Lakes provide excellent opportunities for landscape photographers. Whether you want to photograph beautiful mountain lakes, lakes surrounded by rugged landscape, or swamps, there are plenty of possibilities. Here you will find 13 of the best lakes in the United States for landscape photography.
Crater Lake, Oregon
Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is home to the deepest lake in the United States, reaching up to almost 2,000 feet deep. This popular destination is a great place to photograph, and is certainly one of the most beautiful lakes in the country. The blue waters are ideal for photos, and it makes a a great photo year round. Many photos of Crater Lake feature one of the two islands on the lake: Wizard Island and Phantom Ship.
Mono Lake, California
Mono Lake is in the Sierra Nevada, just a short distance from Yosemite National Park. This beautiful and unique lake features tufa towers that are perfect for photographing. The low water levels have changed the landscape a bit, but Mono Lake is definitely worthy of being included in this list.
Convict Lake, California
Convict Lake is also in the Sierra Nevada, about 30 miles south of Mono Lake. This small lake is an excellent location to take mountain and lake photos. A resort and campground is located at Convict Lake.
Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Lake Tahoe is a popular vacation spot, and a great location for photography as well. It lies right on the border of California and Nevada, and there are noteworthy locations on each side of the border. In California, Emerald Bay State Park provides an amazing vantage point to photograph the lake. In Nevada, Sand Harbor and Bonsai Rock are both excellent places to photograph.
Pyramid Lake, Nevada
Pyramid Lake in western Nevada is located on the Paiute Indian Reservation, but is accessible to visitors. The pyramid-shaped tufa formations around the lake are the features that will be of the most interest to photographers.
Lake Powell, Utah and Arizona
Lake Powell is in southern Utah and northern Arizona (mostly in Utah) within the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It is a man-made reservoir that is surrounded by beautiful, rugged landscape. There are a lot of recreational possibilities at Lake Powell, and photography popular as well.
Diablo Lake, Washington
Diablo Lake is part of North Cascades National Park in Washington. It is a man-made reservoir that features beautiful blue water in the midst of a mountainous landscape. The lake can be seen at the Diablo Lake Overlook on North Cascades Scenic Highway (Route 20), or you can explore some of the hiking trails around the lake.
Lake McDonald, Montana
Lake McDonald is the largest lake within Glacier National Park in Montana. This is one of the more popular areas of the park and there are several trails near Lake McDonald. If you are looking for a place to photograph a beautiful mountain lake, this is a great option. A lodge is also conveniently located at Lake McDonald.
Redfish Lake and Little Redfish Lake, Idaho
Redfish Lake and Little Redfish Lake in Idaho are located within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Redfish Lake is a popular destination, and both lakes offer plenty of photographic opportunities in a beautiful mountain setting.
Hanging Lake, Colorado
Hanging Lake is located in the Glenwood Canyon in Colorado. It is not far from Interstate 70 and can be reached by a trail that is just over a mile long. The lake features some beautiful waterfalls and rocks.
Lake Superior, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin
Lake Superior borders the states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, as well as the Canadian province of Ontario. There are countless places to photograph this beautiful lake. One of the best is Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin. Isle Royale National Park, which is part of Michigan, is another excellent option. Also in Michigan, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore features stunning cliffs along the lake. In Minnesota, State Highway 61 runs along the north shore and provides some beautiful scenery.
Caddo Lake, Texas and Louisiana
Caddo Lake in Texas and Louisana will give you much different photographs than you can get at any of the other lakes on this list. This beautiful cypress swamp an bayou is perfect for photography. On the west side of the lake in Texas, Caddo Lake State Park provides access to the lake.
Echo Lake, New Hampshire
Echo Lake in New Hampshire is within the White Mountain National Forest. The 700-foot-high Cathedral Ledge provides a great backdrop for photos of Echo Lake. Echo Lake State Park includes a trail that goes around the lake.
What Are Your Favorite Lakes?
Obviously, there are many other amazing lakes that could be worthy or mention, so please feel free to share your favorites in the comments.