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Nevada’s Natural Wonders: Explore the Best Lakes in the Silver State

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Best Lakes in Nevada: Famous for its mesmerizing landscapes, Nevada draws many nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Despite being a desert state, Nevada is home to a variety of spectacular lakes that offer a plethora of recreational activities.

From lakes nestled in alpine areas to reservoirs surrounded by bustling towns, the state has it all. 

Planning your lakeside vacation in this beautiful state?

We’ve got you covered with our list of the best 7 lakes in Nevada: – 

Pyramid Lake #1

Located around 40 miles from Reno, Pyramid Lake is one of the most fascinating lakes in Nevada. It’s a remnant of Lake Lahontan, an ancient lake that was once sprawled over much of the state’s region.

It gets as deep as 350 feet. You’ll find many unique tufa formations that lend it an other-worldly vibe. The lake is named after one such formation, which is a huge pyramid.

You can enjoy a variety of activities including kayaking and paddle boarding on its azure waters.

Fishing is another popular activity here since the lake abounds with Lahontan Cutthroat Trout and Sacramento Perch, and the rare cui-ui fish.

The area has been home to The Paiute tribe for the longest time. Make sure you acquire a tribal fishing license and boat permit if you plan to enjoy these activities.

If you want to learn more about the Paiute people and the natural history of the lake, head to the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum and Visitors Center nearby. Wish to spend some more time here? Camping facilities are also available. 

Lake Mead #2

Created due to the well-known Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, Lake Mead stretches for around 112 miles.

With its clear waters embracing sandstone rock formations, and intriguing rock formations such as buttes, caves, and arches in the distance, it looks straight out of a postcard.

It’s the country’s largest reservoir and features several miles of waterways.

The lake’s water level varies depending upon the amount of rain and snow that mountains receive upstream. It gets as deep as 500 feet. 

Best Lakes in Nevada
Best Lakes in Nevada

Visitors can enjoy a host of recreational activities here such as swimming, fishing, water skiing, tubing, and wakeboarding.

If you’re an avid boater, you can explore four basins best suited for boating such as Virgin Basin, Boulder Basin, Temple Basin, and Gregg Basin. Make sure to check out boating conditions on the lake’s official website before going.

There are also numerous hiking trails and around 900 campsites around the lake. Its proximity to Las Vegas adds to the convenience. The lake is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area and is under the protection of the National Park Service. 

Lake Mohave #3

If you’re looking for a low-key vibe, head to Lake Mohave. Around 67 miles long, the lake’s western side is in Nevada while its eastern side is in Arizona.

Best Lakes in Nevada
Best Lakes in Nevada

Created by the Davis Dam, the lake is knowan for offering endless recreational activities.

From going on a guided rafting tour, paddle-boarding, and kayaking to boating, there is something here for everyone.  With its generally warm waters at the southern end, it’s also popular for swimming.

 If you’re seeking a leisurely afternoon by the lake, head to the Telephone Cove beach. It’s perfect for setting up your beach chair and umbrella. 

It also has restrooms.

Got some more time on your hands?

Many services of the lake are on the Arizona side so you can also head there to make a fun day out of it. 

Lake Tahoe #4

Lake Tahoe is one of the most famous lakes in Nevada. Nestled in a mesmerising alpine bowl with mountains all around, it’s the country’s second-deepest lake.

Best Lakes in Nevada
Best Lakes in Nevada

Sprawled across 193 miles, the lake has shores in Nevada as well as California. Its generally calm waters make it ideal for wakeboarding, kayaking, and water skiing.

You can also launch your own boat or rent one. Several sandy beaches offer the perfect opportunity for relaxing and sunbathing.

Wish to spend the night here?

There are numerous campgrounds set amidst towering pine trees on the shorelines.

You can also enjoy hiking and biking on the many trails that surround the lake.

If you’re visiting in winter, head to the mountains around the lake which have many impressive ski resorts that offer breath-taking views of the lake. Set only a short drive from Carson City, it’s easily accessible. 

Lake Las Vegas #5

If you’re looking for a natural haven close to the glitzy entertainment scene of Las Vegas, this lake won’t disappoint.

From adventure junkies to nature lovers and families, it draws many kinds of visitors to enjoy its many offerings. Its shoreline is home to private residences, golf courses, and resort hotels.

Best Lakes in Nevada
Best Lakes in Nevada

One of the highlights here is the Lake Las Vegas Aqua Park which features many floating play structures, climbing walls, swings, floating walkways, and waterslides.

It’s one of the most popular places for adults and kids alike for a fun outing. With lifeguards on duty, you won’t have to worry about safety. 

Other than this, you can also enjoy jetpack rides, flyboards, or go kayaking, and paddle-boarding. You can also rent electric boats and explore the lake or even go on a cruise.

Want to make a vacation out of it?

You can pick one of the numerous lakefront accommodation options such as The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa and the Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa. 

Washoe Lake #6

Located in a beautiful valley, Washoe Lake exudes a tranquil vibe. It offers sublime views of the Sierra Nevada, Virginia, and Carson mountain ranges.

From swimming, windsurfing, and horseback riding to picnicking and hiking, there is a plethora of recreational activities to indulge in here.

Best Lakes in Nevada
Best Lakes in Nevada

The lake has a variety of fish such as white bass, catfish, wipers, and Sacramento Perch. The area also abounds with wildlife such as bald eagles, Canada geese, and wild horses

The lake is named after the Washoe people, who were the first occupants of the area.

It’s also one of the state’s most shallow lakes, being only as deep as 12 feet. With the lake’s location being between Reno & Carson City, it draws both locals and visitors. 

Liberty Lake #7

Nestled in the Ruby Mountains, Liberty Lake is a scenic lake formed due to a glacier. Stretching for only 21 acres, it’s smaller in size than all the other lakes on the list.

Best Lakes in Nevada
Best Lakes in Nevada

However, its location within the splendid Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest adds to its allure.

The sharp peaks reflected in crystal clear waters make it one of the most fascinating landscapes in the state.

Reaching it requires a day’s hike but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Ruby Mountains and Lamoille Canyon along the way.

One of the most popular recreational activities to enjoy here is hiking. Hikers can take the popular Ruby Crest National Recreational Trail.

With trails winding around Tipton and Green Peaks, going past King Peak, and Long and Mahogany Canyons, and along Liberty Lake, there is something here for every type of hiker.

Adrenaline enthusiasts can also try the 8.7-mile-out-and-back trail which requires camping at night.

Nevada’s lakes offer something for everyone, from adventure junkies to family vacationers and nature lovers.

So, start with the one that draws you the most and get ready for an epic lakeside outing in this incredible state.

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Q. What is the largest lake in Nevada?

Lake Mead is the largest lake in Nevada and also the largest man-made reservoir in the country.

Q. How many lakes are in Nevada?

Nevada is home to 36 lakes.

Q. Does Nevada have any lakes?

There are around 36 lakes in Nevada. While some are set within forests, several are nestled amidst a desert landscape. 

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