When it comes to natural beauty, Idaho truly has it all. From picturesque mountains to breathtaking waterfalls, this state is a nature lover's paradise. One of the most incredible features of Idaho is its abundance of stunning lakes. Whether you're a fishing enthusiast, a water sports junkie, or simply someone who appreciates the serenity of a peaceful lake, Idaho's lakes have something for everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the best lakes in Idaho and what makes each one unique.

Best Lakes for Fishing in Idaho

Idaho is a haven for fishing enthusiasts, with countless lakes that offer a variety of fish species and fishing experiences. Here are some of the best lakes in Idaho for fishing:

  1. Priest Lake: Famous for its large population of massive Kamloops rainbow trout, Priest Lake is a dream come true for anglers. The crystal-clear waters make it easy to spot fish, and the scenic surroundings make the fishing experience unforgettable.
  2. Lake Pend Oreille: As one of the deepest lakes in the United States, Lake Pend Oreille is home to an abundance of fish, including trophy-sized trout, bass, and walleye. Whether you prefer fly fishing or trolling, this lake offers endless opportunities.
  3. Coeur d'Alene Lake: Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Coeur d'Alene area, this lake is known for its large population of kokanee salmon, as well as bass and trout. Its proximity to the charming town of Coeur d'Alene makes it a favorite destination for fishing enthusiasts.
  4. Henry's Lake: Situated in Island Park, this lake is a fly fisherman's paradise. Known for its massive trout, particularly the famous Henry's Lake cutthroat trout, this lake offers a serene and rewarding fishing experience.
  5. Bear Lake: Straddling the Idaho-Utah border, Bear Lake is not only stunningly beautiful but also home to a wide variety of fish species, including cutthroat trout, lake trout, and whitefish. Fishing in the crystal-clear waters of Bear Lake is truly a treat.

Whether you're an experienced angler or a beginner looking to cast your first line, these lakes are sure to provide you with unforgettable fishing adventures. And remember, before planning your fishing trip, be sure to check out Getmyboat for any boat rentals or charters you may need.

Lakes With The Clearest Water in Idaho

For those who appreciate the mesmerizing beauty of clear, pristine waters, Idaho is a hidden gem. Here are some of the lakes in Idaho known for their astonishingly clear water:

  • Redfish Lake: Located in the shadow of the majestic Sawtooth Mountains, Redfish Lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters. The reflection of the surrounding peaks on the surface of the lake creates a breathtaking sight.
  • Payette Lake: Nestled in the Payette National Forest, Payette Lake boasts water so clear that you can see the fish swimming beneath the surface. This picturesque lake is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Alturas Lake: Tucked away in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Alturas Lake is a hidden gem with remarkably clear waters. The peaceful atmosphere and stunning surroundings make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.
  • Lake Cascade: Known for its vibrant turquoise hues, Lake Cascade offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the magic of its clear waters. Whether you're swimming, kayaking, or simply enjoying the view, this lake will leave you in awe.
  • Bear Lake: Not only is Bear Lake a paradise for fishing, but its water is also exceptionally clear. The dazzling blue hues of the lake make it a popular destination for boating, swimming, and other water sports.

These lakes provide endless opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and simply admiring the clarity of the water. If you're searching for a serene escape surrounded by nature's beauty, look no further than these lakes with the clearest water.

Best Swimming or Water Sports Lakes in Idaho

If you're a fan of swimming or water sports, Idaho's lakes are a playground waiting to be explored. Here are some of the best lakes in Idaho for swimming and water sports:

  • Priest Lake: With its sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Priest Lake is the perfect destination for swimming and water sports. Whether you're kayaking, paddleboarding, or jet skiing, there's no shortage of fun to be had.
  • Lake Coeur d'Alene: With its expansive shoreline and warm summer temperatures, Lake Coeur d'Alene is a popular spot for swimming and water activities. From tubing to wakeboarding, there's something for everyone on this picturesque lake.
  • Payette Lake: Thanks to its calm waters and stunning surroundings, Payette Lake is ideal for swimming and enjoying water sports. Rent a paddleboard, kayak, or canoe and explore the peaceful beauty of this magnificent lake.
  • Lake Cascade: Boasting numerous sandy beaches and plenty of space for water sports, Lake Cascade is a favorite among swimmers, jet skiers, and boaters. Spend a day soaking up the sun and enjoying the many recreational opportunities this lake has to offer.
  • Henry's Lake: Although primarily known for its fishing, Henry's Lake also offers opportunities for swimming and water sports. Whether you're interested in canoeing or simply taking a refreshing swim, this lake has it all.

