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The 10 Best Lakes in Canada

The 10 Best Lakes in Canada

Hey there, fellow adventurers and nature lovers! Are you ready to embark on a journey to discover Canada’s most stunning lakes?

Oh, you’re in for a treat! Canada’s majestic landscapes are home to some of the world’s most breathtaking lakes that will leave you absolutely awestruck.

From the turquoise waters of Lake Louise to the mystical allure of Maligne Lake, this gorgeous country has no shortage of spellbinding sights for you to explore.

So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and join us as we countdown the best lakes in Canada. These destinations are sure to create memories that will last a lifetime, so read on and let the adventure begin!

Lake Louise


Well, first up on our Canada’s magical lake tour is, of course, the famous Lake Louise. Now, friends, when I say it’s like stepping into a postcard, I absolutely mean it.

It’s nestled away in Banff National Park and surrounded by snow-capped peaks, giving it a dreamy atmosphere. The turquoise waters are really something to write home about, earning Louise tough-to-beat Instagram bragging rights.

And for history lovers, the iconic Fairmont Château Lake Louise, right along the shoreline, is a wonder in itself. Built in the late 19th century, it carries an extensive history coupled with impeccable views of the lake.

The surrounding area also offers a plethora of trails with stunning views of the lake and the Victoria Glacier. Whichever trail you choose, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned hiker, you’ll definitely have an experience worthy of a fireside story.

Local Tip: If you are visiting in the winter, don’t forget to try ice skating. Its frozen surface transforms into one of the most picturesque skating rinks ever!

Moraine Lake


Don’t unpack those hiking boots just yet, because next up, nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, is the alpine beauty of Moraine Lake. This lake is smaller than its counterpart, Lake Louise, but it does not fall short when it comes to raw, natural beauty.

Its vibrant colour comes from light refracting off the “rock flour” (glacier-ground rock particles) in the lake. The area around Moraine Lake offers an array of hiking trails, ranging from casual walks to moderate hikes.

For a guaranteed wow moment, the Rockpile Trail is where you want to be. It’s a short, sweet, and non-strenuous trail leading you to the top of a natural dam, offering you the finest viewpoint to soak up the majesty of Moraine Lake.

Let me tell you something about sunrises at Moraine Lake—they’ll make it on your top life experiences list for sure.

Local Tip: Go early in the morning or late in the evening to beat the crowds and truly appreciate this spectacle of nature.

Maligne Lake


Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies, but it’s not just its size that makes it remarkable. Towering snow-peaked mountains surround it, with forests creeping up their slopes, creating an awe-inspiring scenery.

The lake itself is home to the famous Spirit Island. This tiny, captivating islet guarded by three mountain ranges is small in size but certainly big in beauty!

There’s also the Maligne Lake Cruise, an unforgettable journey you wouldn’t want to miss. It takes you across glacier-fed waters onto the iconic Spirit Island.

For anglers, Maligne Lake isn’t just a lake; it’s a dream come true. It’s home to one of the world’s best rainbow trout fisheries.

Local Tip: Take a local guided tour to explore the geological wonders—the disappearing Medicine Lake and the mysterious Maligne Canyon—along the path to Maligne Lake. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Garibaldi Lake


Garibaldi Lake lives in Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia, and boy, is it worth every step of the hike to get there. Yes, you heard me right; this turquoise gem is a hiking reward.

The journey up to the lake is part of the charm, as you traverse through a vibrant, lush forest teeming with greenery. 

The trail can be demanding, but when you reach the lake and dip your toes into that cool, soothing water while taking in the breathtaking panorama, you’ll know it was absolutely worth it.

For overnight visitors, the lake offers a series of campsites along its shore where you can build your base to explore the surrounding trails. Imagine waking up to that serene view, huh?

Local Tip: Be sure to carry bug repellent in the summer. The mosquitoes up there don’t mess around!

Peyto Lake


When we’re talking about lakes so beautiful they make your heart skip a beat, Peyto Lake definitely takes the top spot. It’s nestled away in Banff National Park, just off the Icefields Parkway, shimmering like a precious jewel amidst the Rockies.

