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15 Best Lakes In Canada

As someone who loves nature and the outdoors, I have been fortunate enough to visit countless lakes across Canada. But let me tell you something – there is nothing quite like being mesmerized by the sheer magnificence of these 15 best lakes in Canada.

From swimming in crystal clear waters that reflect the surrounding snow-capped peaks to embarking on thrilling water adventures amidst lush forests, each lake holds its own unique charm and offers unforgettable experiences for every type of traveler. So get ready to be captivated by nature's grandeur as we dive into this list of must-visit Canadian lakes.

1. Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of the most famous and popular lakes in Banff National Park, located just 45 minutes from the town of Banff. It is known for its brilliantly bright shade of turquoise water, surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and glaciers.

The lake is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, who visited the area in 1882. It has become an iconic destination for tourists and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world, offering a range of activities such as hiking, canoeing, skiing, and ice skating.

In addition to its stunning natural beauty, Lake Louise also features the historic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel, which has been welcoming guests since 1890. The hotel offers luxurious accommodations and amenities, as well as dining options that showcase the local cuisine and ingredients.

One of the most popular hiking trails in the area is the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. The trail is approximately 10.6 kilometers long and takes about 4-5 hours to complete.

2. Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, British Columbia

Emerald Lake in canada

I have to say that Emerald Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. Located in Yoho National Park in British Columbia, this fresh water lake is a true gem and a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Canada.

One of the things that make Emerald Lake so special is its stunning jade-colored water. The color is due to the presence of glacial rock flour in the water, which reflects the sunlight and creates this unique hue. The lake is also surrounded by mountains and forests, making it a perfect spot for hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

There are several hiking trails around Emerald Lake, ranging from easy to difficult. The most popular one is the Emerald Lake Loop, which is a 5.2 km trail that takes you around the lake and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The trail is well-maintained and suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

If you are a fishing enthusiast, Lake Emerald is a great place to catch some trout. The lake is stocked regularly, and there are several fishing spots along the shore. You can also rent a boat and explore the lake on your own.

When you visit Emerald Lake, there are several accommodation options near Emerald Lake, including the Emerald Lake Lodge, which is a beautiful and cozy hotel located right on the lake. The lodge offers various activities and amenities, including canoe rentals, guided hikes, and a spa.

3. Lake Superior, Ontario

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world and is situated in Ontario. It is a popular destination for tourists due to its stunning scenery and numerous recreational activities.

One of the most popular activities on Lake Superior is ice fishing. The largest of the great lakes is home to a variety of fish, including lake trout, salmon, and walleye. Fishing charters are available for those who want to experience the thrill of catching their own fish.

Another popular activity on Lake Superior is kayaking. The lake's clear waters and rugged shoreline make it an ideal location for kayaking enthusiasts. There are several outfitters in the area that offer rentals and guided tours.

For those who prefer to stay on land, Lake Superior Provincial Park offers hiking trails that provide breathtaking views of the big lake and surrounding wilderness. The park also has several campsites and cabins for those who want to spend a night under the stars.

In addition to its natural beauty, Superior Lake also has a rich history. The lake was an important transportation route for early explorers and fur traders. Today, visitors can learn about the region's history at several museums and historic sites.

4. Garibaldi Lake, Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia

Garibaldi Lake in Canada

Garibaldi Lake is one of the best Canadian lakes in the country. Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, it is known for its amazing turquoise color, surrounded by snow-capped mountains, and is a popular destination for hiking and camping enthusiasts.

The lake is situated at an elevation of 1,450 meters, and the hiking trail to reach it is about 18 kilometers round trip. The Garibaldi lake trail is well-maintained and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and alpine meadows. The hike is rated as moderate to difficult, and hikers are advised to be prepared for changing weather conditions, including rain, snow, and wind.

Camping is allowed at Lake Garibaldi, and there are several campsites available, but they must be reserved in advance. The campsites have basic amenities, including pit toilets and food storage lockers, but no showers or running water. Visitors are advised to bring their own water or water filtration systems.

Garibaldi Lake is also popular for fishing, and visitors can fish for rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. A valid British Columbia freshwater fishing license is required, and fishing is only allowed during the open season.

5. Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is one of the most stunning lakes I have ever seen in my life. The beautiful turquoise blue water surrounded by the towering mountains of the Valley of the Ten Peaks creates a breathtaking view that is hard to forget.

Lake Moraine is a glacier-fed lake that gets its unique color from the rock flour that is carried into the lake by the melting glaciers. The lake is relatively small, with a length of about 1.5 km, but it is deep, with a maximum depth of 14 meters.

One of the best ways to enjoy Moraine Lake is to take a hike around the lake. There are several hiking trails of varying lengths and difficulty levels that offer incredible views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The Rockpile Trail is a short and easy hike that takes you to the top of a small hill, where you can get a panoramic view of the lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

If you are feeling more adventurous, you can rent a canoe and paddle around the lake. Canoeing on Moraine Lake is a unique experience that allows you to get up close to the glaciers and the mountains.

