Top 15 Deepest Lakes in the US [Update 2024]


Lakes are such magnificent water bodies that lure people into diving into them for a breathtaking experience. Unlike seas or oceans, lakes are safer to go for a swim as the waves are not as harsh as bigger water bodies.

If you love swimming or diving, there are innumerable deep lakes in the US for you to visit. The deepest one is Crater Lake in Oregano, which is the ninth-deepest lake in the world.

Here is the list of the deepest lakes in the US.

1. Crater Lake

Crater Lake is one of the deepest lakes in the US

At 1,949 ft, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US. This natural lake’s depths were first explored in 1886 by a team from the U.S Geological Survey. According to geologists, Crater Lake was formed by the eruption of Mount Mazama, which was a dormant volcano.

The surroundings of the lake are spectacular with deep forests and wildlife, so a national park was created around the lake in 1902. This impressive lake is the fourth-deepest lake in the world based on its average depth.

2. Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe

In Nevada, California is the second-deepest lake in the US, Lake Tahoe. It is located on the border near the Sierra Nevada Range.  With 1645 feet depth, this natural lake is recorded as the largest alpine lake in all of North America.

Tahoe is a mecca for people to enjoy outdoor water – based activities as it is open to the public. It is ranked as the 5th deepest lake in the world in terms of mean depth, right after Crater Lake. Most of the area around the lake encompasses forested land for hikers and visitors to enjoy outdoor recreational activities.

3. Lake Chelan

Located in Washington is a breathtaking lake, Lake Chelan. Wonder what makes it an impressive one besides being the third-deepest lake in the US? Lake Chelan is a natural glacier-carved lake.

The depth is 1486 feet and the deepest portion of the lake is near Chelan town. Even if the lake is situated in the Cascade Mountains of Washington, the bottom of the lake is still about 285 feet above sea level.

You might also like to know about these largest freshwater lakes in the US.

4. Lake Superior

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is not only the fourth-deepest lake in the US, it is also the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. However, it is just 36th in the world by depth.  Superior is extensive just as its name is, at 1332 feet deep, and a water volume of 2,900 cubic miles.

The lake is located between the borders of Canada and the United States and also connects Wisconsin and Michigan. Another significant feature of the lake is that it contains maximum clean water with an average underwater visibility of 27 feet.

5. Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille is the fifth-deepest lake in the US with 1150 feet depth. It is located in the Idaho Panhandle. This gorgeous lake was dug out by glaciers many years ago. A resort town named Sandpoint on the northern lake shore has developed, and is a famous spot for visitors to explore.

Besides Sandpoint, the rest of the shoreline of the lake is surrounded by dense forests and some other small towns. The southern tip of this massive lake is part of the U.S. Navy acoustic underwater submarine research.

6. Lake Clark

Lake Clark in the southern part of Alaska has a depth of 1056 feet. Similar to Lake Pend Oreille, this lake is also created by glaciers. The water of the lake flowed down from the Chokotonk River valley near the Kenai Peninsula.

Lake Clark has a namesake national park and preserve. Even though there is no parking area near the lake, visitors walk to the lake to enjoy different water – based activities like kayaking, rafting and more.

Check out these deepest ponds in the US.

7. Iliamna Lake

Iliamna Lake is one of the deepest lakes in the US with 988 feet depth. It is also the largest lake in Alaska based on a surface area of 115 cubic km. Even Lake Clark is a little deeper.

Iliamna is the second-largest freshwater lake in the US. Due to its deep waters, a legend spread across the villages surrounding the lake. So, the lake is famous for its legend of a supposed monster that is said to be living between 10 and 30 feet of the lake.

8. Tustumena Lake

Another deep lake in America is located in Alaska, Tustumena Lake. In Alaska, it is one of the largest lakes. Tustumena’s depth is 950 feet. In this list, Tustumena Lake is the lake with the least visited lake because there are no roads leading directly to its shore.

Another reason for it being a seldom visited lake is that it is located in a remote area 60 miles from Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula. The only way for locals to go to the lake is by boating upriver from Kasilof town.

9. Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is a vast lake sharing its shoreline with the states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the USA by surface area.

The depth of this giant lake is 923 feet. It also shares some parts of the south shore with Chicago and Indiana. Lake Michigan consists of the waters from Lake Huron.

Love both hills and water? Have a look at these deepest canyons in the US.

10. Lake Ontario

With a depth of 802 feet, Lake Ontario is the tenth-deepest lake in the US Located in between New York and Canada’s Ontario Province, it is the 13th largest lake in the world by surface area.

Lake Ontario is one of the Great lakes of North America but is the smallest one of the Great Lakes.

11. Katmai Crater Lake

Mount Katmai and its Crater Lake is a magnificent natural resource for the US. With 800 feet depth, Katmai Crater Lake is recorded as one of the deepest lakes. Katmai and its namesake national park and Preserve have been famous since 1980.

The lake was formed after the Novarupta eruption of 1912. The rugged coastline and pristine waterways of Crater Lake make it a popular visiting site for visitors year-round.

12. Lake Huron

Lake Huron has the longest shoreline among all the great lakes at 3,827 miles. It is one of the deepest lakes with a depth of 800 feet. Huron connects Ontario, Canada and Michigan with the north. It is the second-largest freshwater lake by surface area.

Lake Huron is well known for its surrounding areas; which is a major ground for fruit trees. Due to its climate and location, the lake is a host to a number of migratory birds annually.

13. Lake Oroville

Lake Oroville is a beautiful deep lake in Butte County, northern California. This lake is a reservoir of the Feather River formed by the Oroville Dam.

The depth of this lake is 695 feet, and it is located beside the city of Oroville. Lake Oroville is the main visiting feature of Lake Oroville State Recreation Area.

14. Dworshak Reservoir

Dworshak Reservoir is formed by the Dworshak Dam in the western United States. This lake is 650 feet deep and contains the waters from Clearwater County, Idaho.

The western shoreline of this water body has trees and meadows. This area is a popular tourist site to enjoy various recreational activities like swimming, boating, water skiing and camping.

15. Lake Crescent

The last one on the list is Lake Crescent, located entirely within Olympic National Park, Washington. Lake Crescent, a remarkable 634 feet deep lake, was formed by digging a glacier.

This crystal clear lake is outlined by a deep forested mountain range. The surrounding area is perfect for hiking, camping and sightseeing. This iconic deep lake is one of the best destinations of the Olympic National Park.

The United States has 245 lakes, having a total surface area of 13,700 square miles. Among these innumerable lakes, the deepest lakes are extremely fascinating. With this list of the deepest lakes in the US, you can explore each one of them to learn more about them and even visit them soon.

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