The pacific northwest is renowned for many reasons. Not only does it boast beautiful topography, with the Rockies, Missions and other mountain ranges gliding through it! Quite the contrary! It also is a host to some of the best lakes in the world! Today I want to highlight a few of them, so whether you’re thinking of visiting or just want to learn more about our lakes, stay tuned! If you’re looking to fish, check out my recent piece ICE FISHING 4 DUMMIES!!
Arguably the best Montana lake, Flathead is great for fishing, water sports, and more. This particular lake is very special to me, as it was a formative part of my childhood. Crystal clear waters, rich with indigenous culture and monuments, and surrounded by quaint small towns, Flathead is a Montana gem. Flathead originally was home to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes, before being officially colonized by Europeans in the 1930s.
If you’re looking for water sports, great swimming in the summer months, and overall convenience, Flathead is a great option. Flathead is the largest natural freshwater lake in the western US by surface area!! It’s the 79th largest natural freshwater lake in the world, and it’s one of the cleanest!! The quality of the water is maintained via the runoff of Glacier National Park, from melting snow and lots of rain. The quality of the lake has declined in recent years, due to increases in nutrient and sediment via human presence.
This gorgeous and massive lake is naturally controlled by a dam! Located in northern Idaho, Lake Coeur d’Alene is about 25 miles in length! This lake used to be a bunch of smaller lakes, but due to a massive flood resulting from construction of the Post Falls Dam, all of these lakes merged into one. It used to be a transportation system for lumber, and was originally home to the Kootenai tribes before being colonized by the French. There’s lot of environmental worries with this lake, because the upstream hardrock mining and smelting operations run out of Silver Valley. This has contaminated some of the water with heavy metals, but is still recreationally safe! The lake used to host hydroplaning races for the Diamond Cup from 1958-1968.
Sitting pretty at 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in America! The lake is famous for a natural blue hue, which is due to the water coming from snow or rain only, no other direct inputs. There’s no sediment or mineral deposits from other sources, so that keeps this deep lake clear of debris. Not only is this lake the deepest, it’s also the snowiest! Because of the elevation, there’s an annual average of 43 feet of snow!! Previously a volcano, Crater Lake used to be Mount Mazama! Mazama was 12,000 feet tall, and was a very important symbol to the Makalak people who lived in the surrounding areas. The surrounding forest has some amazing wildlife and unique plant life as well. The elevation of the lake also offers amazing starlit views, so be sure to look up while exploring this special spot.
For a hiker, Lake Serene is a total dream. With a 7.2 round trip day hike, the scenic journey is perfect for the avid hiker. There’s no gasoline powered motors allowed on the lake, so it’s a peaceful place to go. It’s 45.0 acres and pretty shallow, with a maximum depth of only 23 feet. It’s mostly been developed with residential uses in mind, and it’s just off of Highway 99 in Snohomish County Washington! Specifically, this lake is great for non-motorized water activity, hiking, and fishing!
For gorgeous waters, and a more underdeveloped type of vibe, Lake Crescent is what you’re looking for. It’s right off of the U.S. Highway 101, and has a historic lodge. It reaches depths up to 624 feet, and is the second deepest lake in Washington! The waters are crystal clear and very calm, perfect for that escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Due to the isolated nature of the lake, it’s unaffected by sediment and other debris from other sources. It’s famous for the stay of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, where he was visiting the Olympic Peninsula!