Top 5 lakes in the Canadian Rockies

A road trip in the Canadian Rockies is synonymous with the beauty of nature, but especially with pristine mountain lakes, each more stunning than the last. 

Here are 5 lakes you simply must visit on your first trip to Western Canada!

#5. Lake Louise

Located in Banff National Park, Lake Louise has a reputation that precedes it, and with good reason! 

With its brilliant turquoise waters and backdrop of mountains, it would be hard not to include this iconic lake in our list of the most beautiful lakes in the Canadian Rockies. 

Like many lakes in the region, it's during the spring thaw, around the beginning of June, that the rock flour (silt) from glacial melt runs down into the lake, giving it its striking colour. 

Admire it from the shore, with the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel on its eastern bank, or hike the trail to the Lake Agnes Tea House for a superb view from above. 

Canoe rentals are also available, if you want to immerse yourself in the heart of this picture-perfect setting. 

#4. Peyto Lake

Do you see a wolf or a fox? 

Peyto Lake is known for its distinctive shape and its aqua colour, caused by sunlight reflecting off suspended glacial silt (rock flour) from the Wapta Glacier. 

It's one of the main attractions in Banff National Park because it is so easily accessible and stunningly beautiful.

A short walk leads from the parking lot to the viewing platform, from which visitors can take great photos of the lake. 

Be aware that parking is limited, so plan to arrive early!

For a less crowded view, take the short trail to Bow Summit. 


#3. Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake is the longest lake in the Canadian Rockies and the second-largest glacier-fed lake in the world.

It's over 23 kilometres long, offering a gorgeous window into the vastness of our great outdoors. 

Spirit Island, one of the most popular attractions in Jasper National Park, can be found there. 

This tiny island is said to be the most photographed island in the world. 

You can get that coveted shot by taking the Spirit Island cruise. 

Be aware that this beautiful island has great significance and is a spiritual place for the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. 

Be sure to treat it with the respect it deserves! 


#2. Moraine Lake

Nestled the Valley of the Ten Peaks, about twenty minutes from Lake Louise, Moraine Lake is an emblem of Western Canada. 

So much so that it was once featured on our twenty-dollar bill!

The contrast between the turquoise waters of the lake and the surrounding rugged peaks is striking.

Venture out on the Moraine Lake Shore Trail to explore its shores or Rockpile Trail for a higher viewpoint.

If you'd like to go out on the lake, Moraine Lake Lodge offers canoe rentals from mid-June to mid-September. 


#1. Emerald Lake

The largest lake in Yoho National Park has a lot to offer. 

Emerald Lake is surrounded by the mountains of the President Range and is simply breathtaking. 

The lodge of the same name is also extremely photogenic. In fact, it's one of the most popular shots of the lake. 

With its lush natural surroundings, you'll be surprised to learn that it's just a few kilometres from the Trans-Canada Highway. 

There is an easy 5.2-km walking trail around the lake that is suitable for everyone and makes a great family hike for visitors to Western Canada.  

Emerald Lake also offers stunning winter scenery and is a popular winter destination for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. 


Locate the 5 most beautiful lakes in the Rockies 

canadian rockies lakes map
Map of the 5 most beautiful lakes in the Canadian Rockies


And that's it for the 5 most beautiful lakes in the Canadian Rockies. 

What lake would you add to the list? Feel free to tell us in the comments section below. 

Karolane Lessard

An enthusiast of both our vibrant cities & great oudoors, my life revolves around travel & adventure. It's a no brainer that I have to share the wonders & secrets of my neck of the woods with other travelling souls. Enjoy the journey!


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