Home » Family Travel » 16 Best Lakes in Canada for Adventurous Families

16 Best Lakes in Canada for Adventurous Families

By Molly Weinfurter


Published on

Canada is a large country, with a good portion of it taken up by serene nature spaces. Canada lakes are especially beautiful because they’re clear, peaceful, and perfect places to escape the chaos of life.

Lakes in Canada for Adventurous Families

If you love stepping away from busy cities and crazy tourist attractions, then lakes are a great option for you. These 16 lakes in Canada are all incredibly beautiful, and you need to see them in person to fully understand how incredible they are.

#1 – Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake in Alberta is often overshadowed by Lake Louise because it’s smaller, but size isn’t important when you focus on its beauty. It’s a glacial fed lake that you can find in Banff National Park. It’s beside the Valley of Ten Peaks, so it’s surrounded by gorgeous mountain landscapes. Plus, the lake itself has shimmering blue water. Thus, this area is every photographer’s dream come true. Along the lake, you’ll find miles of hiking trails to give you even better views.

#2 – Lake Louise

Lake Louise is another glacial lake in Alberta, meaning it also has stunning blue waters. It’s located at the base of Mount Victoria, so the surrounding mountains add to the lake’s beauty. Like Moraine Lake, it’s also located at Banff National Park, which is why the two lakes are compared so often. While the scenery alone makes it worth a visit, Lake Louise is also known for many outdoor activities, such as hiking, boating, mountain biking, ice fishing, and ice climbing.

#3 – Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is a lake that lives up to its name, thanks to its beautiful blue-green waters. It’s one of 61 lakes at the Yoho National Park in British Columbia. Like the other popular lakes in Canada, this one is also surrounded by breathtaking mountains. It’s easily the most popular lake in the park, and there are plenty of things to do near it. Guests often enjoy canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The lake is frozen most of the year, from November to June, but it’s still incredibly beautiful.

#4 – Garibaldi Lake

The Garibaldi Lake looks like something straight out of a postcard, surrounded by lush forests and snow-capped mountains. The water is so clear that it reflects the nearby scenery almost like a mirror. You can find this 990-hectare lake at the Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia. The only way to access it is to hike through a nine-kilometer trail, which is perfect for adventurous families. Near the clean lake, you can also go skiing or snowshoeing in the winter.

#5 – Spotted Lake

As the name implies, Spotted Lake can be distinguished due to its large spots in the water. This British Columbia lake keeps this unique look during the whole summer because the water evaporates, leaving mineral deposits behind, which appear as spots. Throughout the summer, these spots can change sizes and even colors. It’s almost like nature’s magic trick, so you’ll need to witness it in person to believe it. The only downside is that you can’t get too close to the lake, so you’ll have to look at it from behind a fence.

#6 – Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake is yet another one of the glacier lakes in the Canada Banff National Park, but it’s arguably as beautiful as the others. It has pure blue water surrounded by snowy mountains. It’s a 530-hectare lake that’s very easy to get to by car or foot. In fact, the drive there is very scenic, and many prefer to look at the lake from elevated viewpoints. There are adventurous trails all around the lake, so you can get as close or as far to the body of water as you’d like.

#7 – Lake Superior

Lake Superior is one of the five Great Lakes, and it can easily be viewed from Ontario. It’s such a massive lake that there are even some countries that are smaller than it. While the United States also borders Lake Superior, many claim that it’s even more impressive on the Canada side. Lake Superior Provincial Park is a big attraction that borders the lake, and it has 11 hiking trails and three campgrounds. This lake was created by volcanic action, and it’s known to have an unusually high number of shipwrecks.

#8 – Maligne Lake

The blue waters of Maligne Lake stretch for about 14 miles. Since the lake is easily accessible by road, there are many shuttles and buses that can take you there. If you want to hike from the town of Jasper to this lake, you can take the 44-kilometer Skyline Trail for an exciting adventure. Maligne Lake is located in the Jasper National Park in Alberta, so there’s plenty to explore near the lake. In the area, you’ll find two registered historic buildings and three campgrounds.

