Alberta is a beautiful landlocked province situated in the Western part of Canada. With an area of 661,848 sq. km, Alberta is the sixth largest and fourth most populous Canadian province. It is also home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The landscapes  vary from beautiful mountains and prairies to forests and glacial lakes in Alberta.

Alberta has some of the best natural attractions in Canada. If you are looking for a place that has both beautiful landscapes and eye-catching views, Alberta is home to plenty of them. There are 245 rivers and more than 600 lakes in Alberta. Tourists and locals alike can’t help but be mesmerised by the turquoise-coloured lakes and their sandy beaches.

If you plan to visit Alberta anytime soon, here are the ten best lakes to visit and explore on your upcoming trip.

1. Lake Louise

Lake Louise in alberta

Lake Louise is the most famous lake in Alberta and perhaps in all of Canada. It is located in Banff National Park. It is two kilometres long and 70 metres deep. Nestled between the Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise has been a popular tourist destination since the 1890s. It is one of the most photographed lakes in Alberta. Interestingly, during summer, the lake changes from its light blue colour in June to turquoise in August.

There are many activities to do in and around the lake area. If you love hiking, you can hike along the Lake Agnes Tea House Hike trails, one of the most popular trails in Lake Louise. The Shoreline trail is for you if you want to go for a brisk walk in the morning or evening. If you are an adventure sports enthusiast, you can rent a canoe in the summer. You can also ice-skate or ski cross-country on the lake during the winter.

2. Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake alberta

Moraine Lake, with its beautiful and pristine blue water, is located just 14 kilometres from Lake Louise on the British Columbia border. Moraine Lake owes its beautiful colour to the glacier’s water from nearby mountains. It is also one of the most famous lakes in Alberta and a favourite swimming spot for Albertans and tourists alike. Moraine Lake was once featured on the back of a Canadian twenty-dollar bill. If you want to go for a hike, you can follow the famous Rockpile trail and get a fantastic view of the lake, with the Valley of the Ten Peaks as the perfect backdrop for this breathtaking view. If you plan to stay at the lake for a day or two, Moraine Lake houses one of the most beautiful lodges in Banff National Park.

3. Lake Newell


Lake Newell is one of the warmest lakes in Alberta and a popular summer destination. It is located near the city of Brooks. Lake Newell is an artificial lake known for its camping spots. There are 199 campsites in total here at Lake Newell. You can camp at the Kinbrook Island National Park to fully appreciate and enjoy what the lake offers. Popular activities to do here include canoeing, sailing, fishing and swimming. You can soak in as much sun as you wish by lying on the beach. Lake Newell is also close to one of Alberta’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Dinosaur Provincial Park. You can visit the park during the daytime for a fun-filled day.

4. Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake

One of the busiest summer lakes in Alberta, Sylvan Lake, is located south of Edmonton, 25 kilometres from the town of Red Deer. Sylvan Lake is 15 kilometres long and offers a 1.5-kilometre-long beach to walk around and enjoy the sights and scenes. Sylvan Lake is a resort town and a favourite among tourists. It is a warm water lake, which is great for family holiday trips. People mostly come here to swim and to enjoy its warm water. Other fun activities include kayaking, canoeing, fishing and playing water sports. The town offers many things to do- from eating delicious foods in fast food restaurants to window shopping around the market. You will also find a lighthouse in Sylvan Lake, which adds a rustic charm to this quaint town. Sylvan Lake is home to the only inflatable floating water park in all of Alberta.

5. Lesser Slave Lake

Lesser Slave Lake

Lesser Slave Lake is located in North Central Alberta, three hours from Edmonton. It is the second largest lake in Alberta. Its proximity to the city of Edmonton makes it a popular destination for weekend getaways. Lesser Slave Lake offers everything you could ask for. Be it camping sites, perfect fishing spots and wildlife viewing. There are hiking trails that go deep into the Boreal forest. Its white sandy beaches are perfect for laying down and soaking in the sun. Marten River Provincial Park is the most popular spot on the lake. There are more than 100 campsites in the park. A visit to Lesser Slave Lake is incomplete without paying a visit to the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, where you’ll learn about the different species of birds that inhabit the forests around the lake.

