The 9 Most Beautiful Mountain Lakes in Utah

Written by Taiwo Victor
Updated: October 30, 2022
© iStock.com/JohnnyH5
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Most people probably think of two things when it comes to adventures in Utah: the magnificent national parks in the south and the top-notch skiing in the north. Utah’s geography is so varied that you could easily spend weeks exploring it. In addition to these beautiful landscapes, the state has 89,000 miles of streams and over 2,000 lakes.

In Utah, there are many natural lakes and man-made reservoirs. However, the most beautiful lakes are those atop mountains. Who can argue how awe-striking lakes can be when they allow you to enjoy the cool, refreshing water, and enable you to breathe in the purest air, enjoy the view beyond the mountain’s vista, be surrounded by tall pine trees, and, most importantly, lead you on an exhilarating journey. This article lists the most beautiful mountain lakes in Utah.

1. Lake Blanche

Wasatch Mountains in spring
View of the Northern Wasatch Range from Lake Blanche.

©Abbie Warnock-Matthews/Shutterstock.com

In Utah’s Wasatch Range, there lies a charming lake called Lake Blanche. As you climb the trail, you’ll encounter waterfalls and gushing streams. The trail meanders among scrub oak and aspen trees, occasionally opening up to provide views of Great Salt Lake and the opposing quartzite mountains. If you want to make this an overnight trip, Lake Blanche is also an excellent place to set up camp.

Wasatch mountain range in Utah is known for its iconic vistas, including the stunning views of the Salt Lake Valley near the lake and the lake itself. Even though the climb is only six miles roundtrip, it is rather steep the entire time. It will take one and a half to two hours to climb up and between 45 minutes and one hour to get back down. Depending on the weather and whether you opt to circumnavigate the lake, this may take longer.

2. Lake Powell

Lake Powell
The second-largest man-made lake in the U.S is Lake Powell.

©Galyna Andrushko/Shutterstock.com

Lake Powell, the country’s second-largest man-made lake, is at an elevation of 3,700 feet and boasts a capacity of 26,214,900 acre-feet and a surface area of 161,000 acres. Lake Powell is renowned for its magnificent landscape, drawing roughly two million tourists and visitors annually. It also offers significant water storage for the US states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Many people consider the Escalante arm of Lake Powell to be their favorite section since it is one of the most picturesque parts of the lake. 

3. Desolation Lake

Desolation Lake contains all your favorite alpine landscapes, including switchbacks, canopied pathways, wildflowers, pine and aspen trees, wide open meadows, and a lake. The trail winds on for 7.4 miles before arriving at the lake. The elevation gain is roughly 1,900 feet, and the trail is a steady ascent manageable for a mountain bike. Dogs and swimming are prohibited at Desolation Lake and along the route. On the other hand, camping is permitted, and some trees are ideal for hanging a hammock.

4. Willow Lake

A short distance from Salt Lake City, Willow Lake is an alpine lake with lovely hues and picturesque vistas. Since running, snowshoeing, and hiking are all fairly popular activities here, you can run into other individuals while exploring. Make a lot of noise to alert the moose of your approach in order not to spook any of them, as they like to hang out in the dense willows nearby. 

5. Red Pine Lake

From Salt Lake City, Red Pine Lake may be reached in less than 25 minutes by car. The lake provides access to several iconic Wasatch Peaks and an amazing alpine backdrop and environment. Many campgrounds surround the lake. There, hikers have the option to stop or continue for about a mile to Upper Red Pine Lake.

6. Upper Bell Canyon Reservoir

Upper Bell Canyon Reservoir is absolutely isolated and located high up on the Wasatch Front. You can hike here, go camping for the night or go fly fishing for some exciting tiny brook and cutthroat trout.

One of Utah’s most popular hiking routes is the Bell Canyon path, which boasts an amazing waterfall and a lovely lower reservoir. You’re likely to run into other people while exploring because this location is very popular for camping, birding, and trekking.

7. Silver Lake

The Wasatch Mountains reflected in Utah's Silver Lake.
Utah’s stunning Wasatch Mountains are reflected in Silver Lake.

©iStock.com/suesmith2

A short trip to Silver Lake, a stunning lake in the Wasatch Mountains will surely be enjoyed by anyone. You may access a one-mile loop trail that circles Silver Lake from the trailhead. The path changes to dirt on the opposite side of the lake, but it is still well-maintained and simple to follow. If you want to continue your journey to Twin Lakes, Lake Solitude, or the Brighton Lakes, there are several alternative trail intersections for the more daring hikers. At the tourist center, you may also get a wildflower guide; during the summer, these plants blossom in spectacular ways.

8. White Pine Lake

White Pine lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.
First view of White Pine lake in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

©iStock.com/Salil Bhatt

An undeniably excellent day trek or overnight hiking excursion is enjoyed on the way to White Pine Lake. Dogs and swimming are not permitted at this lake because of the watershed. Since backpacking, camping, and hiking are all fairly popular activities in this region, you can run into other people while doing your exploration.

The stunning White Pine Lake, with its intensely blue water, is only about 5 miles from the trailhead. You will enjoy spectacular views of mountains of many hues, stunning granite, meadows, streams, and valleys as you travel.

9. Lake Mary, Martha, and Catherine

Lake Mary, Utah in the fall.
Lake Mary, Utah, in the fall.

©iStock.com/monkeywrenched

Lake Mary, Lake Martha, and Lake Catherine are three beautiful lakes combined into one hike. When hiking to these lakes on the 3.5 mile hike in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, the first lake you’ll see is Lake Mary, the largest of the three, surrounded by beautiful granite rock formations.

Lake Mary is where many people, especially those with children stop and have a picnic to enjoy the beauty. Then, not far from Lake Mary, you will come upon the small Lake Martha. Gaining some more elevation and heading into Catherine Pass, you will reach Catherine Lake.

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Deer Creek Reservoir Utah
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About the Author

For six years, I have worked as a professional writer and editor for books, blogs, and websites, with a particular focus on animals, tech, and finance. When I'm not working, I enjoy playing video games with friends.

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Sources
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