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The Top 10 Amazing Lake Reflections in the World

While I have a great appreciation for manmade wonders, nothing comes close to the beauty of the natural world.

Who could be so lucky? Who comes to a lake for water and sees the reflection of the moon – Rumi

Water is often associated with life. Bodies of water including lakes can impact one’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being. People visit lakes which can reduce the stress levels and increase the feeling of happiness. Magical qualities of water can reflect our thoughts and intensions like a mirror.

The still waters of a lake reflect the beauty around it and seeing reflection of the mountains and the trees in the quiet water is always breath-taking.

The article showcases 10 of the amazing lake reflections.

1. Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Canada

2. Pangong Tso, Ladakh, India

3. Lake Saiful Malook, Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

4. Lake Matheson, New Zealand

5. Stelvio National Park, Italy

6. Jökulsárlón, a glacial lake in Iceland

7. Mount Hood, Mirror Lake, Oregon, USA

8. Gosaikunda, Langtang National Park, Nepal

9. Lake Leisee, Zermatt, Switzerland

10. Mount Fuji, Lake Yamanaka, Japan

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Moraine Lake, situated in the Valley of Ten Peaks in Banff National Park, is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. This glacially fed lake is 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) outside the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. The lake has a surface area of 50 hectares (120 acres) and is situated at an elevation of approximately 1,884 metres (6,181 ft).

Being glacially fed lake, it reaches its crest by mid or late June and reflects a unique shade of azure blue. This distinctive colour is due to refraction of light off the rock flour or minerals deposited in the lake due to running of glacier water. The colour intensifies as the sun rises, which reaches its zenith at noon.

The most commonly walking trail is the Rockpile Trail, which is 300 metres (980 ft) long causing an elevation change of 24 metres (79 ft). The view of reflection of the mountains behind the lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks is perhaps the best and one of the most photographed in Canada. Some call it the "Twenty Dollar View", as Moraine Lake was featured on the reverse side of the 1969 and 1979 issues of the Canadian twenty-dollar currency.

Due to heavy snowfall and risk of high avalanche, the road to Moraine Lake is closed during the winter and is reopened sometime between the third week of May and the first week of June. It closes in October after the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (the second Monday in October).

Pangong Tso or Pangong Lake is situated at an elevation of 4,225 m (13,862 ft) in the Himalayas and is one of the highest brackish water lakes in the world. It is 134 kms (83 miles) long and 5 kms (3.1 miles) wide at its broadest point. In spite of having saline water, the Lake freezes completely in winter and it cannot have any kind of vegetation or even aquatic life.

Water reflections, natural landscapes by the road side and mesmerising picturesque views soothe the nerves of the tourists during an arduous journey of about 160 kms from Leh. Bird lovers can enjoy the sight of many migratory birds like black necked cranes and seagulls during the journey. Even Bollywood chose this location for the climax scene of its famous movie '3 idiots'.

The best time to enjoy is between June to September. Tourist Office Leh issues the Inner Line Permit to visit the lake as it lies on the Sino-Indian Line of Actual Control. For security reasons, India does not permit boating.

Lake Saiful Maluk is one of the highest lakes in Pakistan. It is situated at northern end of Kaghan Valley at an elevation of 3224 meter (10,578 feet) above sea level. This mountainous Lake is near to the highest peak called Malika Parbat and is accessible from the nearby town of Naran. There is a historical fairy tale associated with this Lake. Shahzada Saif Ul Malook (also spelled as Muluk), the prince of Persia, fell in love with a fairy princess Badri-ul- Jamala at this Lake. The name of the Lake is associated with this tale. The Lake is a part of Saiful Muluk National Park which was created in 2003.

