Only two large lakes exist within the monument and preserve. The Surprise Lake covers 2-1/2 square miles of the northeast portion of the caldera, just inside the Gates, and forms the headwaters of the Aniakchak River. Several iron-soda springs feed the lake. Lake Meshik, southeast of the caldera, covers approximately 2 square miles and forms the headwaters of the Meshik River. On the western coastal plain, multitudes of ponds and lakes dot the tundra around the mouths of the Cinder and Meshik Rivers.