Lake Facts

West Lake Okoboji

West Lake Okoboji is located to the south and west of the City of Okoboji and northwest of the City of Arnolds Park. West Lake is the largest of a chain of five connecting lakes, which is considered part of Iowa’s Great Lakes. According to information obtained from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, West Lake Okoboji is comprised of 3,847 surface acres of water with an average depth of 38 feet and maximum depth of 136 feet. There are 19.8 miles of shoreline around West Lake and the natural drainage basin is fed by 13,668 acres of land or approximately 22 square miles. Three State Parks are located along the shores of West Lake, including Pillsbury Point, Gull Point, and Pike’s Point that is located adjacent to the City of Okoboji’s northern city limits. West Lake Okoboji is considered a blue water lake formed by glacial movements retreating north, and is only one of three blue water lakes in the world. More than 47 species of fish can be found in West Lake, with approximately 11 species of popular sport fish.

West Okoboji Boaters Map: http://www.watersafetycouncil.org/boatinginfo/West_Okoboji_Boaters_Map.pdf

Contour Map: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/fish/maps/wok30.pdf

West was called “Minnetonka” by the Sioux Indians and translated into “Great Waters.” The first settlers decided to use a version of the name “Okoboozhy” for both lakes known today as the “Okoboji” lakes. West Okoboji is the second largest in the chain covering 3, 850 acres. It is a glacial lake created by the Wisconsin Glacier 14,000 years ago and has a maximum depth of 134 feet, which makes it the deepest natural lake in Iowa. Subterranean springs help provide the cool, clear, blue water of Iowa’s most popular lake. West Okoboji is about seven miles long and up to two miles in width. Boats can travel to Lake East Okoboji under the Highway US 71 Bridge and a walking bridge.

East Lake Okoboji
Big Spirit Lake
Lake Minnewashta
Upper Gar Lake
Lower Gar Lake
Center Lake
Silver Lake
Lake Miles of Shoreline Acres Max Depth
West Okoboji 19.80 3,847 136 ft
East Okoboji 17.10 1,835 22 ft
Spirit Lake 15.33 5,684 24 ft
Upper Gar 1.40 37  8.1 ft
Lower Gar 4.90 273 6 ft
Minnewashta 2.30 126 16.5 ft
Center Lake 4.7 263 17 ft
Silver Lake 9.6 1,041 11 ft
TOTAL 70.43 12,843