The journey to Lake Saiful Muluk is arduous as the roads are narrow, winding and rocky. The best season for a visit to this Lake is from May to September. one can enjoy the mesmerising change of colours of water and scenic beauty while walking along the Lake. Camping at the time of full moon gives the feeling of sitting in a fairyland due to the natural beauty of the Lake. The Lake is rich in eco-diversity. Many species of blue-green algae are found here. Apart from 26 species of vascular plants found around this area, the Lake is known for having large brown trout.

Mount Aoraki (Mt. Cook) & Mount Tasman reflecting over Lake Matheson (New Zealand)

Mount Aoraki (Mt. Cook) & Mount Tasman reflecting over Lake Matheson (New Zealand)

Lake Matheson is a small glacial lake in South Westland, New Zealand, near the township of Fox Glacier. It was formed about 14,000 years ago, when the Fox Glacier retreated from its last major advance towards the sea and left a depression which later filled with water. The lake is now about 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) from the current terminus of the glacier and it has become a popular destination for its reflection of the Southern Alps.

The view of the stunning reflections includes the peaks of Mount Haast, La Perouse, and New Zealand's highest peaks, Aoraki/Mount Cook and Mount Tasman. Early morning of a calm and clear day or the dusk are the opportune times to have the best of the views in the dark brown waters.

Lake Matheson is one of the most photographed lakes of New Zealand and its views have been reproduced on calendars, bear bottles, chocolate boxes and on postage stamps.

Walkway of Peio Paese to Lago Covel, 1,839 m in the Stelvio National Park (Italy)

Walkway of Peio Paese to Lago Covel, 1,839 m in the Stelvio National Park (Italy)

Stelvio National Park, Italy

Stelvio National Park, Italy

Stelvio National Park is situated in the northeast Italy. Established in 1935, it is located in the heart of the Central Alps and is the largest as well. Glaciers and alpine pastures, mountain meadows and valley basins make its surroundings unique landscapes. Co-existence of numerous animal species (Alpine ibex and Chamois Coloured Goat) and diverse flora (Glacier Buttercup and Alpine Bells) in the harsh conditions add to the uniqueness of this protected area extending from 650 metres (2,130 ft) to 3905 metres (12,812 ft.)

The Italian "Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio" can be visited at any time of the year to appreciate landscapes and lake reflections and also to gain insight into the unique history and culture of the area.

Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake in the southern part of Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland and situated at the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier. The lake is growing due to melting of the glaciers and is now 1.5 km (0.93 ml) away from the ocean’s edge, covering an area of about 18 kms square. Reported to be the deepest lake in the Iceland (2009), its size has increased fourfold since the 1970’s.

It takes approximately 5 hours to drive to Jökulsárlón from Iceland's capital, Reykjavík and is popular as it found space in movies and serials. A View to a Kill, Die Another Day, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Batman Begins were picturised at Jökulsárlón. A postage stamp was issued in 1991. The reality TV series ‘The Amazing Race’ also had its sets at this lake.

Early morning sunrise on Trillium Lake with the reflections of Mt. Hood, the trees, and the colorful clouds

Early morning sunrise on Trillium Lake with the reflections of Mt. Hood, the trees, and the colorful clouds

Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon and is a potentially active volcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. The peak, rising to 11,249 feet, is home to 12 named glaciers and snowfields. It is located about 50 miles (80 km) east-southeast of Portland, on the border between Clackamas and Hood River counties.

Mirror Lake is a mountain lake in Clackamas County of Oregon. It is located at the foot of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain in a natural catchment formed by a toe of the mountain. It is 11.4 kilometres (7.1 mi) southwest of Mount Hood. Mirror Lake Hike is among the most popular day hikes in the Mount Hood area. Its 800-foot (240 m) elevation gain in 1.4 miles (2.3 km) is considered to be an easy hike.

Gosaikunda is an alpine freshwater oligotrophic lake in Nepal's Langtang National Park in the Rasuwa District. It is located at an elevation of 4,380 m (14,370 ft) with a surface of 13.8 ha (34 acres). Together with nine associated lakes, the Gosaikunda Lake complex comprises 1,030 ha (4.0 sq mi) in size and was designated a Ramsar site (a wetland of international importance) in 2007. The lake melts to form the Trishuli River which remains frozen for six months in winter, October to June.

