The USA has some of the nicest natural scenery anywhere in the world. With 423 National Parks in the United States, there is an endless amount of places you can visit easily. If you’re looking to disconnect and relax by the water, the clearest lakes in the US are the best way to do that.
Whether you’re floating on an inflatable on the water so clear that you seem to be hovering above the surface or canoeing amongst the tranquility of these secluded lakes, you’re sure to relax and go into a clear state of mind – a reflection of the very lakes you are floating on.
The largest alpine lake in North America, Lake Tahoe goes nearly 1,650 feet (500 meters) deep at its the lowest point and happens to have some of the purest waters in the US.
The crystal clear turquoise lake is fed by the Sierra Nevada Range and actually sits at an elevation of 6,225 feet (1,900 meters) above sea level.
The Lakes in Glacier National Park
Located in Montana is one of the nicest parks with some of the clearest lakes in the US. Glacier National Park has several lakes, the largest being Mcdonald Lake, Saint Mary Lake, Swiftcurrent Lake, and Grinnell Lake. The park is also home to several short hikes.
With glaciers, snow-capped peaks, cute cabins, and stunning scenery, this is one of the best parks to go backpacking and hiking in the USA.
Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
With more than 55 lakes spread out over the Coeur d’Alene of Idaho that was carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago, leaving these beautiful pristine lakes dotting the landscape over 25 miles.
If you’re lucky you may spot bald eagles flying above or perched in a tree along the lakeshore.
Grand Teton National Park Lakes
Grand Teton is one of the best national parks in the US with fantastic untouched wilderness, and its lakes are no exception. Fed by the Teton Glacier, there are several lakes most of which are crystal clear.
The further north you’ll find the fantastic Jackson Hole which is a popular summer vacation spot full of cottages and mountain lodges.
The lakes in Arizona are some of the nicest in the US, and Lake Powell is one of the most iconic. The lake is a large reservoir that was formed by a dam that sits along the border of Arizona and Utah, the blue water and barren landscape surrounding it creates a very unique and stark contrast.
With around 2 million visitors each year, it’s the second-largest artificial reservoir in the US. People come here for all kinds of activities from camping to wakeboarding to hiking the amazing surrounding wilderness.
Crater Lake, Oregon
Famous for its crystal clear and stunningly blue water, Crater Lake formed around 8,000 years ago after Mount Mazama violently exploded, leaving only a crater in its destruction.
At 1,946 feet (594 meters) it’s considered the deepest lake in the US and the calmness of the water helps to give it its ultra-transparent quality.
Lake George, New York
In upstate New York away from the city hotel scene, you’ll find many lakes within the Adirondack State Park, including the spectacular Lake George.
At 32 miles long (51 km) it’s also known as the Queen of American Lakes because of its pristine beauty and deep blue water, attracting around 50,000 tourists each year.
Flathead Lake, Montana
With some of the clearest water in the US spread across 188 square miles, it’s the largest freshwater lake east of the Mississippi.
People flock here for all sorts of water sports and activities such as sailing, wakeboarding, fishing, swimming (with your dog), boating, and camping.
The Wild Horse Island found in the lake it’s a great wildlife refuge with more than 70 species of birds, coyotes, deer, bears, and bighorn sheep calling it their home.
Hanging Lake, Colorado
This incredible lake was formed by limestone deposits giving way to incredibly clear turquoise water that is fed from little cascading waterfalls surrounding the lake as well as the Spouting Rock waterfall further up.
Located on the cliffs of Glenwood Canyon in western Colorado, it’s quite a hike to get here so be prepared, but the view and environment are definitely worth the trek.
Torch Lake, Michigan
The ‘Chain of Lakes’ in Michigan is a series of 14 lakes connected by one river creating a unique natural wonder with crystal clear water that almost reminds one of the Caribbean.
As you can see from the photo below, it’s a popular spot for boating, fishing, and relaxing on the sand bars scattered throughout.
Tenaya Lake, California
8,150 feet (2,480 meters) above sea level you’ll find Tenaya Lake in Yosemite National Park in California.
It’s quite far from Yosemite Valley so there are usually barely any people which means you might have the whole place to yourself – even the sandy beach at the east end of the crystal-clear lake!
**Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. When booking through one of our links, we earn a small kickback at no extra cost to you and it’s a big help to keep the site up and running.