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6. Lake Ontario, Ontario

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes and the lake is located in the province of Ontario. It is the smallest of the Great Lakes, but it is still a massive body of water, with a surface area of 18,960 square kilometers.

One of the unique features of Lake Ontario is that it is the only Great Lake that doesn't border Michigan. Instead, it borders New York State to the south and the province of Quebec to the east.

The lake is a popular destination for fishing, boating, and swimming. Its waters are home to a variety of fish species, including salmon, trout, and bass. There are also many parks and beaches along the shoreline, making it a great spot for picnics and family outings.

In addition to its recreational opportunities, Lake Ontario is also an important source of drinking water for many communities in Ontario. The lake's water is treated and distributed to millions of people across the province.

7. Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta

Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake is a stunning glacier-fed lake in Banff National Park that is easily accessible from the Icefields Parkway and is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Canadian Rockies.

The lake is known for its bright turquoise color, which is caused by the rock flour that flows into the lake from the Peyto Glacier. The view from the Peyto Lake viewpoint is breathtaking, and it's no wonder that it's one of the most photographed lakes in Banff National Park.

When you visit the lake, to get to the viewpoint, visitors have to hike a short distance from the parking lot. The hike is relatively easy and takes about 10-15 minutes each way. Once at the viewpoint, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Peyto Lake and its surrounding mountains.

While Peyto Lake is a popular destination, it's important to note that the viewpoint can get crowded during peak season. To avoid the crowds, the best time to visit is early in the morning or later in the evening. 

8. Spotted Lake, British Columbia

Spotted Lake

Spotted Lake in British Columbia is truly a unique wonder of nature. It's not just a regular lake, but a lake that has spots of different colors, making it a sight to behold.

Spotted Lake near Osoyoos covers an area of about 15 hectares and has a maximum depth of around 3 meters.

The spots on the lake are caused by the mineral deposits, which include magnesium sulfate, calcium, and sodium sulfates. These minerals crystallize in the summer, creating the spots of different colors.

The lake is considered sacred by the indigenous Syilx people, who have used the minerals from the lake for healing purposes for generations.

The lake is open to visitors, and there is a viewing platform where travelers can see the lake from a distance. However, due to its cultural significance, visitors are asked to be respectful and not enter the lake.

If you're planning a trip to British Columbia, I highly recommend adding Spotted Lake to your itinerary. It's a truly unique and fascinating natural wonder that you won't want to miss.

9. Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake is one of the most picturesque lakes in Jasper National Park. This alpine lake is considered one of the crown jewels of the Canadian Rockies and is a top destination for nature lovers.

Surrounding Lake Maligne there are towering peaks and glaciers, creating a breathtaking backdrop for any outdoor adventure. Visitors can take a boat tour to Spirit Island, which is one of the most photographed locations in Canada. The boat tour provides an excellent opportunity to take in the fantastic views of the lake and its surroundings.

Maligne Lake is also an excellent destination for hiking and wildlife viewing. Visitors can explore the nearby number of walking trails close to the lake, including the Bald Hills Trail, which offers panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Wildlife such as moose, elk, and bears can often be spotted in the area.

10. Berg Lake, Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia

Berg Lake

Berg Lake is a stunning glacial lake located in Mount Robson Provincial Park in BC. It is a popular place among hikers and backpackers, thanks to its crystal-clear waters, towering glaciers, and spectacular mountain views.

To reach Berg Lake, hikers must embark on a 42 km moderate backpacking trip that takes them through a diverse range of landscapes along the Berg lake trail, including dense forests, alpine meadows, and rocky terrain. Along the way, hikers will encounter cascading waterfalls, turquoise blue rivers, and breathtaking vistas of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

One of the highlights of the Berg Lake Trail is Kinney Lake, a stunning turquoise blue lake that is surrounded by towering mountains. The trail to Kinney Lake is relatively easy, making it a great option for families or those who want a shorter hike.

Another highlight of the Berg Lake Trail is Emperor Falls, a magnificent waterfall that drops 46 meters and creates a misty cloud of spray. The sound of the falls can be heard from a distance, and the view of the falls is truly awe-inspiring.

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11. Abraham Lake, Alberta

Abraham Lake

Abraham Lake is an artificial lake created in 1972 along the North Saskatchewan River, and it is Alberta's largest reservoir.

One of the most remarkable features of Abraham Lake is the frozen bubbles that form under its surface during the winter months. These bubbles are created by the release of methane gas from the lake's bed, and they get trapped under the ice, creating a stunning natural phenomenon. The best time to see the bubbles is from early January to late February, and visitors can skate, snowshoe, or walk on the frozen lake to get a closer look.

