Montana situates between the famous Rocky Mountains and attracts travelers for its contrasting terrain. Along with flatlands, mountains, adventurous tours, one unique thing that draws in visitors is the transparent water in Montana. Transparent waters let you see through to what’s below the water body because it is crystal clear and dirt-free. It gives you an unrealistic experience and lets you click the most Instagram-able pictures!
The US state is pretty peculiar and off-beat to visit compared to the rest of the country. Even though it is the fourth largest state of the US, it has scare population but beautiful landscapes. It is called the Big Sky Country because of the big blue skies. But when you come here, you cannot help but admit how beautiful their lakes are. This is the reasons why the lakes are the most attractive part of Montana, and here you will find the top eight to visit.
Lakes and transparent water in Montana you must visit
Check out of the top lakes and transparent water in Montana while also planning to explore other interesting tourist’s spots:
1. Lake McDonald
The Flathead County lake is known for its breathtaking surrounding. If you come here for a weekend getaway and have enough time to only visit one lake, you must be here. Lake McDonald situates right inside the Glacier National Park and is also the largest lake covering 2,761 hectares.
You need to come over to the west end of this national park which is elevated by 961 meters above sea level. The scenic beauty of Going-to-the-Sun Road situates on the east side of this lake, while one of the valley trails is along the west shoreline.
The place offers you four beautiful camping grounds along with the Apgar Visitor Center towards the southern end. You can go fishing, boating, or see through the pebbles of the transparent waters.
2. Flathead Lake
Flathead Lake is the biggest freshwater lake and situates toward the west of River Mississippi. It is 51,000 hectares big and lies towards the southwest of Glacier National Park. There are two scenic highways on the west and east, offering you remarkable scenery that will imprint in your mind for years.
People come here to spend some time picnicking by the waters, skiing, fishing, swimming, sailing, and more. There are plenty of camping grounds around the lake’s shoreline and also motels and cabins to spend a night.
3. Saint Mary Lake
If you’re going to spend quite some time around the Glacier National Park, you must visit the Saint Mary Lake. It is the second-largest waterbody in this park and situates towards the northeast of McDonald Lake.
The water here is pretty cold because it is elevated at 1,367 meters. Also, this lake doesn’t allow any water activities inside but you can hike the trails along the west and south. There are two camping grounds along the shorelines and the lake takes up 1,588 hectares. There is a visitor’s center and hotel to let you spend more time.
The lake attracts nature lovers from all across the world because of the beautiful scenery. They can catch glimpses of the wildlife by spotting mule deer, black bears, grizzly bears, and elk.
4. Quake Lake
Quake Lake got its name because it is ironically an Earthquake Lake. The area had an earthquake on August 17, 1959, and caused a lot of havoc. However, right now this lake is popular to tourism and fishing. Many locals and tourists come here to catch brown trout and cutthroat fishes. Apart from fishing, this lake is also famous for its scenic view.
There are many mountain peaks around the lake and the famous Yellowstone National Park locates towards the east. You will find the Quake Lake within Gallatin National Forest and along River Madison. It includes the Beaver Creek Campground towards the northeastern end and offers hiking, swimming, canoeing, bird watching, and picnicking.
5. Swan Lake
As you move towards the east of Flathead Lake, you will find the Swan Lake Valley. It is a scenic delight and lies in an elevated area of 1,000 meters. The place is surrounded by Flathead National Forest.
There are a handful of camping places around this lake and also offers you canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing, water skiing, and swimming activities. If you’d only want to stick to the land, you can try mountain biking, hiking, wildlife watching, and berry picking activities.
There are also accommodations around the lake so you can rent a place or a cabin for your stay. There are also a couple of lodges that locates towards the southeast tip of the lake.
6. Avalanche Lake
You can’t miss out on the Avalanche Lake if you’re within Glacier National Park. This lake was formed by the meltwaters of the Sperry Glacier and it still receives its water from it. The only way to access this lake is by hiking.
You have to hike up by three kilometers to reach the Avalanche Lake and you must start along the trail of cedars to get there. Along with walking through the lush greenery, you will find a lovely waterfall that carves its way through a big rock.
You need to plan an entire day around this place to enjoy it completely. The paved trail is accessible to everyone and is worth the scenery.
7. Hebgen Lake
The man-made lake sits on the Southwest of Montana and right at the bottom of the Hebgen Peak. You can also locate it by coming to the west of the Yellowstone National Park. This lake of 5,400 hectares was formed by creating a dam in River Madison.
The lake is one of the best places for fishing and lets you go boating too. You can also spot wildlife as you hike along the trails.
You can spot two campsites along the lake’s 105km shoreline along with many summer homes. There are cabins on rent – both along the lake and surrounding area.
8. Canyon Ferry Lake
Finally, you must also try and visit the third largest lake in the state that takes up 14,200 hectares of area. The place lies along River Missouri and was constructed with the help of the Canyon Ferry Dam.
The lake boasts of a 122km shoreline that homes boat ramps, camping grounds, marinas, and day-use areas. The lake is also famous for fishing and swimming. During winters, this lake is famous for iceboating and it holds several iceboat races and has created many world speed record challenges in iceboating.
The best transparent water in Montana is definitely the Flathead Lake. Along with this one, you must visit the rest of the lakes that make Montana such a traveler’s delight.