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Check out all 4 parts of our series on our favorite lakes: Part 1: West Coast Lakes, Part 2: Mountain Lakes, Part 3: Midwest Lakes, Part 4: Eastern US.
If you are in search of a new outdoor adventure, you cannot beat pitching a tent on the shores of a beautiful lake.
In this series, we are sharing our favorite lakes with you across the country. Part 1 introduced you to a few stunning lakes in West Coast states. In this part, we will be giving you some lakes to add to your bucket list in the Mountain Region.
The Mountain Region of the US boasts some of the most dramatic, awe-inspiring scenery you are going to find anywhere in the world.
Not only that, but much of the land is wide open. It is not too hard to find spots that are relatively secluded, even when you are visiting popular lakes during peak tourist seasons.
In fact, all three of our recommended lakes in the Mountain Region are well-known. But you will not find them overcrowded.
On the border between Utah and Arizona, you will find a spectacular manmade reservoir called Lake Powell. The only larger reservoir in the country is Lake Mead, so despite drawing millions of tourists yearly, it offers plenty of room for visitors to spread out and find secluded places to enjoy.
Millions of years of erosion have shaped Glen Canyon into a wonderland of reddish rock and deep blue water. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area comprises 1.25 million acres, providing you with endless recreational opportunities. Boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, hiking, road biking, and scenic drives are just some o the activities that are popular at Lake Powell. You can also participate in guided tours and ranger programs.
If possible, we recommend visiting in May, or waiting until later in the season and heading up to Lake Powell in September or October. The crowds thin out around these times, and rates for campgrounds and boat rentals drop.
The largest natural lake in Colorado is Grand Lake, also the state’s deepest. Like Lake Powell, it is connected to the Colorado River. There is a small town located here as well that is also called Grand Lake, offering convenient amenities for visitors.
Grand Lake is a gorgeous location; the lake is surrounded by breathtaking mountain peaks, the tops of which become white with snow when the weather gets cool enough. The town has a charming old west look and feel. A public boat ramp and docks are available, along with a number of marinas.
No matter what time of year you visit Grand Lake, you will find plenty to see and do. Go out on the water or hike when the weather is warm. If you visit in winter, the lake freezes over, and you can do ice fishing, ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing, and more.
No discussion of amazing lakes to visit in the Mountain Region would be complete without recommending Yellowstone Lake. This is the huge lake in the middle of Yellowstone National Park.
You can boat and fish on Yellowstone Lake. You probably won’t want to swim in it, however; the water is very cold, even in summer. But there is a ton to see and do throughout the park. You can visit the famous geyser basins, take a hike in the canyon, or go look for animals in Hayden or Lamar Valleys, including bison, coyotes, elk, and more. If you are lucky, you might even spot some wolves or a moose.
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous destinations on the planet for many good reasons. It is a geologically distinctive region with picturesque, unusual scenery. It is also a haven for wildlife. Even at its most crowded, you can find open vistas with few other cars or people around. And if you visit late in the season, you might feel like you have the whole place to yourself.
We hope you get a chance to spend some time at Lake Powell, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Lake, or any of the other beautiful lakes in the Mountain Region.
We will explore more exciting destinations in Our Favorite Lakes, Part 3: Midwest Region.