Abraham Lake is also a popular spot for photographers, as the frozen bubbles create a unique and beautiful landscape. However, visitors should be aware that Lake Abraham can be very windy, and temperatures can drop to extreme lows during the winter months.

12. Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories

Great Slave Lake

Great Slave Lake is the second-largest lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada, after Great Bear Lake. It is also the deepest lake in North America, with a maximum depth of 614 meters. The lake sits in the southern part of the Northwest Territories, near the Alberta border.

The lake is named after the Slavey indigenous people who live in the area and is well known for its fishing, and camping. The lake is home to many species of fish, including lake trout, northern pike, and Arctic grayling.

One of the main attractions of the lake is the Northern Lights, which can be seen from the lake's shores when you visit in the winter months. The lake is also home to many bird species, including bald eagles, ospreys, and loons.

The Keele River is a popular spot for canoeing and kayaking. It flows through the towering Mackenzie Mountains and offers the best views of the surrounding landscape. The river is also home to many species of fish, including Arctic grayling, lake trout, and northern pike.

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13. Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park, Alberta

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka is one of the most beautiful and popular lakes in Banff National Park and is just a ten-minute drive away from the town of Banff. The lake is 21 km long, and 142 meters deep, making it the second-longest lake in the Canadian Rockies.

The Minnewanka Lake is a popular spot for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, and camping. The lake has a variety of fish species, including Lake Trout, Rocky Mountain Whitefish, and Mountain Whitefish. Visitors can rent a boat or join a guided tour to explore the lake and its surroundings.

One of the most popular activities on Lake Minnewanka is the scenic boat tour. The tour takes visitors on a 90-minute journey through the stunning scenery of the lake. The tour provides an opportunity to see the wildlife and learn about the history of the area.

The lake is also home to several hiking trails, including the Stewart Canyon Trail, which is a popular trail that takes visitors through a beautiful forest and along the shores of the lake. The trail is suitable for all skill levels and is an excellent place for a picnic or a relaxing walk.

14. Lake Huron, Ontario

Lake Huron

Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the third largest freshwater lake by volume. It is located on the Canadian side of the border between Canada and the United States, with the Canadian province of Ontario to the north and the US state of Michigan to the south.

The Huron Lake is known for its clear blue waters and beautiful beaches, making it a popular lake for swimming, boating, and fishing. The Georgian Bay region of Lake Huron is particularly famous for its rugged coastline and stunning scenery.

Some of the best beaches on Lake Huron include Sauble Beach, Grand Bend, and Wasaga Beach. These beaches offer soft sand, shallow waters, and plenty of space for sunbathing and relaxation.

In addition to its beaches, Lake Huron is also a great place for fishing. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, pike, trout, and bass. Anglers can fish from shore or rent a boat to explore the deeper waters of the lake.

15. Horseshoe Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta

Horseshoe Lake

Horseshoe Lake is a hidden gem situated in Jasper National Park. This beautiful lake is known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning rock cliffs, making it a popular spot to visit in the summer for swimming, kayaking, and cliff jumping.

With its warm waters, Lake Horseshoe is the perfect spot for a refreshing swim on a hot summer day. The lake is also popular among kayakers, who can paddle around and explore the lake's many coves and inlets.

For the more adventurous, Horseshoe Lake offers plenty of opportunities for cliff jumping. The lake's rocky cliffs provide the perfect platform for jumping into the deep waters below. However, it's important to exercise caution when cliff jumping and only do so if you're an experienced swimmer.

To get to Horseshoe Lake, take Highway 93 (Ice Field Parkway) south of the town of Jasper for approximately 25 kilometers. There are no highway signs anymore, but there is parking available and it’s only a short walk to the trailhead.

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Which lake in Canada is considered the most beautiful?

A: Lake Louise is considered the most beautiful lake in Canada due to its stunning emerald green water and surrounding mountains. It is a popular tourist destination and a must-visit for anyone traveling to Canada.

What are the top five must-visit lakes in Canada?

A: There are many beautiful lakes in Canada, but the top five lakes are Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake, Maligne Lake, and Lake of the Woods. These lakes offer breathtaking views and a unique Canadian experience.

What is the cleanest lake in Canada and why?

A: Lake Superior is considered the cleanest lake in Canada due to its low pollution levels and high water quality. The lake is also the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area and volume.

Which lakes in Canada are known for their fishing?

A: Canada is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, and some of the lakes that are famous for fishing include Lake Winnipeg, Great Slave Lake, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie. These lakes are home to a variety of fish species and offer a great fishing experience.

What is the largest lake in Canada and where is it located?

A: The largest lake in Canada is Great Bear Lake, located in the Northwest Territories. It is the eighth-largest lake in the world by surface area and the fourth largest in North America. The lake is known for its crystal-clear water and excellent fishing opportunities.

How many lakes are there in Canada?

A: Consisting of 879,800 lakes, Canada contains about 62% of the world's one point forty two million lakes.


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