The Stunning Lakes of the Canadian Rockies
Banff & Jasper National Parks | Alberta, CANADA
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The lakes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The crystal-clear waters fed by melting glaciers provide an array of stunning blues. Each lake will bring a new experience and bring out raw emotion of awe-inspiring joy. Some of these scenes felt unreal and you will catch yourself just staring at the lakes. My photos below could never do these lakes justice, you must take a trip to the Banff and Jasper National Parks of Canada.
You can purchase prints of any of the photos below by selecting “Landscape” and “Canada” at the Change N Focus Art Gallery. Metal prints are the best way to see the true colors of the landscape.
Vermilion Lakes in Banff, Alberta, Canada
Vermilion Lakes of Bow Valley are located on the outskirts of the town of Banff and just off the Trans-Canada highway. The water reflects Mount Rundle and provides an incredible scene for both sunset and sunrise.
Moraine Lake – Banff National Park
Add sunrise at Moraine Lake to your bucket list. This was my favorite sunrise that I’ve experienced in my life. I recommend getting there early, because there will be a lot of people, but the best photos of sunrise are taken from the rocks. To get there, take the trail to the right when walking from the parking lot towards the lake. There are also great reflections near the canoe rentals. You can rent canoes and kayaks to explore the beautiful blue waters. Another important thing to remember is to stay at Moraine if you want to enjoy the hiking trails that day. The parking lot fills up incredibly fast and you often must take a bus in which is not ideal.
Photo at Vermilion Lakes just before sunset outside the town of Banff, Alberta, Canada
Photos of Moraine Lake sunrise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Lake Louise – Banff National Park
Another perfect sunrise location and you’ll want to arrive early as the people staying at the Chateau on the lake will want to experience the sunrise as well. I want to go back during winter to ice skate on this lake! There is a great hiking trail that takes you to the Lake Agnes Tea House and beautiful bird’s-eye views.
Photos from sunrise at Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Edith Cavell Glacier & Cavell Lake – Jasper National Park
Hiking Mount Edith Cavell is an absolute must do in Jasper National Park. The melting water from Angel Glacier into the pond at its base is a spectacular sight to see. There is wildlife galore including lots of adorable pikas and marmots. My husband thought it would be funny to throw something behind a marmot near me and then the damn thing ran right at me, almost dropped my cameras!
Photo of Edith Cavell pond created by melting Angel Glacier
Do not miss Cavell Lake. There are parking spots along the road up to the Edith Cavell parking lot and you will want to experience the reflections from this beauty of nature.
Photos of sunset on Cavell Lake near on Mount Edith Cavell
Valley of Five Lakes – Jasper National Park
The unique rings of colors on the edges of these lakes must be seen in person. It is an easy hike to each of the lakes and worth making it to all of them. There are docks at a couple spots where you can swim if you want. The parking lot for Valley of Five Lakes hike is just off the Icefields Parkway. There is a smaller inner loop on the trail that will take you by each of the lakes if you don’t want to hike too far.
Photos from Valley of Fives Lakes hike in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
Pyramid Lake – Jasper National Park
Our trip to Jasper was in September and the colors of the trees at Pyramid Lake were incredible with an island in the center and Pyramid Mountain in the background, the scene here was pure heaven.
I recommend walking out to the island to get closer to the trees and mountain, plus there are neat spots to relax in a truly peaceful scene.
Photos from Pyramid Lake near Jasper, Alberta, Canada
Peyto Lake – Banff National Park
It is a short but steep 1.7 mile heavily trafficked loop to a stunning view of a bear-shaped bright blue lake surrounded by evergreens and steep snow-covered mountains in the background. We hiked a little farther around to get different views which is well worth the effort. The parking lot and trailhead are located just off the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park.
Photos from Peyto Lake in Banff National Park
Horseshoe Lake – Jasper National Park
Horseshoe lake is one of the deepest lakes in Jasper National Park where visitors flock to jump off the cliffs into the clear waters of this gorgeous lake. The lake gets the name because of its horseshoe shape. There are no longer highway signs for this lake, but it if just off the Icefields Parkway south of Jasper approximately 15 miles/25 kilometers.
Photo jumping off cliff at Horseshoe Lake
Bow Lake – Banff National Park
We stayed at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge located on Bow Lake which gave us a chance to explore and hike in the area. Once again, Lodge and lake are located literally just off the Icefields Parkway.
Photos of Bow Lake just off the Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada
Our sister adventure road trip in 2017 was Banff, Jasper and the Icefields Parkway, we drove down to Glacier National Park in Montana, but unfortunately there were severe wildfires and we literally couldn’t see any of the park on the entire circle around it on our way back to Calgary.
If you enjoyed the lakes, you’ll also want to look at the best waterfalls of the Icefields Parkway.