Travel Guide: The Mesmerizing Beauty of Canadian Mountain Lakes

The mesmerizing beauty of Canada’s countryside belongs to its lakes that perfectly blend with the mountains. Canada is home to over 2 million lakes, which makes it a world phenomenon. It’s a challenging choice to single out those that deserve the top positions.

Every new touristic visit to Canada should bring these fascinating experiences. The turquoise water shines its magic due to glaciers which create the rock flour. This is a fine powder that reflects the light and incredible colours.

Canada bursts with the mountainous lakes that scatter the fairy tale joy. British Columbia and Alberta soak the dreamiest heart of the mountainous charm in Canada.

Lake Louis, Banff National Park, Alberta

Lake Louis is a picturesque flow of dreamy relaxation in the National Park Banff in Alberta. The turquoise waters perfectly blend with the rhythm of the mountains.

Lake Louis in the Banff National Park with the Fairmont Chateau Hotel in view
Lake Louis in the Banff National Park with the Fairmont Chateau Hotel in view- Credit: Rockymountaineer.com

This small lake lies at the throne of mount Victoria at 1150 m. The scenery and outdoor activities attract the most visitors to Banff National Park. The vast panorama of adventure sports includes hiking, mountain biking, boating, ice climbing and ice fishing.

The luxurious Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise shines on the eastern shores of the lake. It joins the chain of Canada’s great railway hotels. Lake Louise Ski Area nearby is one of the major points of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.

Lake Louis was named by princess Louis, the Duchess of Argyll. She was the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.

Banff National Park

Banff National Park is one of the oldest in Canada, pulling the roots in 1885. The exquisite beauty of the Rocky mountains was born after discovering a hot spring. It belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. It’s one of the mesmerizing attractions in the Canadian state Alberta.

In the large natural oasis, little Banff town is the only one in the whole park. Sulphur Mountain embraces the charming Banff town and the entire valley. The gorgeous scenery of Banff National Park attracts millions of visitors each year.

The picturesque lakes like Louis Lake, Moraine or Peyto Lake find their home in Banff National Park. Emerald Lake, Sherbrooke Lake, Bow Lake, and Hector Lake join the amazing palette of the blue lakes.

The largest lake in the park is the fascinating Lake Minnewanka. Icefields Parkway entices the astonishing drive along its routes. The most popular hikes in Banff National Park are located in the Lake Louise area.

Moraine Lake, Alberta

Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks is a glacier lake where dreamy colours create magic. The postcard images shine from the surrounding ten peaks, each above 3000 m.

Hiking 14 km along both lakes is pretty popular due to their close proximity. In the full light of reflection, the azur blue gets its shine the most in late June. Most of the year the lake is frozen, particularly from October to June.

Stunning turquoise colours of the Moraine Lake
Stunning turquoise colours of the Moraine Lake- Credit: Hikingproject.com

Several amazing hikes delight in the pure joy of discovering fascinating views. The most popular one is the short hike that connects the Rockpile Trail and „Twenty Dollar View“.

Moraine Lake changes color according to the temperature. That’s why the best time to visit is from June to September.

The parking options at the Moraine lake are pretty limited but buses run every 15 minutes.

Peyto Lake, Alberta

Peyto Lake is the most popular spot in Banff National Park thanks to easy access by car. It’s located on the famous Icefields Parkway about 40 km from Lake Louis.

You can admire the stunning turquoise colours from a spectacular viewpoint. It’s the favourite spot for photographers who can enjoy the marvellous images of nature.

The stunning view above of the Peyto Lake
The stunning view above of the Peyto Lake- Credit: OrangeSmile.com

Because of the high elevation, Peyto lake is frozen from November till June. The enchanting colours of the lake depend on the rock flour and exist only in the summertime. A glacier that slides down the valley creates this magical attraction.

The name itself honours the first tourist guide in the Canadian wilderness- Bill Peyto. Bill Peyto worked as a park warden in the Banff National Park in the early 20th century.

Abraham Lake, Alberta

Abraham Lake is an artificial lake nestled on the North Saskatchewan River. Its location stretches not far from Banff National Park. Building the Bighorn Dam in 1972 was the main reason to create Abraham Lake.

