in the area. Some of the nearby trails include Apgar Lookout Trail, Asper Park Trail, Avalanche Lake Trail, Beaver Pond Loop, and a lot more.

Saint Mary Lake

Address: Glacier National Park (U.S.), Glacier County, Montana

Website: Saint Mary Lake

4. Whitefish Lake

Whitefish Lake State Park Montana
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user John David Stutts used under CC BY-SA 3.0

For tourists who are planning to spend a much-deserved holiday in Flathead County in Montana, be sure to add a day in Whitefish Lake to your vacation plans. This oligotrophic freshwater lake offers an abundance of outdoor opportunities for its visitors, whether you are a family, a couple on a date, or a solo wanderer on a retreat. Its shores are not only ideal for swimming and fishing but are also a great place to waterski and boat. There is a secluded campground near the beach that attracts tourists who want to relax and reconnect with nature. During the winter season, Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort is packed with tourists from all over the country.

Whitefish Lake

Address: Flathead County, Montana

Website: Whitefish Lake

5. Swan Lake

Swan Lake
Source: Pixabay

Swan Lake is situated in Lake County, Montana. In terms of size, it features a length that stretches 8 miles (12.8km), and a mile (1.6km) width. Fishermen often have a field day in Swan Lake as it has an abundance of trout, salmon, and northern pike. Aside from fishing, visitors love to set up a little picnic area by the beach for some old-school bonding with their loved ones. There are fire rings and toilets nearby that guests can access. Also, on-site is a campground, ready to give shelter to tourists who want a day in nature.

Swan Lake

Address: Lake County, Montana

Website: Swan Lake

6. Earthquake Lake

Earthquake Lake (Madison County, Montana, USA)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user James St. John used under CC BY 2.0

Earthquake Lake, or simply Quake Lake, is a beautiful lake that is situated in the southwestern regions of the state. Its name is derived from an earthquake incident in 1959 that lead to the creation of this stunning body of water. The lake has a mountainous backdrop that is adorned by lush pine trees, and it is home to thriving wildlife. Although the lake seems enchanting, lots of tourists are afraid to go into the waters as the seismic creation of it led to the death of 28 people. Brave ones will fish near the shore. Most often, tourists hike the safe and labeled trails that surround the lake. The visitor center is an excellent place to know more about this mysterious lake.

Earthquake Lake

Address: US Route 287, Cameron, Montana, 59720, United States

Website: Earthquake Lake

7. Bowman Lake

Bowman Lake
Source: Needpix

Together with Saint Mary Lake and Lake McDonald, Bowman Lake nests in Glacier National Park as well. It can be found in the northwestern portion of the park. Although not commonly visited by tourists for its secluded location, those who do are enchanted by its beauty. Its mountainous backdrop creates postcard-perfect images. You can swim, fish, and kayak in Bowman Lake. Also, there’s a little remote campground in the area that attracts nature lovers who want some peace and quiet away from the crowd.

Bowman Lake

Address: Glacier National Park, Flathead County, Montana, US

Website: Bowman Lake

8. Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake
Source: Needpix

Complete your Glacier National Park adventure by swinging by Avalanche Lake. It nests southwest of Bearhat Mountain, creating a scenic mountainous backdrop for this piece of heaven on earth. Aside from its landscape, dense woods characterize this lake that is best known for its superb hiking trails. It boasts a lengthy 6.7km (10,8mi) route that starts from Lake McDonald. This route is perfect for hikers of moderate skill level. Aside from hiking, watching wildlife and photography are other superb things to do on this lake.

Avalanche Lake

Address: Glacier National Park, Flathead County, Montana, US

9. Echo Lake

Echo Lake
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Akminehan1 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Echo Lake is a breathtaking little lake in Flathead Valley in Montana. It offers warm blue water that is perfect, not only for swimming but also for watersports. Kayaking and canoeing are popular activities on the lake as it is dotted with bays and small islands. It features a lightly wooded shoreline that has eateries, shops, and some private properties. For tourists who like fishing, expect fresh catches of largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and northern pike.

Echo Lake

Address: Flathead County, Montana, United States

10. Swiftcurrent Lake

Swiftcurrent Lake Glacier National Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Cmichel67 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Make the most of your Glacier National Park escapade by adding Swiftcurrent Lake to your long list of sites to visit in the park. It is beautified by giant snow-capped peaks that create a majestic reflection on the lake’s crystal clear waters. This side of the park is a well-trafficked destination for scenic boat rides. If you are not into group activities, you can always rent a canoe or kayaking equipment from the nearby hotel. Nestled on the eastern shore of Swiftcurrent Lake is the largest hotel you can find in the vastness of Glacier National Park - Many Glacier Hotel. Unlike the other lakes in the park, Swiftcurrent Lake is not much of a good fishing site.

Swiftcurrent Lake

Address: Glacier National Park, Flathead County, Montana, US

Fall in love with Montana's breathtaking lakes

Montana is a charming US state that has diverse landscapes. It has mountain ranges, rolling plains, and lush forested areas that provide an abundance of outdoor opportunities for its guests. Lots of adventure-seekers and nature-lovers drive all the way to this side of the country to unwind and reconnect with nature. If you like swimming, fishing, watersports, camping, and hiking, you will surely be thrilled by this list of beautiful lakes in Montana, USA.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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