1. Flathead Lake, 2. Whitefish Lake, 3. St. Mary Lake, 4. Seeley Lake, 5. Fort Peck Lake, 6. Holland Lake, 7. Dickey Lake, 8. Tally Lake, 9. Hebgen Lake, 10. Canyon Ferry Lake, 11. Lake Koocanusa. The lakes are the ideal summer destination for those who want a place to relax and cool off without descending to cramped beach destinations. Especially in a beautiful land like Montana has no shortage of lakes to visit. Let's join Toplist to discover the most beautiful lakes in Montana!
- Flathead Lake
- Whitefish Lake
- St. Mary Lake
- Seeley Lake
- Fort Peck Lake
- Holland Lake
- Dickey Lake
- Tally Lake
- Hebgen Lake
- Canyon Ferry Lake
- Lake Koocanusa
The biggest natural lake west of the Mississippi River by surface area, Flathead Lake spans over 200 square miles. Highways 93 and 35 both go to Flathead Lake, which is known for its crystal-clear water. Both roads ring the entire body of water and link to one another. Along with six units of Flathead Lake State Park, there are other public access spots along the shore of Flathead Lake.
Flathead Lake’s orchards offer exquisite U-pick Cherry picking options in the spring and early summer. The largest island in the lake and a favored destination for hikers and nature lovers is the unusual Wild Horse Island State Park. It takes just over an hour to get from Missoula, the largest city in Montana, to Flathead Lake.
Swan Lake, another well-liked body of water for outdoor activities, is located close to the northeastern side of Flathead Lake. The nearby Swan Lake Campground is a well-liked camping location. Echo Lake, a nearby lake known for having warmer water than Flathead Lake, is located on the northeast shore. Flathead Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Montana.
Location: Lake / Flathead counties, Montana
The next position on the list of the most beautiful lakes in Montana is Whitefish Lake. At a height of 914 meters, Whitefish Lake is situated northwest of Whitefish, Montana. In Flathead County, it is situated between the northeast flank of Lion Mountain and the northeast flank of the Whitefish Range. This 13 km2 lake is naturally occurring and has a maximum length of 9.3 km, a maximum width of 2.3 km, and a maximum depth of 71 m. Whitefish Lake has a surface area of roughly 13 km2 and a surface elevation of 914 m.
Popular lake activities include swimming, boating, and fishing. Attention cannonball fans: the majority of the year, this glacially sculpted lake is startlingly frigid.
Whitefish Lake State Park offers overnight camping, boat rentals, and a boat ramp on the southwest coast. On the south coast of the lake, Whitefish City Beach is another well-liked location for summertime swimming. One of the top lake resorts in the area is The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, which boasts classic Western charm and breathtaking water views.
Location: Flathead County, Montana
St. Mary Lake
A defining sight of many trips to the park is the scenery as one travels around the 10-mile-long St. Mary Lake. The forested area surrounding the lake is a prime habitat for species including elk, bighorn sheep, and bears since it is at the foot of striking mountain peaks. The region is explored via a number of hiking trails, and two of Glacier’s top campgrounds are close to the water.
The second-largest lake in Glacier National Park is St. Mary Lake. Lake McDonald, its western twin, has a pebbly shore and an even larger surface area. A 4.5-mile round-trip hike leads to Avalanche Lake, one of the most well-liked lakes to hike in Glacier.
Location: Glacier National Park (U.S.), Glacier County, Montana
Seeley Lake, in western Montana, is a scenic lake surrounded by the striking mountain ranges of the Seeley-Swan Valley and is only a one-hour drive from Missoula. The lake, which spans more than 1,000 acres, is situated next to the sizable Bob Marshall Wilderness. Seeley Lake as a whole serves as an entrance to Glacier National Park. Seeley Lake is a well-known location for boating, fishing, and admiring the picturesque shoreline.
Seeley Lake offers a number of fantastic places to stay close to the water in addition to open boat ramps and accessible boat rentals. Three distinct campgrounds close to the water are run by the forest service. There are 29 campsites, a beach, and a swimming area at the Seeley Lake Campground. On Seeley Lake, there are some fantastic places to stay, including Seeley Lake Lodge and The Lodges on Seeley Lake.
One of the 12 lakes in a chain in the Clearwater River Valley is Seeley Lake. Salmon Lake, Placid Lake, and Rainy Lake are some of the additional waterbodies in the Clearwater Chain of Lakes. Each of these lakes has a campground, and boating, water sports, and fishing are also very popular here. Highway 83 provides access to many of these lakes. Others, like Clearwater Lake, necessitate driving on backcountry roads.
Location: Missoula County, Montana
Fort Peck Lake
The Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River created Fort Peck Lake, sometimes known as Lake Fort Peck, a significant reservoir in Montana. The lake, which covers parts of six counties, is located in eastern Montana’s prairie region, about 230 km east of Great Falls and 190 km north of Billings.
The reservoir has 27 designated recreational locations that border its banks, making it a popular tourist destination. The 4,450 km2 Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, which borders almost the entire reservoir, has conserved a large portion of the high prairie and hill region surrounding the lake. As part of an excavation, the lake appears in Jurassic Park III.
