A Guide for Your Next Trip to the Lakes of Alberta

Why Visit Alberta?

Alberta is a very versatile place. The Rockies are also one of the biggest attractions that can only be found there, and it boasts lakes and rivers in colors that I couldn’t find in any other province. It’s those lakes that truly enchanted me and made me fall in love with Alberta.

There are certain ones that I have found more entertaining and breathtaking than others, so if you plan to go on vacation or have already decided to go to Alberta, here are some must-see lakes!

Lake Moraine

Location: Banff National Park

Description: This lake definitely comes on the top of the list. The way the mountains and water and trees all go together is incomparable. Although it is beautiful all the time, it is the most breathtaking when the sun is at its peak. That is when the lake’s colors truly shine. As I like to describe it, it looks like a swimming pool with a mountain background. It just doesn’t seem real.

Activities: The hike around the lake is a must do. Not only does it have gorgeous scenery, but at the end of the hike, you can see the glacier water flowing into the lake.

Canoeing: This is a great place for canoeing. The view from the canoe is incomparable! The water in this lake is also a great place for canoeing. It’s like you are canoeing in a swimming pool. I would not recommend this lake for inexperienced canoers. The water is deep and cold and could be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing.

Cottages: You can rent cottages, lodges and hotels that are right beside lake Moraine. You could step out of your cottage and actually see the lake. They are totally worth it!

Lake Louise

Location: Banff National Park

Description: This lake is a must-see! I’m not surprised that it comes in the top 5 places to go to in Alberta. It certainly is breathtaking. This lake is just gorgeous in color, and the background scenery is unbelievably beautiful. This lake is a great place for photographers as well!

Activities: There is a walk around this lake which is simply breathtaking! Even if you are not a walker, you have to try this one. It’s accessible, clean, and gorgeous. What more can you ask for? Not only that, but there is a huge surprise at the end.

Activities: There is this section where there is a very thick layer of sand and silt on the lake. This creates an extension that allows you to actually walk on the lake! It sounds amazing, but believe me, when you actually go to experience it, the feeling is indescribable. It feels almost impossible.

Tours: Lake Louise has the most events, tours, and activities out of all the lakes. There are horseback rides. You walk the trail around the lake and then meet your guide. Then you horseback ride through the mountains. Even if you don’t know how to horseback ride, you can still go on this tour. It is a MUST DO!

Canoeing: This lake is a great place for all those canoers out there! Walking around this lake is amazing. But canoeing in this lake is just something else. However, I would not recommend canoeing in this lake if you do not have any experience. This lake is quite deep and it is also freezing. You certainly wouldn’t want to tip over in that water!

Cottages: There are also cottages, hotels and lodges located around the lake. You could simply step out of your cottage and be on the track of Lake Louise. They are amazing, and totally worth it. I hope you get a chance to see this amazing lake!

Peyto Lake

Location: Banff National Park

Description: I am sure that everyone can tell the beauty of this lake just from the picture. This lake was just breathtaking. The shape, the color, the everything of this lake is a must-see!

Photography: Remember how I said that Alberta’s lakes are perfect for photography. Well, this lake especially you cannot miss out on! What is a photography career when you have no pics from Alberta?

Accessibility: This lake is not as easy to access as Lake Moraine and Lake Louise. This lake is on a hike. Although it isn’t that long, it is continuously high and then low. To get to the first viewpoint, it is about 700m from the start. But this viewpoint is usually crowded, so we hike about 500 meters more to a breathtaking and low-traffic viewpoint. This hike is a must.

There is no lake that has the color or shape of this lake. If you miss out on this one, you will absolutely regret it!

Emerald Lake

Location: Yoho National Park

Description: Although this lake is in British Columbia, it is closer to Alberta than almost all places in the BC (British Columbia). But believe me, you WILL want to see this lake. Every other lake was either turquoise or blue in color. Have you ever heard of a lake that is emerald in color? Well that’s why this lake’s name is Emerald Lake. It literally looks like someone melted emeralds into a big pool with a mountain background!

Photography: This lake was absolutely mind-blowing. The color of this lake was incomparable. It just had this rare and unreal look to it. Once again, it is a great place for photography. With the red canoes and mountain background and emerald-colored lake, there is nothing like it.

Activities: There is also a walk around this lake. My recommendation is that you go to the ice cream store, buy your favorite flavor, and take a walk around the lake. Absolutely incredible. First, you have the ice cream to enjoy, and even better, you are surrounded by nature. True beauty.

Canoeing: I would also recommend that you rent a canoe and take a canoe ride around the lake. You experience a lot more when you canoe. You can go places where there might not be a path or you get a better view of the lake. Everything becomes better when you go for a canoe, especially Lake Emerald. So make sure to go canoeing!

Cottages: You can also rent a cottage near Lake Emerald. They are only a 1- or 2-minute walk from the lake. They are absolutely beautiful. Just looking at them is amazing, but staying in them is a dream come true for any adventurer!

Bow Lake

Location: Banff National Park

Description: This lake is a great stop for taking a break from driving or walking. There is a walk around this lake, and it is definitely worth it. This lake’s beauty shines the best when the sun is high. That is when its colors are at their peaks.

Activities: This lake is great for a picnic as well. It has less traffic and rush than the other lakes. I know that when I have a picnic, I want it to be quiet and peaceful.

Photography: This lake is a great spot for photography as well. Any photographer would understand the artistic look behind this lake. This lake looks beautiful in all seasons, so come whenever you like.

When Should You Visit Alberta?


Well, every lake has its own beauty in every season. If you like skiing or other winter sports and don’t mind the cold (it does get very cold in the Rockies), then winter is the season for you.


If you don’t like the cold and high traffic, then spring is the season for you. The flowers, buds and greenery are starting to come out at that time, so it is very pretty. Just remember that the weather is very unpredictable around this time. This means that it can rain all of a sudden and it might not have been in the forecast. If you don’t have a rain jacket and you plan to go in this season, then get one!


If you don’t like the unpredictable weather and the rain, but you enjoy the heat, then summer is the season for you. The greenery is at its peak in the summer. Although this sometimes blocks the view of some lakes, it is still very beautiful. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of people. When I say that, I mean A LOT of people. It sometimes gets hard to move around.


If you are a true Canadian and love the fall weather, then you should go in fall. The only thing is that the Rockies aren’t famous for their fall season. Since most of the trees are coniferous, they don’t change color. So if you are going for the fall color, these lakes might not be the best option.

Note: If you plan to go to Alberta, then you will definitely hike or walk at some point. I would recommend getting hiking boots and a good rain jacket so that your walk or hike can be an easy one, especially if you are going in unpredictable weather.

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