The winter phenomenon at Abraham Lake happens between December and March when frozen ice bubbles appear. These methane ice bubbles are locked under the surface of the lake. The blue colours of this huge lake in summer join the palette of other glacial lakes.

The frozen bubbles of the Abraham Lake
The frozen bubbles of the Abraham Lake- Credit: Explorenordegg.ca

Lake and the nearby Mount Abraham owed the name to Silas Abraham, a guide from the valley in the early 20th century.

The best place to see the ice bubbles is near Preachers Point, which attracts many photographers.

Ice skating here tends to be pretty risky and needs extra precautions. The heavy wind during winter is a common situation at Abraham Lake.

Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia

The emerald waters of Garibaldi lake shine in the Garibaldi Provincial Park, 19 km south of Whistler in British Columbia. Garibaldi Park is a coastal treasure full of mountains, glaciers, forests, flowers and waterfalls. Vancouver City is only 73 km away.

Though being a Squamish heritage, Garibaldi Park was established in 1920. The name arrived from Mount Garibaldi thanks to the Italian general, Giuseppe Garibaldi.

Hiking around the astonishing Garibaldi Lake
Hiking around the astonishing Garibaldi Lake- Credit: Theworldonmynecklace.com

The lava flows from Mount Price and Clinker Peak created Garibaldi lake. The glacial nature of the lake envelops the fabulous shine of the turquoise colours.

Garibaldi Lake Hike is an 18 km hike that starts at Rubble Creek. The volcanic mountains capture the scenic beauty around this popular hike. The more challenging hikes cover even more scenic views including Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge hikes.

Garibaldi Lake attracts numerous campers with the required reservation.

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, British Columbia

Emerald Lake is a point of admiration for the colourful palette of travel and hiking tastes. It’s the largest lake in Yoko National Park.

The famous mountain guide Tom Wilson discovered the Emerald Lake in 1882 while giving a tour to the group of horses. The lake is easily accessible by car, being in close proximity to the TransCanada highway. The viewpoint by Natural Bridge creates a fantastic pause near the canyons of Amiskwi river.

The President Range Mountains embrace the lake like a natural amphitheatre. The lush vegetation suits particularly the fragile wild orchids. Into the frame of rich wildlife, the most commonly come bald eagles, moose or ospreys.

Sunbathing at the Emerald Lake in the Yoho National Park
Sunbathing at the Emerald Lake in the Yoho National Park- Credit: HikeBikeTravel.com

The gentle hike along the lake or smooth canoeing are among the most popular activities. Many families take a decision to do an easy hike. Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing makes Emerald Lake pretty magical in winter.

Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park lies at the border with Banff National Park. It’s a fascinating collection of turquoise lakes and hiking opportunities.

The name itself is an expression of wonder which reflects natural beauty.

Emerald Lake awakens the delightful images as the jewel in the Yoho National Park. Lake O’Hara is a secluded spot where mountains reflect the peaceful moments. Yoho campsite near the lake will make you absorb this stunning atmosphere.

Takakkaw Falls fascinates by the height it reaches. When Yoho Valley Road opens and snow melts, it can be seen in the full light.

The trail full of waterfalls and glacier lakes is the Iceline Trail, only 14 km long.

Sherbrooke Lake offers peaceful moments with fewer visitors. The only town in the Yoho National Park is a small town of Field.

Spotted Lake, British Columbia

Spotted Lake or Kliluk is a small lake rich with minerals, particularly calcium. It’s located northwest of Osoyoos in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.

During the summer months, the water starts to evaporate and create a stunning phenomenon. Colourful dots appear in the nuances from blue to green and yellow. The density of minerals results in the formation of particular colours.

Colourful dots at the Spotted Lake in British Columbia
Colourful dots at the Spotted Lake in British Columbia- Credit: Treehuger.com

Spotted Lake plays a sacred role in the life of the Okanagan Nation, the indigenous people that call it Kliluk. It was used for centuries for the healing purposes.

Today the lake is protected by a fence and in the possession of the federal government to serve the Okanagan Nation.

Lake Superior, Ontario

Lake Superior shares the border between Canada and the USA in the Canadian federal state of Ontario. It’s one of the largest lakes in the world, being 563 km long.

