I’ve visited some awe-inspiring and beautiful lakes on my travels so far, particularly whilst in New Zealand and Mongolia. When you think that nearly eighty percent of the world’s surface is covered in water, your first thought is to look towards the ocean and not twenty thousand foot above that. However, some of the highest lakes can be found hidden on mountain tops and in cracks on mountain valleys.

Here are six of the highest lakes in the world:

Lake Saiful-Muluk – 3 224m (10 557 foot):

To the north of Kaghan Valley in Pakistan – near the town of Naran – sits the Saiful-Muluk Lake. The sixth highest lake in the world, it is home to brown trout and around twenty-six different species of vascular plants. The weather at the lake is moderate during the day, however due to the height above sea-level, drops to below zero at night.

saif_ul_malook

The surrounding glaciers feed into the lake, so the lakes size depends on the snow fall of the previous year. I think you’ll agree that this lake is one of the most picturesque on our list of the world’s highest lakes.

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Lake Titicaca – 3 812m (12 464 foot):

Lake Titicaca – otherwise known as Lake of the Clouds – is situated in Bolivia and Peru. and is, perhaps, the best known lake on our list. While this is not the highest lake in the world, this is the highest navigable lake (by some large boats).

Our Bolivian vacation adventure of 2007 started in the little town of Copacabana in the shore of Lake Titicaca. We arrived by boat from the Peruvian side after spending a night in the lake with a family. More on that later. Lake Titicacata is 3,812 meters or 12,500 ft) above sea level. By the time we got here we had already gotten used to the high altitutde. This high altitude makes the sky and water an intense blue. Very pretty and quite pleasant in August. Copacabana is a nice little town with a very nice old church and market. There is the belief that the name is derived from the Aymara kota kahuana, meaning "view of the lake." ISO 100, 28mm, f13, 1/160sec, shot handheld from the moving boat.
The town of Copacabana in the shore of Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicacata is 3,812 meters or 12,500 ft) above sea level. Copacabana is a nice little town with a very nice old church and market. There is the belief that the name is derived from the Aymara kota kahuana, meaning “view of the lake.

In some parts, the lake is nearly 300m deep and can easily accommodate larger vessels, and with a surface area of 3 200 miles, boats are very much needed.

lake_titicaca_on_the_andes_from_bolivia

The name of the lake comes from the wildcats that live in the area called ‘Titi’, and according to Inca mythology, Titicaca is where the world was created by the god Viracocha.

Lake Tsomoriri – 4 595m (15 080 foot):

The lake Tsomoriri – within the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve in Ladkh, – lies on the Changthang plains in India and is the fourth highest lake in the world. This is one of the largest lakes in the area and is only accessible in the summer months.

view of lake Tso Moriri

During the winter months, the area is cut off by heavy snowfall that lies on the path leading to the lake.

Lake Panch Pokhari – 5 494 m (18 025 foot):

Hidden high in the peaks of Makalu-Barun National Park and Conservation Area in Nepal are the five sacred lakes of Panch Pokhari.

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The area is popular with local hikers and those able to cope with dizzying effects of the high altitude.This is the third highest lake in the world.

The Lhagba Pool – 6 368m (20 892 foot):

The Lhagba pool is located in Tibet is the highest lake in China and the second highest lake in the world. The pool is located less than a kilometre southwest of Lhagba La (pass) and west of Lhakpa Ri and six kilometres away from the mountains summit and is only 180 meters long and 50 meters wide. Evidence suggests that the pool has now dried out, and no modern photographic evidence of the lake exists.

The Ojos del Salado Pool – 6 391m (20 965 foot):

Ojos del Salado is the highest lake in the world and sits at the foot of the highest volcano in the world. The lake measures 100 meters in diameter and around 10 meters deep and is found on the Argentinean-Chilean border. Due to the extreme height above sea-level, the area receives snow throughout the year and ensures that the lake remains full all year around. Its name comes from the enormous deposits of salt that, in the form of lagoons or “eyes”, appear in its glaciers. The Ojos del Salado is the highest volcano on Earth and is not entirely dormant, having had some recent volcanic activity such as sulfuric gases and vapors leaking out.

Ojos del Salado
Ojos del Salado

These are the six highest lakes from around the world. Situated high up and far away from civilisation, these lakes are a rare beauty and something all adventurers need to see.