Lakes and Rivers in Banff

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  • Many lakes in Banff National Park have a emerald, turquoise color. It is unique to the glacier-fed lakes in the Rocky Mountains, such as Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, and Bow Lake, to name a few. The glaciers have ground the rock into a flour-like substance, which once carried into the lakes reflects the beautiful color. These areas are havens for hikers, adventurers, and other travelers looking for a place to unwind. Many of the lakes have a lot of tourist traffic, particularly Lake Louise, but others are almost completely ignored by the crowds.

    One of Canada's cherished views is Moraine Lake with the Valley of Ten Peaks. It is a hikers' and photographers' dream location. The lake is a particularly colorful one, and it is perfectly framed by the mountain peaks with glaciers all around. This is the type of place that people come to just for the beauty. No activity is needed. Just sit back and look.

    Lake Louise is also iconic and heavily visited. The Chateau Lake Louise sits right on the banks of the lake, and it is the base for many of the lake-related activities, such as canoeing, dog sledding, horseback riding, hiking, and cross-country skiing. The annual ice carving competition is world-famous.

    Lake Minnewanka is very close to the town of Banff, and it gets a lot of visitors to its picnic area and hiking trails. This lake has a lot of attractions, such as boat tours, fishing, mountain biking, and even scuba diving.

    Bow Falls, which are just down the hill from the Banff Springs Hotel, is one of Banff's top draws. There are bus loads of tourists taking pictures of the falls every single day. The area around Bow Falls is a great place to stroll about. There's lots of little trails to follow and also little tea houses around there to enjoy.

    expert pick

    Moraine Lake

    P.O. Box 70

    Perfect for hiking, photography, and being awe-struck... read more

    expert pick

    Lake Louise

    Famous lake with dog sled rides, hikes, and cross-country trails... read more

    Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake

    Recreation area for hiking, biking, fishing, and scuba... read more

    Kicking Horse River Whitewater Rafting

    White Water Rafting... read more

    Bow Falls

    Bow Falls Drive

    An easy hike and a great spot for photographs...
    read more

    Vermillion Lakes

    Top bird-watching spot in Banff National Park...
    read more

    Rocky Mountain Raft Tours

    Wolf Street
    PO Box 1771

    Leisurely River Exploration along the Bow... read more

    Bow Lake

    A small lake that's great for hiking and fishing...
    read more

    Banff Fishing Unlimited

    PO Box 8281

    All-season Fishing Outfitters... read more

    Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls Day Trip from Banff

    Day Trips to Banff's top sightseeing spots...
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