With their inviting waters and picturesque surroundings, these lakes are perfect for a day of swimming, splashing, and adventure. Don't forget to check out Getmyboat for any rental needs to make the most of your time on these water wonders.

Prettiest Lakes in Idaho

When it comes to sheer natural beauty, Idaho's lakes are unrivaled. Here are some of the prettiest lakes in the Gem State:

  • Priest Lake: Surrounded by pristine forests and offering stunning views of the Selkirk Mountains, Priest Lake is a true gem. The combination of crystal-clear water and majestic scenery creates a picturesque setting you won't want to miss.
  • Payette Lake: Set against the backdrop of the Payette National Forest, Payette Lake is a sight to behold. The emerald green water, lush shoreline, and snow-capped peaks in the distance make it a true postcard-perfect destination.
  • Redfish Lake: With its turquoise waters and breathtaking view of the Sawtooth Mountains, Redfish Lake is an idyllic escape. Spending a day at this lake feels like stepping into a picture-perfect nature painting.
  • Lake Coeur d'Alene: The beauty of Lake Coeur d'Alene is hard to put into words. The combination of its crystal-clear waters, lush greenery, and surrounding mountains creates a visual spectacle that will leave you in awe.
  • Lake Pend Oreille: As one of the largest and deepest lakes in Idaho, Lake Pend Oreille offers unparalleled beauty. Surrounded by towering mountains and sparkling water, this lake is a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

The prettiest lakes in Idaho are not only a feast for the eyes but also provide a serene and peaceful atmosphere. Whether you're seeking outdoor adventure or simply want to bask in the beauty of nature, these lakes are sure to leave a lasting impression.

When to Visit Lakes in Idaho

Wondering when is the best time to visit Idaho's lakes? Here's a breakdown of the best times to plan your lake adventures:

  • Spring (April to June): Spring is an excellent time to visit Idaho's lakes, as the weather starts to warm up and the scenery begins to come alive. Fishing, boating, and enjoying the tranquility of the lakes are popular activities during this season.
  • Summer (July to August): The summer months offer the warmest temperatures, making it ideal for swimming, water sports, and beach activities. The lakes come alive with visitors enjoying the sunshine and taking advantage of the numerous recreational opportunities.
  • Fall (September to November): Fall in Idaho is a stunning season, with the changing colors of the leaves adding a touch of magic to the lakes' surroundings. This is a great time to enjoy the beauty of the lakes, go hiking, and witness the breathtaking fall foliage.
  • Winter (December to March): Although many lakes freeze over during the winter months, they still offer unique winter activities, such as ice fishing and ice skating. Additionally, the surrounding mountains provide opportunities for skiing and snowboarding.

No matter the season, Idaho's lakes offer something special throughout the year. Each season brings its unique charm and activities, ensuring that there's never a wrong time to visit these natural wonders.

Best Lakes for Boating and Sailing in Idaho

If you're a boating or sailing enthusiast, Idaho's lakes are a paradise waiting to be explored. Here are some of the best lakes in Idaho for boating and sailing:

  1. Lake Coeur d'Alene: Known for its vast size and calm waters, Lake Coeur d'Alene is perfect for boating and sailing adventures. Whether you have your own boat or need to rent one, this lake will provide you with an incredible experience.
  2. Lake Pend Oreille: With its deep waters and ample space, Lake Pend Oreille is a haven for boaters and sailors. The surrounding mountainous scenery only adds to the beauty of the experience.
  3. Priest Lake: Offering plenty of room to navigate and explore, Priest Lake is a favorite among boating and sailing enthusiasts. The peaceful atmosphere and breathtaking views make it a must-visit destination for those who love being on the water.
  4. Payette Lake: Nestled in the scenic mountains, Payette Lake is a popular spot for boating and sailing. Whether you're looking to cruise along the shore or navigate to the lake's hidden coves, this lake won't disappoint.
  5. Lake Cascade: Boasting over 86 miles of shoreline, Lake Cascade is an excellent choice for boating and sailing adventures. With its calm waters and stunning surroundings, it's no wonder that this lake is a go-to destination for many water enthusiasts.

Whether you prefer the thrill of sailing or the freedom of boating, these lakes provide the perfect setting for unforgettable adventures on the water. Remember to check out Getmyboat for any boat rentals or charters you may need to enhance your experience.


Idaho's lakes are a true treasure, offering diverse landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure. Whether you're a fishing enthusiast, a fan of water sports, or simply seeking solace in nature's beauty, these lakes have something for everyone.

Be sure to make the most of your lake exploration by checking out Getmyboat for any rental needs or boat charters. With their help, you can embark on unforgettable experiences and create cherished memories on Idaho's best lakes.

Book Your Ideal Lake Adventure

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