Canada is the second largest country in the world. It is known for its natural beauty and fun things to do outside. It has eight different types of forests, two types of mountains, volcanoes, and the arctic zone. It also has the most fresh water lakes in the world. These lakes are spread out over all ten provinces and three territories.
People think that there are more than 2 million lakes in Canada. Of these, 31,752 are bigger than three square kilometers, and 561 are bigger than 100 square kilometers. In fact, freshwater covers more than 9% of the country. That’s more than 890,000 square km. There are so many lakes that it’s hard to say which ones are the best. Some of these lakes are more beautiful than others, though. Here’s our list of Canada’s 10 best lakes for family vacation.
1. Lake Louise and Alberta’s Banff National Park
You have not seen a lake in Canada until you have seen Lake Louise. The glacial lake is small, but it is very beautiful because its water is emerald green and it is surrounded by beautiful mountains.
At an elevation of 1,750 meters, Lake Louise is tucked away at the base of Mount Victoria. It’s one of the best things about Banff National Park, not just because of the scenery but also because there are so many things to do outside, like hiking, mountain biking, boating, ice climbing, and ice fishing.
The luxurious Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, one of Canada’s grand railway hotels, is at the lake’s eastern end. The Lake Louise Ski Area, one of three big ski areas in the national park, is also close to the lake. It is the first stop on the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup.
2. Garibaldi Lake; Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia
This turquoise-colored alpine lake is 1,484 meters above sea level in the Garibaldi Provincial Park. It’s a beautiful lake that’s almost completely surrounded by mountains that reflect in the water like a mirror.
Between Whistler and Squamish, Garibaldi Lake is more than 990 hectares long. The Garibaldi Lake Trail, which is almost nine kilometers long, is the only way to get there.
In the winter, you can ski or snowshoe in the backcountry and be amazed by the beauty of the lake. You can go hiking and enjoy the meadows, flowers, and waterfalls the rest of the year.
3. Moraine Lake in Alberta’s Banff National Park
Even though Lake Louise gets more attention, there’s nothing less interesting than Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. The lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks is fed by glaciers and looks like a painting. It is more than 1,880 meters above sea level.
Some people may know the lake from ads, video games, or even log-in screens, but those things are nothing like the real thing. In fact, it may be one of the most photographed lakes in Canada as a whole.
Around the lake, there are a number of walking trails that give you great views of the lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks behind it. The Perren Route, an eight- to ten-hour climb to the Neil Colgan Hut, starts at the lake.
4. Emerald Lake in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park
Emerald Lake is the biggest of the park’s 61 lakes, and it also happens to be the best. The beautiful emerald-green lake is surrounded by the President Range mountains and is more than 1,200 meters above sea level.
One of the best parts of Yoho National Park is the lake, where you can canoe, hike, snowshoe, and cross-country ski. Even though it is in a remote area, it is easy to get to by car.
The lake is frozen from November to June. In July, when snow melts from the mountains around it, it is at its most beautiful. Still, you’ll be amazed whenever you go to Emerald Lake.
5. Spotted Lake and British Columbia
Spotted Lake is a natural wonder because when the water dries up in the summer, it leaves mineral deposits in the shape of spots. This is only visible during the summer, which is the only time you can go to the lake and see how amazing it is.
As the summer goes on, the spots get bigger and move around. As well, as the water evaporates, the spots change color.
The alkali lake is in the Similkameen Valley, close to the desert town of Osoyoos, and you can drive there (Highway 3). It’s protected by a fence because it’s a culturally and ecologically important place, but you can still take photos from behind it.
6. Abraham Lake; Alberta
Abraham Lake is a man-made lake on the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta. It was made in 1972 when the Bighorn Dam was built. It is 1,340 meters above sea level. It is in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Abraham Lake is not a very big lake, but it is very beautiful because of how blue it is. This is because the mountains grind up rocks to make rock flour.
One of the main reasons to visit the lake in the winter is to see the frozen bubbles that form under its icy surface. This strange natural event is caused by the decaying of plants in the lake, which release methane gas that can’t escape, causing bubbles.
7. The Great Lakes; Ontario
Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes in North America. It is also the largest freshwater lake in the world. In fact, there are countries that are smaller than it.
Lake Superior is in Canada and the United States, but one of its best places to visit, Lake Superior Provincial Park, is in Canada. The park is on the north-eastern side of the lake. It has 11 hiking trails, three campgrounds, and the well-known Agawa pictograph.
You can’t walk around the 2,783 km of shoreline, but the Great Lakes Circle Tour is a very popular and highly recommended way to see the area. It’s the best way to see the lake’s surrounding cliffs, canyons, waterfalls, and wildlife.
8. The Northwest Territories and Great Slave Lake
Everyone should put the deepest lake in North America on their list of things to do, especially if they are going on a trip to the Northwest Territories. Great Slave Lake has a long and important history that goes back more than 8,000 years. It is still an important part of the lives of the people who live there today.
A number of Indigenous communities and the capital city, Yellowknife, are near the lake. It is a lake with a lot of culture and unspoiled nature, and the aurora borealis can be seen in it like nowhere else.
Great Slave Lake is cut off from the rest of the world for eight months of the year, but people can enjoy a snowmobile tour over it. Go there in the summer and fish or kayak.
9. Maligne Lake in Alberta’s Jasper National Park
The most famous thing about this beautiful lake is its beautiful azure-blue water. Well, that and the beautiful peaks, three glaciers, and Spirit Island that surround it.
Maligne Lake is great because it can be reached by road, and many shuttle buses from the nearby town of Jasper go there. From the town to the lake, you can also hike along the 44-kilometer Skyline Trail.
Maligne Lake has three camping spots that can only be reached by canoe, as well as two historic buildings that are on the Alberta list. There are boats that go to Spirit Island from spring to fall.
10. Peyto Lake in Alberta’s Banff National Park
This beautiful lake is 1,860 meters above sea level in Banff National Park. It gets its water from glaciers. Even though Peyto Lake is only 530 hectare in size, it is very beautiful.
Even though the lake is up high, it’s easy to get to by driving along the Icefields Parkway. The drive is very beautiful, but so are the views of the lake from the lookout point (Bow Summit).
From the lookout point, there is a path that goes down to the lake and another that goes up above the lake to a better view.