If you have ever been to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, I am sure you will agree it is a world of wonder.
With all the many different adventures you can have in this stunning part of the world, packed with incredible mountain peaks, exciting wildlife encounters , diverse fauna and activities ranging from hiking to skiing, canoeing, and enjoying the local cuisine my favourite places are the amazing lakes.
Whilst it is difficult (impossible) to say which one is the most beautiful, the five lakes below are definitely those that impressed me most.
Located around 20 kilometres outside of Jasper along Maligne Road, the approximately seven kilometre long lake because of its huge numbers of rainbow and brook trout is a favourite spot for anglers; especially for fly fishing.
Kind of a curiosity, Medicine Lake is typically visible in Spring and Summer after it has filled up with melt water from nearby glaciers and mountain peaks. The lake, which in reality is not a real lake, starts to disappear at the end of summer through ‘holes’ which are actually underground channels carrying the meltwater downstream to Maligne Canyon. So what seems to be a lake in Spring and Summer is actually flooding, when the large amount of meltwater is overflowing the channels.
Want to see one of the world’s most photographed spots? There your are, take the boat to Spirit Island at the southern end of Maligne Lake.
Maligne Lake is the second largest glacier-fed lake in the world, stretching for around 22 kilometres along rugged mountain ranges covered by thick forests; and along the way spotting three large glaciers.
The boat ride will take about 45 minutes to reach Spirit Island. Boats will stop there for about 15 minutes to allow you to take pictures before heading back. If you want to spend more time at this famous place, or just can’t get enough of the beautiful surroundings, you can rent a kayak or hike along the shoreline.
The ‘lake of little fishes’ is arguably one of the most famous and most frequented locations across Banff National Park.
With its stunning glacier backdrop and surrounding mountain peaks it is indeed a location not to be missed. Make sure to be here early in the morning. This is the time when the lake looks the most spectacular with the glacier and surrounding peaks reflected on the water. This is also the only time you can have the lake still largely to yourself before large numbers of tour busses and day visitors will arrive.
Whilst the lake itself covers less than a square mile, around Lake Louise you will fina a large number of hiking trails, including the one up to the famous Lake Agnes Tea House for some freshly baked pie and a cup of tea.
An equally spectacular lake in Banff National Park, Moraine Lake with its pristine waters and towering mountains too is seeing huge visitor numbers.
The mountain range behind the lake is the Valley of the ten peaks is known as the ‘twenty dollar view’ because in the past it was featured on the old Canadian twenty dollar note.
Perhaps my favourite off all, Emerald Lake is located in Yoho National Park.
The name Yoho belongs to Cree language and means awe or wonder, and this is a truly perfect description for this stunning location.
Emerald Lake is still not as widely known as many of the lakes within Jasper or Banff National Parks; which means it is usually less crowded and renting a canoe here is actually a bit cheaper.
Have you been to the Canadian Rocky Mountains yet? What was your favourite place?