10 Aerial Views of the Most Serpentine Lakes Perfect for Kayaking | LakeWizard

Key Takeaways

  • Aerial views offer a unique perspective of serpentine lakes ideal for kayaking.
  • These lakes provide both visual splendor and prime kayaking conditions.
  • Trusted insights combine exploration with practical information for kayakers.

Have you ever marveled at the serpentine beauty of a lake from above?

It’s a perspective that transforms even the most familiar landscape into something mesmerizing.

Imagine gliding atop the glassy surface of the world’s most winding lakes; it's a kayaker’s dream.

Our expertise and passion for aerial exploration and kayaking adventures assure that the sights and insights shared here will elevate your wanderlust and bring you closer to your next paddling journey.

Table of contents


Lake Powell, Arizona/Utah

Have you ever seen a kayak slice through water like a hot knife through butter?

Lake Powell's smooth waters are perfect for that feeling!

Picture yourself paddling along the second largest man-made reservoir in the United States.

With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, the opportunities for adventure are as vast as the lake itself.

Nestled between Arizona and Utah, Lake Powell isn't just massive, it's magnificent.

The lake's serpentine shape carves a path through red rock canyons, calling to kayakers like you to explore its corners and curves.

Ready to venture into this kayaker's paradise?

  • Size: 24,322,000 acre-feet
  • Visitors: Approximately 2 million yearly
  • Shoreline: Nearly 2,000 miles
  • Activities: Boating, waterskiing, fishing, camping, and hiking

There's no denying the allure of Lake Powell's sparkling waters and scenic vistas.

From aerial views showcasing its grandeur to the more intimate experience at water level, every vantage point is a feast for the senses.

It's no wonder aerial photographs of this area are so coveted; they capture Lake Powell's majestic beauty in a way words can hardly describe.

Don't worry, you don't have to be an expert to enjoy it.

Whether you're a kayaking newbie or a seasoned pro, these waters welcome all.

With a kayaking trip here, you're not just taking in the sights; you're immersing yourself in a landscape where water and desert meet in the most extraordinary way.

So, ready to paddle through these historic canyons?

Lake Powell is waiting for you!

Lake Chelan, Washington

Ever dreamt of kayaking through a mountain paradise?

Picture yourself gliding across Lake Chelan's crystalline blue waters, surrounded by the Cascade Mountains' epic grandeur.

It's not just any lake—it's 50.5 miles of pure bliss for kayak enthusiasts like you!

The lake's serpentine form is a wonder, winding through rugged cliffs and offering more than a snapshot-worthy vista.

Want to navigate this beauty in style?

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Location: Central Washington State, within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
  • Length: Approximately 50.5 miles—perfect for a multi-day adventure.
  • Average Days of Sunshine: 300, so don’t forget your sunscreen!


  • Chelan Dock: South of downtown Chelan; $11 per night for cars.
  • Field's Point Landing: Offers overnight parking at $7 per night, $35 for a week.

Would you fancy a challenge?

The lake offers paths less traveled that are sure to elevate your heartbeat and your spirits.

Perhaps you'd be tempted by the 2.8-mile trek on the Fourth of July Mountain Trail, where you ascend about 1200 feet to catch one of the best views of Lake Chelan.

Ready for winter wonders too?

The area around Lake Chelan transforms with snow, offering pristine cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails.

So, whether you're paddling under the sun or gliding through snow, this gem never ceases to amaze.

Got your gear ready?

Just remember to pack out what you pack in and preserve this slice of heaven for fellow adventurers.

Happy kayaking! 🛶

Lake Jocassee, South Carolina

Ever dream of gliding through the water surrounded by mountains?

At Lake Jocassee, nestled in the heart of South Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, you can do just that!

This lake, a hidden gem for kayaking enthusiasts, boasts some of the most serpentine waterways and crystal-clear waters.

Imagine dipping your paddle in while you weave through intricate coves and expansive inlets.

Have you ever seen water so clear that you could spot fish swimming beneath your kayak?

That's Lake Jocassee for you!

Here, nature's wonders, like waterfalls and rock formations, are tucked into every turn.

And hey, if you're lucky, you might even discover a mini cave or two!

What should you know before you go?

  • Boat Rentals: Grab a pontoon for an adventurous day; they're available in 4 or 8-hour increments.
  • Cost: Expect to spend around $275-$375.
  • Must-See: Don’t miss out on Jumping Off Rock for staggering views.
  • Kayak Tours: Ready for a guided adventure? Tours are available with expert guides.

Activities at Lake Jocassee:

  • Kayaking (both single and tandem options)
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Waterfall exploration
  • Photography opportunities

With all this and more, it's no surprise Lake Jocassee is a kayaker's paradise.

Whether you’re a paddle pro or just looking to give it a go, this lake offers an escape like no other.

So why not grab your life jacket, pick up a paddle, and make some waves?

See you on the water!

Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada

Have you ever glided across the glassy surface of a mountain lake, flanked by majestic peaks?

That's exactly the thrill you get kayaking on Lake Tahoe.

