Beautiful Lakes in and Near Glacier National Park in Montana
The state of Montana is home to many freshwater lakes, and a lot of those can be found in Glacier National Park and the regions surrounding it in the northwestern part of Montana.
We love getting away for boating, paddle boarding, and hiking adventures in this area of our home state and we hope this article inspires you to check out Glacier National Park’s lakes, too.
Read on for our list of the lakes you should definitely try to visit on your trip to the Glacier National Park region.
Lakes in Glacier National Park
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park and is visible from the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road that traverses the national park. It is a popular destination for fishers and offers scenic boat tours. Photographers and sightseers alike will appreciate a stop here picturesque views of the mountains.
St. Mary Lake
St. Mary Lake is visible from Going-to-the-Sun Road near Lake McDonald. It is a popular destination for hiking and camping and is home to the St Mary Visitor Center and a hotel. In addition to spectacular views, hikers often spot mule deer, bears and elk here.
This glacial lake begins near the short and easily accessible Trail of the Cedars, which makes Avalanche Lake a popular family-friendly option for visitors with strollers or wheelchairs. Visitors who enjoy longer hikes will delight in the waterfalls along the Avalanche Lake trail, which continues on from the Trail of the Cedars.
Located in Many Glacier, an area within Glacier National Park on the east side of the park, is the lovely Swiftcurrent Lake, which gets its water from the Grinnell Glacier. The adjacent Many Glacier Hotel is a great starting point for visitors looking for a flat family-friendly hiking trail. Running along the perimeter of the lake, the Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail can be accessed from the hotel or the Grinnell Glacier trailhead.
This remote lake is located at the end of the 9-mile Iceberg Lake Trailhead. Because it is only accessible by traversing a 15-mile hike, it is not the easiest lake to get to. Located in the Glacier National Park adjacent to the towering Iceberg Peak, it is common for ice and snow to build upon the area. This winter wonderland is an ideal destination for adventurous, thrill-seeking hikers. Swiftcurrent Auto Camp Historic District is the nearby camp where hikers can begin this spectacular journey.
Located in the Many Glacier Valley at Glacier National Park, Fishercap Lake can be accessed from Swiftcurrent Pass Hiking Trail. A nearby restaurant and lodge make this a great overnight spot for campers and hikers. The silty waters of this lake make it a less than ideal spot for fishing, but it is a common spot to see moose.
Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park features a small uncrowded campground. Day hikers often spend time picnicking or fishing here. Campers come to enjoy the quiet serenity of this secluded lake. Located just a short drive from the town of Polebridge, this remote Montana lake is one you should visit if you’re looking for a remote, relaxing adventure. Hiking trails along the lake’s shore bring visitors to other nearby lakes and trails.
Hidden Lake lies in the center of Going to the Sun Road and is accessible from the Logan’s Pass Visitors Center in Glacier National Park. A nature-lovers paradise, it is an ideal moderate 2.7-mile hike to get the shores of the lake with spectacular views of Mount Clement. Spend time at Hidden Lake Overlook taking in the beauty and snapping once-in-a-lifetime photos of this natural marvel.
Two Medicine Lake
Prior to the construction of Going-to-the-Sun Road, Two Medicine Lake was accessible only by horseback and train. Visitors can enjoy boat tours of the lake itself or spend time taking in the cascading waterfalls. This off-the-beaten-path-gem is a Montana lake you should visit for a fully immersive mountain experience. It is a popular destination for day-hikers and backpackers.
Best Lakes to Visit Near Glacier National Park
This family-friendly lake is surrounded by beautiful woodlands. It includes a public beach area, multiple public boat launches, and is close to various campgrounds and other accommodation conveniently close to Glacier National Park. Hiking and biking trails coupled with boating, swimming, and camping activities make Whitefish Lake an ideal vacation spot.
Plus, Whitefish Lake is just down the mountain from Whitefish Mountain Resort for skiing and hiking excitement. Downtown Whitefish by the lake is also fun to explore complete with a train depot.
As the largest freshwater lake in the region, the range of Flathead lake activities available makes this a Montana lake you should visit. Swimming, hiking, fishing and camping opportunities abound at this lake just outside of Glacier National Park.
Sitting just at the Canadian border, Lake Koocanusa is an ideal recreational spot for visitors looking for swimming, boating, and fishing. Campgrounds surround this reservoir and it is a popular family vacation spot of both US and Canadian residents alike. The two countries worked together in the 1970s to create the lake by damming the Kootenay River.
Glacier National Park is a an ideal vacation spot for visitors looking to get out onto a lake or near one while exploring in Big Sky Country. Also, fun fact: much of the water throughout the US originates from the headwaters mountains of Montana. So what are you waiting for, get out and see what makes the lakes of northwest Montana so special!
Read More: Things to Do in Glacier National Park