Isa Lake

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Isa Lake
Isa Lake YNP1.jpg
Isa Lake
LocationYellowstone National Park, Teton County, Wyoming, US
Coordinates44°26′27″N 110°43′09″W / 44.44083°N 110.71917°W / 44.44083; -110.71917Coordinates: 44°26′27″N 110°43′09″W / 44.44083°N 110.71917°W / 44.44083; -110.71917[1]
TypeNatural lake
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface elevation8,262 feet (2,518 m)[1]

Isa Lake is located in Yellowstone National Park, in the U.S. state of Wyoming.[2] The lake straddles the continental divide at Craig Pass and was first discovered in 1891 by Hiram M. Chittenden, who was exploring the best routes for a road to connect Old Faithful and West Thumb geyser basins. Chittenden named the lake after Miss Isabel Jelke, from Cincinnati, though it is not clear why.[3][4]

Map of Continental Divide at Isa Lake

Isa Lake is believed to be one of the few natural in the world which drain to two different oceans, another being Wollaston Lake.[3] (For similar cases see List of unusual drainage systems.) The east side of the lake drains by way of the Lewis River to the Pacific Ocean and the west side of the lake drains by way of the Firehole River to the Gulf of Mexico.[5]

The lake is easy to visit as it is adjacent to the road that now connects the Old Faithful and West Thumb geysers basins, on what is known as the "lower loop" of the figure-eight roadway which traverses through Yellowstone. The great yellow pond-lily (nuphar polysepalum) thrives in the lake.


  1. ^ a b "Isa Lake". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. ^ "Craig Pass, USGS Craig Pass (WY) Topo Map" (Map). TopoQuest USGS Quads. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  3. ^ a b "Isa Lake". Grant Area Natural Highlights. National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 166.
  5. ^ "Isa Lake". Archived from the original on 2014-09-21. Retrieved 2012-08-04.