Straddling the California and Nevada border, this alpine lake, with its clear, blue waters, offers breathtaking aerial views that are just as mesmerizing from a kayak.

Imagine starting your day at Emerald Bay, one of Tahoe's most picturesque spots.

Can you picture the sunrise painting the sky as you paddle around Fannette Island?

That's a bit of morning magic for your Instagram, right there!

  1. Location: California/Nevada Border
  2. Activities: Kayaking, Photography
  3. Key Features:
  1. Emerald Bay: Sunrise views
  2. Fannette Island: Tahoe's only island

Maybe you're not a morning person?

No worries!

How about a sunset session at Inspiration Point?

It's the perfect spot to reflect on your day as the sun dips behind the mountains — A literal golden hour!

Want the views without the sweat?

The Heavenly Gondola ride might be your ticket to the top.

It’s a leisurely 2.4-mile journey that takes you up to an elevation of 8,500 ft.

Think of the vistas waiting for you there!

And for those who love a good challenge, consider trekking up to Mount Rose.

Standing at an impressive 10,778 feet, it promises a bird's eye perspective of the entire basin — and yes, it's a whopping 10-mile hike, but trust me, your jaw will drop alongside that elevation once you see the view.

  1. Elevation Highlights:
  1. Heavenly Gondola: 8,500 ft
  2. Mount Rose: 10,778 ft

With its natural charm, Lake Tahoe is a kayaker’s paradise both on water and from the skies.

So, grab your paddle and life jacket — Tahoe's serpentine inlets and vast bays are calling your name.

Ready to kayak through nature's masterpiece?

Lake Lanier, Georgia

Have you ever paddled a kayak through waterways that twist and turn like a maze?

Lake Lanier in Georgia is your kind of place!

With about 12 million visitors a year, it's not just a hotspot for locals but a draw for adventurers from all over.

Imagine yourself navigating the calm waters, surrounded by a landscape that's seen its fair share of history.

Did you know?

Lake Lanier was built over the town of Oscarville, giving it an air of mystery.

And with every stroke of your paddle, you'll feel a sense of discovery.

It's a place where stories from the past ripple just beneath the surface.

But don't worry about getting lost among its serpentine paths; Lake Lanier offers over 700 deaths worth of exploration.

You're bound to find the perfect spot to rest, maybe a secluded cove, where you can bask in the peace and quiet.

You're in for more than just a workout; it's a journey through both nature and time!

And fun fact – you're kayaking in one of the nation’s most-visited Corps-built lakes!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates a whopping 464 lakes in 43 states, and our very own Lake Lanier is a shining example of their work.

Talk about a bucket-list experience!

So, what do you say?

Ready to slice through the waters where history meets adventure?

Lake Lanier is waiting to unravel its secrets with every paddle stroke.

Grab your life jacket, and let’s hit the water!

Lake Ouachita, Arkansas

Ever dreamed of gliding through clear, clean waters surrounded by lush forest scenery?

Well, Lake Ouachita in Arkansas is just the place for you.

Often admired for its crystalline waters and the lush Ouachita National Forest that frames it, this lake is a kayaker's paradise with a treasure trove of coves and inlets that weave through the landscape like a serpentine maze.

Did you know that Lake Ouachita is Arkansas's largest lake?

That's right, spread out over a massive 40,000 acres, this lake is not only the state's largest but also a hub for those who love to fish.

Imagine embarking on a kayak adventure and paddling through waters teeming with bream, crappie, catfish, striped bass, and largemouth bass.

Whether you're a seasoned angler or just looking for a leisurely paddle, the open waters and quiet coves here offer something for everyone.

What makes Lake Ouachita unique?

  • Pristine Waters: It is renowned for its exceptional water quality!
  • Biodiversity: Home to unique species such as harmless freshwater jellyfish.
  • Fishing: A fishing paradise with an abundance of species.
  • Size: The largest lake within Arkansas's borders, offering vast areas to explore.

The lake didn't always exist, it's a man-made wonder that now provides a haven for recreational activities such as swimming, boating, and, most notably, kayaking.

The shoreline is dotted with day-use areas and overnight accommodations, giving you plenty of options to plan your stay.

Picture yourself waking up in a cozy cabin or a tent by the lake, the gentle lapping of the water syncing with the serene sounds of nature.

With the Ouachita Mountains as your backdrop, it only adds to the magic of kayaking here.

How about a quick joke to wrap this up?

What does a lake say when it's surprised? "Dam!" Now go make a splash at Lake Ouachita!

Lake Cumberland, Kentucky

Have you ever felt the urge to just grab a kayak and lose yourself in the tranquility of water?

Let me tell you about Lake Cumberland in Kentucky.

It's not just any lake; it's a kayaker's paradise with twists and turns that promise an adventure at every paddle stroke.

Imagine gliding across waters surrounded by lush forests and spotting waterfalls that seem like they've been placed there just for your viewing pleasure.

With its incredibly serpentine shape, Lake Cumberland provides endless nooks and crannies, perfect for exploration.

Now, get this: Lake Cumberland isn't a small pond by any means.

It's massive!

