The Top Lakes To Visit In Banff

Jul 12, 2023

Last Updated on: Jan 6, 2024

Travel Guides

Banff National Park is a world-class location famous for its mountain ranges, wildlife, and glacially-fed lakes. It’s so remarkable it became a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site. It acquired the honor in the early 80s for its exceptionality. Today, Banff is the ultimate destination for holidaygoers who want to explore, relax, or both!

If you’re planning a trip to Banff this summer or early fall, or you’re planning for a future vacation, then we encourage you to consider visiting several lakes during your travels. You won’t regret it!

1. Lake Louise

We’re starting with the most well-known lake, Lake Louise. Located 45 minutes northwest of Banff, Lake Louise gets its name from the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Louise. This bright blue, tree-lined lake (and its famous Chateau) has jutting mountain peaks surrounding it. It also features the snow-capped Victoria Glacier in the background.

During late spring, summer, and early fall, various hiking and mountain biking trails are available for exploration around Lake Louise. And if you have time, a hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House is a must.

Horseback riding is also an option here. At Chateau, visitors can spend a half day or a whole day in the saddle discovering the Timberline Trails that wrap around the lake. There is also Paradise Valley and other scenic routes where you can rent canoes at the Chateau, too.

2. Moraine Lake

For many, Moraine Lake is the top contender for the most beautiful lake in Banff. Here, you can hike several trails — there are options at Moraine Lake for all hiking abilities. The most popular short hike is the Rockpile trail — which is phenomenal at sunrise. If you’re an early riser, we encourage you to add this to your holiday ‘to-do’ list. Visitors to Moraine Lake can also rock climb, rent canoes, and bring their inflatable SUPs to paddle across the water.

The road to Moraine Lake was closed to private vehicles at the end of 2022. Fortunately, shuttle services as offered by Morainelakebus.com now commute visitors to and from the lake, with buses starting as early as 4 a.m. for those eager to catch sight of the famous sunrise! An extra bonus for this provider is that some of their services also stop at number one on our list, Lake Louise.

3. Lake Minnewanka

Located within the Montane Eco Region, Lake Minnewanka —also known as the ‘Lake of the Spirits’ — is the largest lake in Banff; it’s 18 kilometers long and approximately 100 meters deep.

At Lake Minnewanka, you can explore footpaths and trails or sit back on a guided boat cruise to learn all about the lake’s rich history. Minnewanka is considered an area of cultural and historical significance; artifacts dating back over 14,000 years have been found here.

For scuba enthusiasts, Lake Minnewanka is one of two that you can explore in Banff National Park (the second being Two Jack Lake).

4. Bow Lake

If you’re driving along the Icefields Parkway, then a stop at Bow Lake is a must. It’s a great spot to stretch your legs, as well as take phenomenal photos of the lake with Crowfoot Mountain and the Wapta Icefield in the background.

If you have the time, this area is fantastic for hiking, mountaineering, as well as scrambling — with tons of wildflowers filling the trails in the summer months.

The Top Lakes to Visit

When you’re in the Banff area, it’s possible to visit multiple lakes throughout your stay — there are many more in addition to the four mentioned here. Each offers something unique from the other, and you’re sure to have an unbelievable time — whether you visit for adventure or bring a picnic, sit back, and take in the beautiful scenery.

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Arnab is a passionate blogger. He shares sentient blogs on topics like travel, health, lifestyle etc. If you want to read refulgent blogs so please follow Tour And Travel Blog.

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