Numerous activities, including boating, swimming, and fishing, in particular, are very popular at Fort Peck Lake. The Fort Peck Marina, which is situated just west of the Fort Peck Dam, is a well-liked location to reach the lake. The vast Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge encircles the lake. The complex offers numerous options for hiking, camping, and exploration of this designated wildlife sanctuary.
Location: eastern prairie region of Montana
Among residents, Holland Lake is a very well-liked vacation spot. The lake’s picturesque setting is ideal for a leisurely day. From Highway 83 close to Cordon, Montana, you may easily visit the lake and picnic area, waterfall, and trails. The Swan Range, a stunning section of the Kootenay Mountains that border the Mission Mountains, provides a stunning background for Holland Lake. On the western border of the Bob, Marshall Wilderness Area is where the lake itself is located.
A 400-acre lake is a popular place for boating, and pursuits like water-skiing, kayaking, and boating are all complemented by picturesque views of the Swan Mountains that surround it. Seeley Lake is a popular place for trout and salmon fishing, especially during the week when there are fewer boaters.
Location: Cordon, Montana
Dickey Lake is about three miles long, three miles south of Bancroft, and ten miles from the community of Coe Hill. It connects to the Lake of Islands and consists of two lakes. Its maximum depth is about 29 meters, and its surface area is 828 acres. Fish species include smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, perch, and lake trout. The Loon’s Call is a biannual newsletter that is published by a lake association.
This location provides a fantastic opportunity for watching ducks and other wildlife in addition to a boat launch and fishing. A public restroom, water, and parking are available. A trailhead for an accessible route is located right before reaching the parking lot. Less than a mile round trip, this walk leads to an observation deck with a lake view. There are 23 campsites available for tent and RV camping at the North Dickey Lake Campground. On the other side of the lake is a day-use area with a grassy swimming beach. Dickey Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Montana.
Location: Northwest Montana
In Montana’s Flathead County, in the country’s northwest, there is a freshwater lake called Tally Lake. The lake is located roughly 20 miles west of Whitefish. It is well-known for its tremendous depth and unique geology and is a popular lake for outdoor pursuits like fishing, boating, swimming, cliff jumping, and hiking on the nearby trails. Tally Lake is a well-liked location for fishing because it is home to a variety of fish species. Whitefish, perch, brook, lake, and rainbow trout are a few of these.
More than 1200 acres of the lake’s surface are water. About 3,500 feet above sea level, there lies a lake. It is the deepest natural lake and the deepest lake in Montana, reaching a maximum depth of 445 feet (although others claim it is considerably deeper). Due to high tannin levels in its waters, the lake has a tendency to be warm in late summer despite its size (which is harmless). These make the lake absorb and retain more heat than nearby bodies of water that are relatively cleaner.
Hebgen Lake is located two hours from Bozeman and has a long history as a resort and vacation spot, despite the fact that a major earthquake in 1959 severely damaged many local residences. Since then, this artificial lake has recovered thanks to increased visitor numbers. Today, Hebgen Lake serves as a recreational area for those who enjoy boating, skiing, swimming, and fishing.
The relatively short shore of Hebgen Lake is lined with access to numerous fishing locations. Additionally, the forest service runs a number of campgrounds in the area. There are numerous marinas along the coastline that hire out canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. Quake Lake, located five kilometers to the north of Hebgen Lake, provides a chance to observe the aftershocks of the 1959 earthquake.
Location: Gallatin County, Montana
Canyon Ferry Lake
Near Helena and Townsend, Montana, on the Missouri River lies a reservoir called Canyon Ferry Lake. It has 122 km of shoreline and 142 km of water area, making it Montana’s third-largest body of water. It was created by the construction of Canyon Ferry Dam, which was finished in 1954 and is being utilized today for flood control, irrigation, and electricity.
A well-liked vacation spot is Canyon Ferry Lake. Canyon Ferry Lake is popular in part because of its vicinity to Helena, the state capital, which is about 20 miles to the east. The 35,000-acre Canyon Ferry Lake is well-known for its enormous size. A lake is a popular place for hiking, camping, boating, walleye, and trout fishing.
The beaches of Canyon Ferry Lake are surrounded by a number of leisure areas run by the Bureau of Reclamation. These locations include picnic places, boat ramps, swimming beaches, and RV and tent camping parks. At Canyon Ferry Lake, there are also three marinas that provide boat rentals, gasoline, and food.
Location: near Helena, Montana and Townsend, Montana
The next position on the list of the most beautiful lakes in Montana is Lake Koocanusa which is a reservoir that was created in 1972 when the Libby Dam dammed the Kootenai River in British Columbia, Canada, and Montana, United States. On August 24, 1975, President Gerald Ford officially dedicated the Dam.
This enormous reservoir stretches into British Columbia for 90 kilometers. There are various possibilities to enjoy the water along Highway 37, which runs the full length of the lake’s eastern shore in the United States. At Lake Koocanusa, there are boat ramps, campgrounds, and day-use areas that are perfect for outdoor pursuits like camping, fishing, and participating in water sports. Throughout the summer, the Libby Dam is open for tours.
The wild and distant position of Lake Koocanusa, which is surrounded by a national forests, also makes the area abundant in fauna. International travelers frequent Lake Koocanusa, but locals are still mostly responsible for exploring its waters. Lake Koocanusa is an excellent area to get away from the crowds because of this.
Location: northwest corner of Montana