But what makes Peyto truly extraordinary is its striking colour—a brilliant shade of turquoise that almost seems surreal against the backdrop of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. 

This dazzling colour is due to the rock flour (again, glacier-ground rocks) that flows into the lake and catches the light.

The Peyto Lake viewing platform offers a fantastic panorama of the surrounding landscapes. It’s a must-visit for any adventurer out there venturing into Banff National Park.

But there’s nothing like a good hike to really get to know a place, and the trail to the upper viewing deck guarantees a quieter and even nicer spot to appreciate this gem of nature.

Local Tip: Try to visit early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the crowds and have a more genuine experience!

Bow Lake


Bow Lake is located along the Icefields Parkway and has a charm and serenity that are simply endearing. It’s one of the best lakes in this region, and after visiting, it’s not hard to see why.

Its location makes it easy for visitors to enjoy panoramic views right from the comfort of their vehicles. But don’t just drive by; take a moment, step out, stretch those legs, and soak up the serene beauty.

The lake offers some awesome, easy-to-walk trails that wind around its shoreline, leading to mesmerising spots for viewing waterfalls or experiencing unique flora and fauna.

Local Tip: Don’t miss the historic Num-Ti-Jah Lodge nearby for a chance to delve into the area’s history and maybe even a warm cup of coffee!

Emerald Lake


One look at Emerald Lake, and you’ll be hooked. You know, it’s kind of like that charming person you spot across the room who instantly becomes the centre of your universe.

Its stunning emerald-green waters against the backdrop of majestic mountains will leave you wide-eyed and short of breath. 

Emerald Lake is also the largest in Yoho National Park, and this gives you ample opportunities to explore the shoreline with beautiful trail walks.

You know, you’ve got the lake on one side and, on the other, an alpine forest full of spruces and firs. You can even paddle across the lake in a rented canoe to soak up the beauty from different perspectives.

Local Tip: Winter or summer, start your visit early in the day to avoid the crowds and have the place, for the most part, to yourself.

Spotted Lake


Say hello to Spotted Lake, a natural marvel in British Columbia’s desert that’s as fascinating to understand as it is to view.

This peculiar lake gets its name from the spots that appear when most of the water evaporates in summer, leaving behind large “spots” of minerals. Each spot can be a different colour depending on its mineral content.

In winter, it’s a perfectly normal lake. But the summer heat works some strange magic; the water retreats, and voila, a matrix of colourful puddles appears!

There is significant spiritual importance attached to Spotted Lake. Indigenous communities consider it a sacred site, and it’s believed to have therapeutic waters.

Local Tip: Stay respectful, buddies, because this is privately owned tribal land, and fences are in place. Viewing from the roadside or outlook is your best bet.

Osoyoos Lake


Osoyoos Lake is located in the Okanagan Valley and is adored for being one of the warmest lakes in Canada. So imagine dipping into warm waters while being surrounded by beautiful vineyards and desert hills.

This lake isn’t just pretty, though. It’s a hub for recreational activities like swimming, sailing, boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

And for those land lovers, the surrounding vineyards offer as many flavours of wine as you can dream of! Oh, and the sunsets here are pure gold!

Local Tip: Osoyoos also happens to be a “halfway point” for those road trips between Vancouver and Calgary, making it a charming spot for a much-needed break.

Kluane Lake


And for our final stop, we’re heading up north to the Yukon, where Kluane Lake awaits us. Situated amidst the highest mountains in Canada, Kluane Lake is a pure testament to the raw, untouched beauty of the Canadian wilderness.

Kluane Lake isn’t just a sight for sore eyes, since it’s full of opportunities for adventure. From hiking trails along the shore to fishing for lake trout and whitefish, Kluane has got you covered.

And did I mention the wildlife-spotting opportunities? You can catch sight of magnificent animals such as grizzly bears and moose.

Don’t just limit yourself to daylight hours, though; the real show begins at night. Kluane Lake offers some of the best views of the Northern Lights in Canada.

Local Tip: For hiking enthusiasts, don’t miss out on the Soldier’s Summit trail with its stunning views over the lake. 
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