Lough Salt, Ireland

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Lough Salt — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Lough Salt cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Lough Salt

Lake Locations: Ireland - North West Region, Ireland -

Lough Salt is a small mountain tarn at the foot of Lough Salt Mountain, in Donegal. Situated at an altitude of over 800 feet, the lough itself measures over a mile long and over 3/4 of a mile across at its widest. The mountain itself rises almost vertically 700ft from the lough, forming an impressive backdrop, which helps give Lough Salt it’s name. In Gaelic, “Lough agus Alt” (or “lake and Cliff” in English), refers to the steeps slopes of the mountain overlooking the lake.

Along with Lough Altan and most other lakes in Donegal, Lough Salt was formed by glaciation during one of the arious Ice Ages, probably around 40,000 years ago. Despite extensive evidence for this origin, various sources suggest that it is actually the crater of an extinct volcano, but this theory is so far unproven.

The lough is used by Donegal County Council as a water supply for the the town of Letterkenny.

Regardless of origin, what makes Lough Salt exceptional is its unusual depth. Despite its small size, around 150 acres, a great deal of the lough is over 50-60 meters (165-200 feet) deep, and there is some uncertainty regarding what its true maximum depth actually is. While a survey of water resources in the early 1980’s put the depth in excess of 60 meters or around 200 feet (this was the maximum depth of the depth sounding equipment used), it was apparent that the lake was much deeper than this.

Tradition has it that the lake is as deep as the mountain is high (690 feet). While some old guide books give 236 feet as the depth, more recent figures quoted for the maximum depth of either 204 feet or 240 feet, with 245 feet often being quoted. However, recent surveys by private individuals have indicated a maximum depth of 272 feet (83 metres), using portable fishfinders and sounders. Should those figures be verified, then Lough Salt would be the deepest lake in Ireland, beating Muckross Lake’s figure of 250ft. Lough Salt certainly is one of the deepest lakes in Ireland anyway -even using the lower figures!


Find Places to Stay at Lough Salt

If you’re considering a Lough Salt lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Lough Salt Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Lough Salt lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Lough Salt Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 148 acres

Shoreline Length: 4 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 817 feet

Average Depth: 182 feet

Maximum Depth: 245 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Lough Salt Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Lough Salt Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Lough Salt Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Lough Salt Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Lough Salt article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!