Canada is a country with more than her fair share of lakes. In reality, eight percent of the country’s landmass is covered by the fresh water bodies. That’s a fact which puts Canada in prime position on the list of countries with the most surface area covered by lakes.
Lakes are beautiful and just as environmentally important as oceans, yet they remain pretty much uninvestigated. Yes, data is available on how big they are, what their depth is and there’s plenty of information on estimations of their volume. We know they play an important part in the hydrologic cycle, but what exactly lies beneath the waters is pretty much a mystery. The world takes lakes for granted. We shouldn’t. Lakes are amazing.
If you really want to see lakes in all their true natural glory, Canada should be your number one place to visit. Check out the most incredible fifteen here and you’ll start to wonder why you haven’t been there sooner.
5. Peyto Lake
Peyto Lake is another of those stretches of water which will take you by surprise at the startling azure blue color of its waters. Located high up in the Canadian Rockies at an altitude of over six thousand feet, it is incorporated in the boundaries of the Banff National Park. It’s a small, but easily accessed glacial lake which measures just under two miles at its longest point, only half a mile at its widest and has a surface area of two square miles. As far as Canadian lakes go, it’s quite petit.
Why go? Even though Peyto Lake is up in the mountains, it’s is relatively easy to get to. Which is great if you’re not the backpacking, trailblazing, hiking type. It means you don’t have to miss out. Peyto Lake can be reached by driving through the Banff National Park on highway 93 or the Icefields Parkway to call it by its other name. Don’t feel guilty for not hiking, the photographs you take will be just as stunningly impressive as if you’d walked.
Map Location: Peyto Lake
4. Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake can be found in the Yoho National Park which is in British Columbia, Canada. The lake really lives up to its name by being a stunning emerald green in color when it’s in its liquid form. High up at an altitude of over four thousand feet, Emerald Lake can remain frozen for periods as long as seven months of the year so don’t plan on going before at least July. It may be the largest lake in Yoho National Park, but its shoreline only measures just over three miles long and is completely circumvented by a hiking trail which takes around one and a half hours to fully complete.
Why go? Emerald Lake is in a quiet and very secluded spot but is easy to get to with a vehicle. It’s a great place for observing eagles and ospreys in their natural habitat while hiking the trail. You can also canoe across the beautiful green and tranquil waters and get a feel of how it might have been for the original indigenous inhabitants of the area.
Map Location: Emerald Lake
3. Garibaldi Lake
Garibaldi Lake is a large stretch of water geographically located in British Columbia, Canada between the townships of Whistler and Squamish. Its surface area spreads for an amazing two thousand five hundred acres through the Garibaldi Provincial Park, which is a lot of lake. It has an average depth of just under four hundred feet which can plummet down as far as almost nine hundred feet in places. Garibaldi Lake can only be reached by hiking the Garibaldi Lake Trail which is around five and a half miles long.
Why go? The turquoise waters of Lake Garibaldi are so crystalline, the surface acts like a mirror and reflects super clear images of the surrounding landscapes. Great for photography. If you’re into winter sports like snowshoeing and backcountry skiing then this is a place you really should be aiming to visit.
Map Location: Garibaldi Lake
2. Lake Louise
Lake Louise is a glacial lake fed by the Lefroy Glacier and can be found in the Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. It’s a small, but stunning lake which measures just over a mile in length, a third of a mile in width and has only a third of a square mile of surface area. With a maximum depth of around two hundred and thirty feet, it’s almost as deep as it is wide. Its close proximity to the small town of Lake Louise has made it a popular tourist attraction.
Why go? This is the ideal Canadian lake to visit if you’re unsure of being too far away from civilization. Spend the day wandering around the wilderness of Lake Louise’s shores, enjoy some horse riding through the forests or even rock climbing if you’ve got a head for heights. Then, rather than roughing it at a campsite, spend the night at the Château Lake Louise, the huge and very luxurious hotel built right by the water’s edge. No-one said you couldn’t visit Canadian lakes in style, did they?
Map Location: Lake Louise
1. Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake nestles in a landscape which looks like the perfect picture postcard image. Pine forests, symmetrical mountain peaks and the lake’s ice blue waters shimmering between them. This impeccable stretch of glacial water is to be found in the Banff National Park, near the township of Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada. Moraine Lake covers an area of around one hundred and twenty acres in the Valley of Ten Peaks and reaches almost fifty foot in depth in places.
Why go? Moraine Lake is one of the most photographed spots in all of Canada. It’s been replicated on everything from paper money to video games and even used as log-in screens for major technology companies. You’ve probably seen it digitally reproduced, so why not go and see the real thing? Believe it, it’s even better live, so make sure you don’t miss out by not going to see it.
Map Location: Moraine Lake