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TRAVEL LIKE A LOCAL | Top 10,000 Places to Visit in Canada

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Top 10 Lakes to Visit in Canada

#1000towns choice
Amina Rizwan


Whether it be summer or winter, lakes can be visited at any time of the year! Canada’s lakes and rivers cover about 12% of the country’s surface area. We have more lakes than any country in the world. Isn’t that crazy?

It is believed that Canada has approximately 2 million lakes, 563 of which are larger than 100 square kilometres. We depend on some of these lakes for recreation, drinking water, power, transportation, and economic purposes.

#1000towns will give you a list of 10 out of millions of lakes in Canada that you must visit once in your lifetime!

Fun Fact: Canada is also known as “The Land of the Lakes.”


Photo: Tobias Alt, Tobi 87 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0



Lake Louise, Alberta

Town: Banff, Alberta

Located in Banff National Park, this beautiful glacial is roughly 2.5 kilometres long and 90 meters deep, making it the perfect place for activities like swimming and kayaking. In winter, the lake turns into an amazing ice rink and becomes the second-largest skiing resort in Canada.

Lake Louise is known for its clear, bright blue waters that provide an amazing reflection of the mountains that surround it.

Fun Fact: Lake Louise was originally named Emerald Lake but was renamed Lake Louise shortly after. The name was derived from Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the 4th daughter of Queen Victoria.

Photo: Chensiyuan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0



Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia

People from all over the world visit this lake in British Columbia. This beautiful aquamarine lake is surrounded by volcanic structures, alpine trees, mountains, and glaciers.

It truly is a breathtaking view, so make sure you bring a camera! The breathtaking aquamarine colour is due to “rock flour” from the nearby glaciers that are slowly eroding. The rock flour seeps into the lake and refracts the sunlight producing a beautiful blue colour. Some activities that can be done here include hiking, swimming, camping, and many more!


Fun Fact: This lake was created when lava from nearby volcanoes created a dam in the valley known as “The Barrier,” which can be seen while hiking to the lake!

Photo: User: Seattle Skier – Own photo, taken with Canon PowerShot S40, CC BY 2.5



Maligne Lake, Alberta

Town: Jasper, Alberta

Located in Jasper National Park, Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies. The lake is about 19 miles long, making a boat cruise the best way to see the entire lake.

On a sunny day, the lake appears a beautiful cerulean blue. The beautiful blue waters of Maligne Lake vary in colour as the water moves from the inflow to the outflow of the lake because of the melting glaciers that deposit rock flour into the lake. The closer you are to the glaciers, the more emerald the water looks. Visitors can hike, canoe, fish, engage in wildlife spotting or cruise around the lake in the summer.


Fun Fact: Maligne Lake was referred to as Beaver Lake by the First Nations. It’s the best place to glimpse wildlife, such as wolves, mountain sheep, caribou, mules, black and grizzly bears, and bald eagles.

Photo: © Sergey Pesterev / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0



Lake Ontario, Ontario

Lake Ontario is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and is the 14th largest lake in the world! It provides drinking water to around 9 million people. Its open waters rarely freeze in winter because the climate in the area is moderated by warm air from the southwest.

The best way to view Toronto’s skyline is by hopping on a cruise tour at the lake.

Lake Ontario has endless activities for visitors, such as paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, scuba diving and many more.


Fun fact: There is a lake on Saturn’s moon, Titan, named “Ontario Lacus,” after Lake Ontario.

Photo: Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine –, CC0



Spotted Lake, British Columbia

Spotted Lake, or Kliluk, is a small lake rich in minerals such as calcium, magnesium sulphates, and sodium sulphates. The lake’s water evaporates to a large extent throughout the summer leaving behind concentrations of these minerals that make up the spots. The spots fluctuate in size and colour during the summer with more evaporation. This is truly a unique phenomenon that everyone should see!

Visitors are not permitted beyond the viewpoint, but the view from Highway 3 West is a great way to witness this breathtaking phenomenon.


Fun Fact: The First Nations People consider this a sacred site and a place of healing. They believe each spot has its own healing and medicinal properties.

Photo: Kevin He – Spotted Lake, CC BY-SA 2.0



Moraine Lake, Alberta

Town: Banff, Alberta

Located 9 miles from Lake Louise town village, Moraine Lake has numerous hiking trails leading you to this beautiful lake, so remember to pack your hiking boots!

Moraine Lake is surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and rock piles. Like other lakes in Alberta, Moraine Lake also displays a vivid turquoise colour that intensifies as the glaciers melt. The best time to visit this lake is in summer because of the high avalanche risk in winter.


Fun fact: The scene featured at the back of the twenty-dollar bill is the view of the mountains behind Lake Moraine, known as the “Twenty Dollar View.”

Photo: Gorgo – Photo taken by author, Public Domain



Emerald Lake, British Columbia

Town: Field, British Columbia

As the name suggests, this beautiful lake has stunning emerald-coloured water. It is in Yoho National Park.

It is the largest of Yoho’s 61 lakes and ponds and is surrounded by a 3.2-mile hike. Emerald Lake is considered the most beautiful lake in the Canadian Rockies by many visitors and is a great place to observe eagles and ospreys.


Fun fact: Yoho means “awe and wonders” in Cree.

Photo: Eric Van Lochem – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0



Abraham Lake, Alberta

Located in western Alberta, Abraham Lake is known for its frozen bubbles trapped in the ice of the lake’s surface. The bubbles are formed due to methane released from dead plants that are decomposing at the bottom of the lake. This body of water is bright blue in colour, making these frozen bubbles stand out even more!


Fun Fact: Abraham Lake is man-made; it is an artificial lake created by constructing the Bighorn Dam on the North Saskatchewan River. It is Alberta’s largest reservoir.  

Photo: Emma Liang – Imported from 500px (archived version) by the Archive Team. (detail page), CC0



Berg Lake, British Columbia

Town: Valemount, British Columbia

Located in Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia. This beautiful landscape will make you work hard to see it! That’s right, to get to this lake, you will have to complete a hike along the Berg Lake Trail. The hike is worth it because you can see icebergs and 1000 different waterfalls along the way.

Behind the lake sits Mount Robson, the highest peak in Canada.


Fun Fact: Along the hike to Berg Lake, you’ll be fortunate enough to see Emperor Falls, which is the largest and best-known waterfall on the Robson River in Mount Robson Provincial Park.

Photo: Matt Scobel – Imported from 500px (archived version) by the Archive Team. (detail page), CC BY 3.0



Horseshoe Lake, Alberta

Located in Jasper National Park, this beautiful horseshoe-shaped crystal-clear blue lake will become your new favourite swimming spot. The water remains cold, so the best time to visit the lake would be on a really hot day.

It is an excellent spot for cliff diving, swimming, kayaking, and scuba diving.


Fun Fact: This is the deepest lake in Jasper!

Photo: MyName Zeitlupe (talk) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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