More than 300 rivers intertwine with the lake and the most significant are the St Louis River, Pigeon River, White River and Michipicoten River.

The French inhabitants gave it the name Lac Supérieur, but in the Ojibwa language it was called Kitchi-gummi (which also means great).

Amazing image from above of the Lake Superior in Ontario
Amazing image from above of the Lake Superior in Ontario- Credit: Pandotrip.com

The northern shores of Lake Superior embrace volcanoes and glaciers, rich wildlife and lush valleys.

Two marvellous parks- Lake Superior Provincial Park and Pukaskwa National Park- offer amazing camping and hiking opportunities.

Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta

The turquoise colours of Maligne Lake are the delight of Jasper National Park. It’s one of the largest lakes in the Canadian Rockies that stretches for 22 km. The easy access from Jasper town makes it pretty popular.

Little Spirit Island, decorated by the scenic mountains, paints stunning images. It’s possible to visit Spirit Island by boat that runs from spring to autumn. Most of the year it’s not actually an island and it’s considered a sacred place for the Stoney Nakona First Nation.

Maligne Lake with the little Spirit Island in the Jasper National Park
Maligne Lake with the little Spirit Island in the Jasper National Park- Credit: Canadianaffair.com

Three camping sites can also be reached only by boat. Maligne Lake is also home to the three glaciers and the popular Skyline hiking trail. Skyline Trail is one of the easiest multiday trips that covers 44 km along the scenic path.

The panoramic cruise by boat is a popular activity at Maligne Lake organised by the Pursuit Collective.

Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies that belongs to the UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.

The park was named after Jasper Hawes, who was a trader in the North West Company.

The wildness of Jasper National Park draws the panorama of the various animals like grizzly bears, moose and elk. 70 species of mammals that live here depend upon the peaceful atmosphere of the site.

Jasper National Park also catches the highest peak in Alberta, the Mount Columbia (3747m). It’s the land of glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, canyons and hot springs.

Four alpine huts, many hotels and camping sites offer a cozy lodgment. The numerous hiking trails spread along 990 km of the vast fields.

The treasures of scenic spots include Pyramid Mountain, Mount Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake, Medicine Lake and Tonquin Valley.

Berg Lake, British Columbia

Berg Lake is a turquoise jewel in Mount Robson Provincial Park nestled on the Robson river. Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

Icebergs define the dreamy existence of the Berg Lake even in the summer. The hiking trail of 19 km from the parking spot leads to Berg Lake. Mount Robson Viewpoint Centre is situated in close proximity to the parking lot, about 2 km away.

The turquoise colours of the Berg Lake and Mount Robson
The turquoise colours of the Berg Lake and Mount Robson- Credit: RoamingSpices.com

The trail intertwines with the Kinney Lake, Emperor Falls and Robson river. The Valley of Thousand Falls follows a scenic route full of wonder.

It opens up only during the summer months, making it difficult to get a reservation. The camping reservations are another issue worth considering in time.

Kootenay Lake, British Columbia

Kootenay Lake is a long and narrow lake that flows out of the Kootenay river. It’s located between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges in the Kootenay region of British Columbia.

The aerial view of the long but narrow Kootenay Lake
The aerial view of the long but narrow Kootenay Lake- Credit: Kootenayrockies.com

The Kootenay language gave the name to the lake,  which means „water people“. The glaciers of the mountains blended with the ice mass shaping the Kootenay lake.

Kootenay lake is the heritage of the Sinixt and Ktunaxa people, the native population of the area.

The scenic ferry ride between Balfour and Crawford bay connects two opposite shores. It’s the longest free ferry ride, taking a two-hour round-trip.

Conclusion

The surprising abundance of the Canadian lakes intertwines with the gorgeous rivers. The stunning nature paints its fairy tale stories through the mountains, waterfalls, glaciers and national parks.

The thousands of years of history created the meaning and sacred places for indigenous people in the Canadian lakes. Canada is the home to more than 2 million lakes, quite above the average of any country in the world.

The adventure dwells in the call of nature and many sports it offers. Experiencing picturesque canoes is the way to discover lakes in its essence. Having a lodgment near the lake is a stunning escape from ordinary life.

 

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