Spanning over 63,000 acres, this lake has more shoreline than the whole state of Hawaii—seriously, over 1,200 miles of it.

And those miles?

They're jam-packed with beauty.

And if you're a fan of casting lines, you're in luck because Lake Cumberland is a hotspot for fishing.

But we're here for the kayaking, aren't we?

Let's talk about the fact that with so many hidden coves, you can find your own slice of heaven for a picnic or a quick swim.

For the time-conscious adventurer, I’ll let you in on a secret.

Planning your trip is a breeze.

There are spots like General Burnside State Park where you can launch your kayak and be surrounded by nature in no time.

Expect to find amenities like campgrounds with stunning views—and yes, they're equipped with the essentials like restrooms and showers.

So, what are you waiting for?

Whether you're paddling solo or with friends, Lake Cumberland's winding waters are calling your name.

Grab your life vest, and let the strokes of your paddle lead you to the unexpected treasures of this sprawling Kentucky gem.

Happy kayaking!

Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

Ever paddled through a lake with the Blue Ridge Mountains whispering secrets in the backdrop?

If not, let's set your compass toward Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.

Known for its twisty-turny shape, this lake isn't just a sight for sore eyes; it's a kayaker's daydream come true!

With 500 miles of shoreline, this lake's got curves in all the right places.

You might wonder, is it big?


It's sprawled over a staggering surface area, just beckoning adventurers like you.

Imagine yourself slicing through the calm waters, each paddle stroke revealing another hidden cove or a secluded inlet.

And with the mountains encircling you, every snapshot's postcard-perfect – no filter needed.

Here's what's really cool:

  • Stunning views? Check.
  • An array of wildlife? You got it.
  • Secluded spots for a quiet break? Plenty!

Whether you're in it for the leisurely paddles or brushing up on your kayaking sprints, the lake's varieties of blue and green will dazzle you.

And the best part?

You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy it.

Smith Mountain Lake caters to all skill levels!

So, grab your kayak, your favorite sun hat, and soak in the serenity that is Smith Mountain Lake.

Who knows, you might even spot a local otter cheering you on from the shoreline!

Just remember to have fun and keep an eye on those twisting shores – they're part of what makes this place a kayaking paradise.

Happy paddling!

Shasta Lake, California

Ever paddled through a lake that feels like a maze?

Shasta Lake, California is the spot you've been dreaming of!

With its four unique arms—each with their own personality—this place is a kayaker's heaven.

Whether you fancy a calm day on the water or an adventurous twist and turn through nature's nooks, Shasta Lake delivers.

Now, get this: Shasta Lake is not only mammoth in fun but in size too!

It's the largest reservoir in California.

Imagine navigating the 365 miles of shoreline—that’s a whole year of explorations if you tackle a mile a day!

And thanks to the wet winters, the lake has brimmed to nearly 100% capacity, according to the latest numbers flying in from NASA's satellites!

Ready for a quick rundown on its vastness?

Here goes:

  • Capacity: About 4,552,000 acre-feet
  • Current Status: 97% full as of May 20th
  • Above Average?: Yes, by 15%!

Missed the kayaking season last year?

No worries, because Shasta Lake has been full two years running.

What does that mean for you?

More water, more paddling, and more adventures!

Whether you're tracing the outline of the Sacramento Arm or sneaking through the twists of the McCloud, each paddle stroke takes you away from your everyday hustle.

And the best part?

You'll be kayaking through history; where water meets the sky, stories of ancient volcanic landscapes unfold beneath your boat.

With its clear waters reflecting the vast California sky, Shasta Lake is irresistibly Instagram-worthy.

So, what are you waiting for?

Grab your kayak, life jacket, a good sun hat, and dive into the serpentine charms of Shasta Lake.

Happy paddling, folks!

Lake Mead, Nevada/Arizona

Have you ever witnessed a maze of water from above?

Lake Mead, stretching across Nevada and Arizona, is a kayaker's paradise with its serpentine waterways winding through the vast desert.

Imagine yourself slicing through the largest reservoir in the U.S. with a paddle in hand.

Sounds alluring, doesn't it?

Key Details:

  • Location: Nevada/Arizona border
  • Water Source: Colorado River, formed by Hoover Dam
  • Size: Largest reservoir by water capacity in the U.S.

Lake Mead's expansive blue waters are bordered by rugged mountains, which not only provide an epic backdrop but also create a natural windbreak for smooth kayaking conditions.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Paddling Spots: Whether you prefer calm waters or exploring hidden coves, Lake Mead's diverse areas have you covered.
  • Wildlife: Keep your eyes peeled for desert bighorn sheep on the cliffs and a variety of bird species overhead.

This reservoir isn't just an oasis for kayakers; it's also a lifeline for surrounding states.

Nearly 20 million people rely on Lake Mead for water – quite the responsibility for such a beautiful destination, right?

Grab Your Gear:

  • Vessel: Kayak, canoe, or paddleboard
  • Access: Multiple points around the lake

Before you go, check in at one of the visitor centers for the latest conditions and any permits you might need.

Then, you're all set to paddle and meander the day away on Lake Mead's tranquil waters.

Ready to dip your paddle in?