6. Waterton Lake

Waterton Lake

Waterton Lake is located in Southern Alberta, three hours from the city of Calgary. Waterton Lakes National Park shares its border with the US state of Montana, where it becomes Glacier National Park. Waterton Lakes comprises three lakes- Upper Waterton Lake, Middle Waterton Lake and Lower Waterton Lake. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can explore the lake with the Waterton Lakes cruise. You can also find the Prince of Wales Hotel located at the base of the lake, which has great significance in the history of Canada. It is a popular hotspot for visitors to take pictures when they visit the lake. Popular activities include sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking and boat tours.

7. Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies. It is about 45 minutes from the town of Jasper. Maligne Lake is 22 kilometres long and has one of the most amazing views. Its deep blue water is a sight to behold. It is popular among travellers and photographers owing to its majestic views. You can take a boat tour which will show you around the lake. Maligne Lake is home to Spirit Island, one of the most photographed spots in Jasper National Park. You can do many things here at Maligne Lake- from going for a walk on the shore trail, fishing, and canoeing to taking a boat tour. When you are done with all these outdoor activities, you can rest and enjoy a warm cup of tea at the Maligne Lake Chalet.

8. Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake is a glacier-fed lake named after Bill Peyto, an early park warden and mountain guide of Banff National Park. It is one of the most beautiful and recognisable turquoise lakes in Alberta. It is popular among photographers due to its stunning views. It is famous for its fox head-like shape. It is easily accessible from Icefield Parkways. To see the lake in its full glory, you must go to a faraway lookout. To avoid crowds, you can hike to Bow Summit and enjoy the view peacefully. You can also trek down to the lake and explore.

9. Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka is the largest lake in Banff National Park. It is 21 kilometres in length and 142 metres deep. It is about 10 kilometres north of Banff. This lake is glacier-fed. It is also known as the ‘Lake of the Spirits.’ Lake Minnewanka has a rich history of indigenous people inhabiting the lake area as early as 10,000 years ago. If you want a great experience and view of the lake, you should take the Lake MInnewanka boat cruise. You can also rent a boat if you wish. There are many activities, including scuba diving, boating, and fishing. Lake Minnewanka has an underwater ghost town that is popular among scuba divers. The lake also has popular hiking and biking trails. If you are up for a hike, you can hike along the Stewart Canyon hiking trail that starts from the parking area. Lake Minnewanka is abundant with wildlife so expect to see a bunch of wild animals from time to time.

10. Two Jack Lake

Two Jack Lake in Alberta

Two Jack Lake is among the many Banff National Park favourites. It is just approximately 15 minutes from the town of Banff. Did you know that the lake got its name from two people in the area, Jack Stanley and Jack Watters? It is an ideal place for a getaway, whether camping or hiking. It is also a great family picnic spot as well. The lake is nestled in a beautiful valley with large pine trees along the shoreline with views of Mount Rundle behind it. The lake is next to you if you can get a campsite on your trip. Two Jack Lake is a great place to watch the sunrise and sunset. It is also great for kayaking and paddleboarding since the water here is mostly calm.


So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for a vacation that you will never want to end. These beautiful turquoise waters are waiting for you and your family. Fully immerse yourself in their scenic beauty and have the best time of your life. Create unforgettable memories with these majestic lakes in Alberta that will last a lifetime.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which lake is the best to visit during summer?

Lake Newell and Sylvan Lake are the best lakes to visit during the summer as they are both warm water lakes.

Can I travel by public transportation to visit the lakes?

It depends on the location of the lakes. Travelling in your own vehicle is advisable to avoid crowds and tourists.

Which lake has the best accommodation?

Moraine Lake has one of the most beautiful lodges in Banff National Park. Two Jack Lake also has excellent accommodation options ranging from hostels to five-star hotels in the Banff town area.