The Canadian Rockies offer a wealth of lakes for your viewing, swimming, boating and exploring pleasure. It was hard for us to pick a favourite, so here is our Top 6 Lakes in the Canadian Rockies.
Lake Minnewanka - Banff
The largest lake in Banff National Park is nestled between mountain scenery and is cloaked in history. A cruise on board the Banff Lake Cruise
, with experienced captains and entertaining guides, will delve you into the past yet transport you in to the present of the beauty surrounding you. You may choose to rent a pedal boat
and explore the water’s edge, hike on local trails or use it as the centre-point for amazing photography in all seasons. Lake Minnewanka is also a popular spot for scuba-diving in the Rockies for exploration of the submerged village of Minnewanka Landing.
Peyto Lake - Icefields Parkway
One of the most awe-inspiring lakes in the Canadian Rockies is easily accessible from a viewing platform high on the mountainside. Watch the glacier-fed turquoise waters sneak into view as you complete the short pathway to the view point. These mountainous lakes get their vibrant turquoise tint from rock flour, or glacial flour that is picked up during the melting process. Peyto Lake received its name from Bill Peyto, a significant man of history in the Rockies; an early mountain guide in Banff National Park.
Lake Louise – Lake Louise
A destination in itself and needs no introduction, this Iconic lake of the Rockies is cuddled by towering peaks and mesmerizing glaciers. Discovering the Rockies is simple onboard a sightseeing excursion such as the Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls tour
- visit Lake Louise and gain a bonus of a visit to Moraine Lake. Lake Louise, beautiful in every season offers canoeing opportunities to explore the water’s edge and popular hiking trails in the summer. In winter, the lake is a host to the Ice Magic Festival showcasing a stunning carved Ice Castle on the surface of the lake.
Pyramid Lake - Jasper
A warmer lake in the Jasper area offering another unique perspective of the Rockies as Pyramid Mountain towers over the lake below. Stroll over to the island on foot-bridge, canoe across the lake to the secluded lake beaches or look for wildlife along the shore! Swimming is also popular in this temperate water. For those who wish to visit in the winter, this lake turns in to a winter wonderland with cross country skiing and sleigh rides.
Maligne Lake - Jasper
The largest glacier-fed lake in the Canadian Rockies is a must-see! Not only that, it holds the iconic Spirit Island only accessible by boat. Hop aboard the Maligne Lake Cruise
and be transported to this magical place. For those experienced in kayaking or canoeing
, you may choose to paddle the almost 30km round-trip to the island itself. The lake goes further past the island and ends with a small campsite at Coronet Creek at the 22 km mark (if you are daring enough to embark on a multi-day canoe trip).
Trust a local, this is a top pick for summer relaxation! This is a great place for a cool-off as the water is the perfect temperature for swimming or a float on a warm day. A quick exploratory loop around the lake gives you great view points within a small distance and it’s an achievable hike even with small children. You may even come across the Red Chairs (Parks Canada initiative) to sit and enjoy this unparalleled landscape.
There are so many more lakes we could list; however, we hope this compilation offers some inspiration for your travels!