The state with the most lakes in the United States is Alaska; it tops the charts with a whopping three million lakes, leaving the runner-up state of Minnesota with 10,000 lakes far behind. Its notable lakes include Lake Iliamna, which is the third largest lake in the United States.
Lake Michigan, which belongs to the famous group of lakes that make up the Great Lakes, is the largest lake by size in the United States. The other lakes in the Great Lakes are also bigger than Alaska’s Lake Iliamna, but portions of the Great Lakes reside in Canada, which excludes them from ranking in the largest American lakes. The Great Salt Lake in Utah is the second-largest US lake, and covers 1,700 square miles. Lake Iliamna is about the size of Rhode Island, which spans 1,150 square miles. Although they differ widely in size, the lakes in Alaska and Michigan were both formed primarily from glacial melt. Both states were once covered by glaciers, and upon melting and retreating, these glaciers created deep, water-filled basins that gave rise to lakes. Some lakes in Alaska are fed by streams and snow melt, and are popular for many recreational activities.