This article originally appeared in Travel+Leisure.
With thousands of lakes scattered across the country, chances are good that you’re no farther than a tankful of gas away from a great lake. But not all are created equal: some lakes won Mother Nature’s lottery when it comes to natural good looks, so we've rounded up some of the best lakes in the U.S.
Take, for example, the impossibly blue, deep water of Oregon’s Crater Lake, created by a volcano, or clear, cold Lake Superior, as it laps against dramatic sandstone cliffs.
Man has also played a part in creating some of the most beautiful lakes in the U.S. When Glen Canyon was dammed to provide electricity downstream, the Colorado River rose to form Lake Powell, which snakes its way through red slick rock canyons on the Utah-Arizona border. In California, the striking limestone formations of Mono Lake are visible now because its water sources were diverted, and the lake shrank.
But don’t just take our word for it: hit the road to seek out the best lakes in the U.S.