#9 – Abraham Lake

Abraham Lake in Alberta is a man-made lake, but it’s still one of the coolest lakes in Canada. It was created in 1972, along with the Bighorn Dam. It sits at the end of the Rocky Mountains, so it has an elevation of about 1,340 meters. It’s not a big lake, but it’s a perfect photo opportunity due to its mesmerizing blue waters. When the lake freezes over, it traps bubbles inside, making it look like something straight out of a fairy tale. The bubbles are caused by decaying plants in the water.

#10 – Berg Lake

Berg Lake is found in British Columbia’s Mount Robson Provincial Park. Mount Robson is one of the highest peaks in Canada, and it’s located right beside this stunning lake. Regardless of the time of year, Berg Lake is always surrounded by icebergs, giving it a unique surrounding landscape. You can take incredible hiking trails to get there, which pass through an area called the Valley of a Thousand Waterfalls. There’s no way to reach the lake by car, but there are plenty of campgrounds in the nearby area.

#11 – Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario is one of the Great Lakes, which sits right along the big city of Toronto. It has excellent views of the Toronto skyline, and there are lots of fun things to do on and near the lake. Plus, it’s one of the largest lakes in the world. At its deepest point, it stretches 800 feet below the surface. So, when you first look out at this massive lake, you might even mistake it for the ocean. Some Lake Ontario activities include paddle boarding, canoeing, and wind surfing.

#12 – Great Slave Lake

This is a must-see lake because it’s the deepest lake in North America and one of the largest lakes in the world. The lake has a history that dates back at least 8,000 years, and the shorelines are still home to many indigenous communities. It’s a great escape from cities, thanks to its miles of unharmed wilderness. It’s also one of the best spots to view aurora borealis. In the winter, visitors can snowmobile on the lake, and in the summer, kayaking and fishing are the most popular activities.

#13 – Waterton Lake

Waterton Lake falls partially in Alberta, Canada and partially in Montana, United States. The clear lake is split into two distinguished parts, but it’s still classified as only one lake. The lake has an altitude of over 4,000 feet, and it’s surrounded by amazing hiking trails. Most of the lake has an average depth, but in some spots, it can reach as deep as 500 feet!

#14 – Lake Memphremagog

Lake Memphremagog in Quebec was made by ancient glaciers. It sits partially in the state of Vermont, but almost 75% of it is situated in Canada. It’s surrounded by beautiful hills and massive mountains, so many visitors love to sail on the clear waters. Some companies even host day cruises on this lake. In this lake, you’ll even find 21 different islands, 15 of which are on the Canada side.

#15 – Kluane Lake

Kluane Lake in Yukon is situated among the mountains near Kluane National Park. It’s another glacier fed lake, so it almost has a turquoise color, which reflects the surrounding mountains onto the lake. It’s a common fishing destination since it’s full of trout and whitefish. Yet, along the shorelines, you might see some caribou as well. A highway runs through part of the shoreline, offering unparalleled views of the scenery.

#16 – Wedgemount Lake

This gorgeous lake can be found below Wedge Mountain in British Columbia, which is part of the Garibaldi Mountain Range. It’s surrounded by two massive glaciers, which are called the Wedgemount and the Armchair. This lake isn’t more popular because it’s incredibly difficult to get to. You need to go on a steep climbing trail to see it, but the views of the clear blue water are well worth it. This lake is known for not having any fish, but it’s a popular spot for stargazing and for those looking for adventure.

If you love exploring nature, then all 16 of these Canada lakes should be on your bucket list now. Each lake is gorgeous in its own way, so you won’t be able to take your eyes off them. Plus, there are plenty of places to hike and explore near these clear waters, so visiting these nature spots can also satisfy your cravings for adventure.

About Molly Weinfurter

Molly Weinfurter is a freelance writer and editor that specializes in family, travel, and animal-related topics.

Leave a Comment