Top 10+ Most Stunning Lakes In Canada
Canada, the world’s second largest country, is known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. It has eight distinct forest zones, two mountain zones, volcanoes, and an arctic zone. It also has the most fresh water lakes in the world, which are spread across ten provinces and three territories.
It is estimated that there are over 2 million lakes in Canada, 31,752 of which have a surface area greater than three square kilometers, and 561 of which have a surface area greater than 100 square kilometers. In fact, freshwater covers more than 9% of the country. That’s more than 890,000 square kilometers! With so many lakes, deciding which ones are the best is nearly impossible. But some of these lakes are much more spectacular than the others.
Lakes are as beautiful and as important to the environment as oceans, but they are largely unexplored. Yes, data on their size is available. Let’s dive into the most beautiful lakes in Canada.
Lake Louise, also known as the Lake of Little Fishes, is one of Alberta’s finest and deserves at least a full day to truly appreciate the effortless beauty of its glacial waters. Although the lake’s surface area is less than a square mile, the surrounding trails are quite remarkable, with Big Beehive, Saddleback Pass, and Devil’s Thumb all commanding legendary trekking status if you listen to the knowledgeable locals.
If you prefer to explore on two or four legs, you’ll find that several trails allow for bikes and horses, but it’s usually a kayak or canoe that will take you out onto the water and give you one of the most spectacular views from an entirely new perspective. Best vantage point: If you fancy a quick hands-and-feet scramble to the 9,000-foot summit of Fairview Mountain, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of Lake Louise far below.
READ MORE: How Many Lakes Are There In The US Today?
Maligne Lake in Alberta’s Jasper Park is one of the world’s most photographed natural places, with some incredible coloration and more than its fair share of glacial mountain views. It always deserves to be near the top of any list relating to awesome stretches of water.
Maligne Lake, located about 30 miles south of Jasper and serving as the starting point for one of the national park’s most popular hiking trails (the Skyline), is one of those places you can’t help but return to, and visiting the tiny island of Spirit on a summer’s day is about as good as it gets. Other activities to try before winter arrives include kayaking, canoeing, and fishing with a partner.
Another stunning Banff lakeside setting can be found on the amazing Icefields Parkway, and if you’re looking for an amazing opportunity to blow your colleagues’ screen saver shots out of the water, Peyto is probably the place to go. The highest point on Icefields Parkway, Bow Summit, has an awesome viewing platform to help you snap away until your heart’s content, and is one of the best locations to get the ultimate photograph. The best way to avoid the coachloads is to start from the Bow Summit car park and take one of the trails that lead up the mountain via a paved footpath that then turns into a dirt road.
Banff is another of Canada’s most celebrated national parks, and if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding, you’ve probably heard about the resorts and slopes that are so popular with snow enthusiasts. Summer is often considered to be an equally, if not better, time of year to visit, and one such location that draws crowds is the glacial water of Moraine Lake, which lies around 9 miles outside of Lake Louise village. Numerous hiking trails will lead you around the lake and put your hiking boots to the test as you discover how Lake Moraine got its name; however, once you’ve scaled the surrounding heights all of your hiking boots will be put to the test.
Abraham Lake, also known as Lake Abraham, is the largest reservoir and artificial lake in Alberta. It is located on the North Saskatchewan River in western Alberta, Canada, in the “Kootenay Plains portion of the Canadian Rockies’ front range”.
Abraham Lake is a newer lake on Alberta’s North Saskatchewan River. Although its waters are glacial blue, they were created by damming the river in 1972. The Canadian Rockies are bitterly cold in the winter, but now is an excellent time to see the lake’s well-known bubble phenomenon. When water freezes, methane released by dying plants causes it to bubble. If you smoke, keep your cigarettes away from the ice because methane is flammable.
Lake Huron, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, separates Canada and the United States. Not only that, but it is home to the world’s largest freshwater island, Manitoulin. Furthermore, Georgian and Saginaw bays, the largest of the five Great Lakes, are so large that they are sometimes mistaken for lakes. Along the lake, which has seen many shipwrecks over the centuries, trees outnumber people. The most significant wreck sites are protected areas. The Huron Indians inspired the lake’s name.
Lake Minnewanka is a glacier lake located about five kilometers northeast of Banff in the eastern part of Canada’s Banff National Park. With a length of 21 kilometers and a depth of 142 meters, it is the second-longest lake in the Canadian Rockies mountain parks. The lake is fed by the Cascade River, which flows south through Stewart Canyon and empties into the lake’s western end. It runs to the east of Cascade Mountain. A number of streams flow into the lake from Mount Inglismaldie, Mount Girouard, and Mount Peechee on the lake’s southern shore.
Spotted Lake is only a little more than a kilometre long and 400 metres wide. So, what’s the deal with Spotted Lake? It’s all in the name: as water evaporates, crystalised ponds form, resembling a massive polka-dot pattern on the water’s surface.
This is also a sacred site for local indigenous groups, who have used the waters for centuries as a healing center. The spots and colors that change with the seasons give the lake an otherworldly appearance.
Waterton Lake shares a border with both Canada and the United States. The deep lake that twists around the green mountains is a breathtaking sight.
Waterton Lake is a popular tourist destination in Canada due to its diverse flora and fauna. It is, in fact, a part of the Waterton Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When exploring the park, keep an eye out for deer, elk, moose, and black bears. Aside from wildlife viewing, the park offers watersports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, and sailboating.
Emerald Lake is located in Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada. Yoho National Park is one of four contiguous national parks in Canada’s Rocky Mountains, located between the provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. Kootenay, Jasper, and Banff are the other parks. These federal reserves also include a number of provincial parks with similar environmental protection and equally beautiful scenery. Emerald Lake Lodge is a luxurious lodge or hotel located on a peninsula that projects into the lake.
Created by volcanic action, Lake Superior has been around for hundreds of millions of years. It’s the largest of the Great Lakes, and one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. The southern portion of the lake, which divides Canada and the United States, is known as “the graveyard of the Great Lakes, because of the high number of shipwrecks, mostly around Whitefish Point. The most famous ship lost was the SS Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. This area is now an underwater preserve.
This turquoise coloured alpine lake lies in the Garibaldi Provincial Park at an elevation of 1,484 metres above sea level. It’s a stunning lake that is surrounded almost entirely by mountains that reflect into the mirror-like water.
Garibaldi Lake stretches for over 990 hectare between Whistler and Squamish. It’s only accessible by hiking along the nearly nine kilometre Garibaldi Lake Trail.
Visit in the winter and enjoy backcountry skiing or snowshoeing while being mesmerised by the lake’s beauty. Throughout the rest of the year, go hiking and enjoy the meadows, flowers and waterfalls.
Canada has an incredible two million lakes and the world’s highest number of freshwater lakes. As a result, we understand if you’re having difficulty deciding which ones to visit.
That is why we have created this extremely useful guide. With our advice, you’ll be on your way to one of Canada’s most beautiful lakes in no time.
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