The Gosaikunda area has been delineated as a religious site. Hindu mythology attributes Gosaikunda as the abode of the Hindu deities, Shiva and Gauri. It is a centre of faith for both Hindu and Buddhist devotees.

Heli package for Gosainkunda is less than 20 minutes from Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu. (It is also spelled as Gosainkunda and Gosain Kunda).

Matterhorn and its reflection seen on the Leisee

Matterhorn and its reflection seen on the Leisee

Leisse is one of the five of Zermatt valley lakes (Stellisee, Grindjisee, Grünsee, Moosjisee, and Leisee), which is often called the mirror of the Matterhorn. Matterhorn, the 10th highest mountain in Switzerland (4478 metres or 14692 feet), is one of the world’s most famous and iconic mountains in Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy.

Leisee Lake (2232 m) is less than 15 minutes’ walk from the Sunnegga mountain station and offers a breath-taking view of Matterhorn. The best time to visit this Lake is when there is no wind and the surface of the lake is completely still, which happens usually early in the morning or in the evening. There is ample space for everyone to have a good time including picnicking and play grounds for the children.

Largest of the Fuji Five Lakes, Lake Yamanaka is located in the village of Yamamakako in Yamanashi Prefecture near Mount Fuji, Japan. Formed by lava flows from an ancient eruption of Mount Fuji, its mean surface altitude is 980.5 metres (3,217 ft) and its maximum water depth is 13.5 metres (44 ft).

The lake is a popular recreational site for boating, fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, sightseeing and swimming. Tourists take pleasure in boarding the Lake Yamanakako pleasure boat - "Swan Lake" to enjoy a leisurely cruise aboard a swan-shaped boat. There are eight ponds originating from the Mount Fuji’s spring water and the area is added to the World Heritage List, being a sacred place and a source of artistic inspiration.

© 2021 Sukhdev Shukla


Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on April 25, 2021:

Thanks for visiting, Imogen. I am glad some images inspired you.

Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on April 25, 2021:

Thanks, Chitrangada. I wish all of us get a chance to visit such places, once the pandemic is over. Till then sharing such information is the only solution. Thanks for visiting.

Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on April 25, 2021:

I am sure you might have enjoyed the sites of Matterhorn and Mount Hood, Peggy. Their reflections in the lakes would have added charm. These sites carry a different meaning in these reflections. Thanks for the interest shown.

Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on April 25, 2021:

Thanks, Ravi. I am glad you could recollect your visit to Pangong Tso. Actually, I have tried to limit one reflection per country. Thanks for the interest shown.

Imogen French from Southwest England on April 25, 2021:

Amazing images - the natural world is quite awe inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 25, 2021:

Beautifully illustrated article, with interesting information. Those lakes and their reflections look so beautiful. I am aware of most of them, but not visited them.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful information.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 25, 2021:

All of these lakes are stunningly beautiful! I have seen the Matterhorn and Mount Hood, but not the lakes near them. The reflections of the mountains, trees, and clouds in the sky make for gorgeous photos!

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on April 25, 2021:

Amazing pictures Sukhdev. I have been to Pangong Tso and you are right in saying that it has one of the most amazing views in the world. I would also count Lake Mansarover in this list although people go there more for religious sentiments. Thanks for sharing.

Sukhdev Shukla (author) from Dehra Dun, India on April 25, 2021:

The mother earth is full of wonders, Liz. One full life is too short a period even to appreciate a small part of it. I am glad you liked these lakes. Thanks for visiting.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 25, 2021:

This is a beautifully illustrated article. I had not heard of many of these lakes. I recall being struck by the beauty of the lake at Annecy in France one spring and also taking a picture from the banks of Lac Leman in Switzerland at dawn.

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