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The 9 Most Stunning Lakes Canada has on offer

With volcanoes, mountains, and forests, Canada’s not short on natural landmarks, but there’s something particularly special about its serene lakes. They stretch on for miles and miles and offer a fantastic spot for adventure.

Canada boasts an incredible two million lakes and the highest number of freshwater lakes in the world. So, I understand if you’re having a hard time deciding which ones to visit.

That’s why my super informative guide is here. With my insights, you’ll soon be on your way to one of these stunning lakes Canada has on offer in no time.

emerald lake british columbia
emerald lake british columbia

9 Stunning Lakes Canada

1. Lake Louise, Alberta

Lake Louise is a highlight of many tourists’ Canadian holidays and one of the Canadian landmarks. It’s an unforgettable sight: tall alpine trees line the slopes of snow-capped Mount Victoria, framing the sparkling topaz water.

lake louise canada
lake louise

The glacial lake is part of Banff National Park, one of Canada’s top landmarks. The park offers a host of activities, including skiing, hiking, ice climbing, and boating.

lake louise lakes canada
lake louise

Banff National Park is so vast that you can even take a hop-on-hop-off bus tour from the town of Banff in the reserve. This is a convenient way to take in all the natural attractions in the reserve.

2. Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia

Lake Garibaldi oozes mystery and adventure, with many fallen tree trunks just beneath the surface of the teal water. The lake extends for 990 hectares, so there’s plenty to admire. It’s a fantastic destination for photographers and winter sports enthusiasts.

garibaldi lake
garibaldi lake

You’ll find Lake Garibaldi within the Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia. The lake is only accessible by taking the five and a half-mile long Garibaldi Lake Trail, so make sure to pack your hiking boots.

garibaldi lake canada
garibaldi lake canada
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3. Emerald Lake, British Columbia

The picturesque Emerald Lake is the standout attraction in Yoho National Park. Appropriately, ‘Yoho’ means ‘awe’ in Cree, a local language. The President mountain range surrounds the lake, which has an elevation of 3937 feet.

emerald lake british columbia at sunset
emerald lake british columbia at sunset

You can experience this superb landscape by following the almost three kilometre-long hiking trail on the lake’s edge. Alternatively, go canoeing on the lake’s surface. Just be aware that the lake is frozen from November until June.

kayaks on emerald lake british columbia
kayaks on emerald lake british columbia

⇒ Don’t miss Canada’s capital Ottawa. Read my posts on the 17 most fun things to do in Ottawa, the Ottawa restaurants Byward Market, best Ottawa Tours and 11 Beautiful Canada Landmarks.

4. Moraine Lake, Alberta

There are plenty of lakes in Banff National Park, but Moraine is likely the most enchanting. It’s one of the most photographed lakes around, appearing in video games, adverts, and log-in screens. Visit the real thing for an unbelievable experience.

moraine lake alberta
moraine lake alberta

Moraine Lake covers about 120 acres and reaches a depth of 15 metres. Hiking in the encircling forest is a great way of getting back to nature. One trail, the Perren Route’s starting point, involves an eight to ten-hour climb up the mountainside.

moraine lake alberta canada
moraine lake alberta

⇒ Explore Lake Moraine on an informative day trip.

5. Peyto Lake, Alberta

Peyto Lake makes this list because it’s incredibly photogenic from a high angle, which is easy to get to (read: no hiking needed). The lake is small, only five kilometres square, but beautiful.

peyto lake in canada
peyto lake alberta

You can drive up to Icefields Parkway (Highway 93), Bow Summit, where there is a viewing platform over the body of water. It can get busy in the summer months, but the vista offered is worth braving the crowds for.

canadian lake peyto lake alberta
peyto lake alberta canada

Nova Scotia is another stunning region in Canada. Check out my Nova Scotia Itinerary for 6 days to give you a sense of the region. Don’t miss the Wolfville Wineries and nearby Wolfville Farmers Market, 11 Beautiful Canada Landmarks and there are loads of things to do in Lunenburg with its UNESCO listed old town.

6. Spotted Lake, British Columbia

Spotted Lake is relatively tiny: just under one kilometre long and 400 metres wide. So, why should you go to Spotted Lake? It’s all in the name: when the water evaporates, crystalised ponds appear, making the water surface resemble a gigantic polka-dot pattern.

spotted lake in alberta canada
spotted lake alberta

This is also a sacred place for local indigenous groups who have used the waters as a healing centre for centuries. The lake certainly looks other-worldly, thanks to the spots and the colours that change through the seasons.

spotted lake in alberta canada
spotted lake alberta canada

Make sure to visit in the summer months to see the spotted pattern on the lake surface. The rest of the year, it’s a regular lake. You’ll get good views of this natural attraction by driving along Highway 3.

Another fantastic city in Canada that isn’t too far away is Halifax, Nova Scotia. There are loads of fun things to do in Halifax like visiting the fantastic Halifax Farmers Market and taking Atlantic Canada’s number one tourist attraction the Harbour Hopper Halifax and don’t miss 11 Beautiful Canada Landmarks.

7. Lake Superior, Ontario

At 128 000 square kilometres, this is the largest of the Great Lakes and the largest freshwater lake globally. Lake Superior also boasts sublime beauty: the azure waters spill onto sandy shores, surrounded by lush forestry and low-lying mountains.

lake superior ontario canada
lake superior ontario

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to activities at the lake. It’s one of the few lakes where you can swim, as well as chill out on the shore, fish, kayak, and hike. If you’re interested in history, learn about the 550 shipwrecks concealed beneath the water — there’s even a museum on the American side.

lake superior ontario canada
lake superior ontario canada

⇒ Another amazing part of Canada (and home to some beautiful Canada Landmarks) is New Brunswick. Check out my posts on the top New Brunswick Tours, the best things to do in New Brunswick, Whale Watching St Andrews and some charming boutique hotels in New Brunswick Canada.

8. Waterton Lake, Alberta

Waterton Lake borders Canada and the US. The deep lake, which twists itself around the green mountains, is a spectacular sight.

waterton lake alberta
waterton lake alberta

The rich flora and fauna of the landscape make Waterton Lake a top destination in Canada. In fact, it’s a part of the Waterton Lakes National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

waterton lake alberta lakes canada
waterton lake alberta canada

Look out for deer, elk, moose, and black bears when you’re traversing the park. Apart from spotting wildlife, watersports like kitesurfing, windsurfing, and sailboating are all available in the park.

9. Lake Ontario, Ontario

Lake Ontario stands out as it is right in the capital of Toronto. It’s one of the Great Lakes, stretching out for miles in both Canada and the US. This is a fantastic landscape to explore if you don’t want to leave the city.

lake ontario skyline ontario
lake ontario skyline ontario

Since it’s not as remote as other lakes, Lake Ontario feels safe enough to visit as a solo traveller. It’s picturesque and offers plenty of activities, such as paddle boarding and canoeing. Of course, no holiday in Toronto would be complete without a boat trip on Lake Ontario.

lake ontario frozen ontario
lake ontario frozen

Final Thoughts on the Most Stunning Lakes in Canada

Whether you enjoy photographing rugged landscapes or taking a dip in the water, the magnificent lakes in Canada have lots to offer. These natural features are scattered around the country and, with one right in Toronto, there’s no excuse not to visit at least one gorgeous Canada lake. And once you’ve admired one lake, it’ll be hard not to explore the others!

garibaldi lake canada
garibaldi lake canada

This lakes Canada post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.

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