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Ten Alberta Lakes With Such Vibrant Colours You Won’t Believe They’re Real

Posted on June 10, 2024 by Britanny Burr

Alberta, a province renowned for its stunning natural beauty, is home to some of the most visually striking lakes in the world. These lakes, with their vivid colours and breathtaking surroundings, are must-visit destinations, especially during the summer months when the days are long and the sun is warm. If you’ve ever checked out photos of Alberta’s top places to see, we’re willing to bet that there’s been an emerald or turquoise lake in the mix. Truly, we’re blessed, so why not see all those gorgeous attractions up close and personal? Here’s a rundown of some of Alberta’s most picturesque (and popular) lakes you need to see.

Moraine Lake

Topping of our list is perhaps one of the most striking lakes in Alberta, and quite possibly the world. Renowned for its electric blue waters, Moraine Lake is tucked away in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park. Surrounded by majestic mountains, waterfalls, and dense forest, its beauty is so profound it once graced the Canadian twenty dollar bill.

Lake Louise

Arguably the crown jewel of the Rockies, Lake Louise is known for its emerald waters set against the backdrop of the renowned Chateau Lake Louise. Visitors can canoe on the lake and hike the surrounding trails for stunning vistas. It’s the perfect postcard photo op, and possibly one of the most photographed locations in Canada. The parking lot to both Moraine and Lake Louise fill up at the crack of dawn and remain full until well past sunset. Plan ahead and consider taking Parks Canada Shuttles.

Grassi Lakes

Located near Canmore, Grassi Lakes are two small mountain lakes with crystal clear water that is a striking shade of green. The short hike ascends through a deep forest, eventually leading to the shimmering waters of Grassi Lakes. The hike is family-friendly and treats you to breathtaking views of the Bow Valley, the town of Canmore, and the towering peaks of the Rockies. You won’t believe how stunning this little mountain oasis truly is.

Waterfowl Lake

Waterfowl Lake is a stunning spot along the Icefields Parkway that features vibrant turquoise waters and dramatic mountain scenery. Although more remote, it offers a remarkable escape from the busier tourist spots. Take the opportunity to relax, soak in the views, and enjoy the peace of the Rockies.

Johnson Lake

Known for its warm waters, Johnson Lake is a perfect spot for swimming on a warm summer day. Unlike its exposed neighbours, Johnson Lake is well protected from the strong winds of the Rockies. Here visitors can hike the loop, picnic on its beautiful shores, or soak up the natural beauty of its surroundings.

Rawson Lake

Tucked away above Kananaskis Lake, Rawson Lake is a bit of a hike, but the views are worth every step. Surrounded by steep mountains, the hike up is filled with dense subalpine forest, beautiful flora and a chance to spot wildlife. Stop for a picnic, try your luck at casting a reel, or simply take in the incredible surroundings. It won’t disappoint.

Two Jack Lake

Two Jack Lake is a gem with calm waters and a relaxed vibe, making it ideal for kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. It’s a great spot for a family outing, with plenty of spots to lay out a blanket and enjoy the panoramic views.

Lake Annette

Located east of Jasper townsite and on the banks of the Athabasca River, Lake Annette stands out among the local lakes and is renowned for its small beach on the northern shore. Explore the nearby hiking loop that is both stroller and wheelchair accessible. The area is equipped with benches, picnic tables, fire pits, a playground, a cooking shelter, and change rooms. Lake Annette is one of the best swimming holes in Jasper and its natural beauty is magnificent.

Maligne Lake

Located in the vast wilderness of Jasper National Park, lies the breathtaking Maligne Lake. Renowned for its vibrant shades of jade, the lake stretches over 22 km, making it the largest glacial lake in the area. Surrounded by panoramic views and rugged mountain peaks, Maligne Lake captivates visitors with its pristine and untouched landscape. Paddleboard, canoe, kayak, or join a scenic mountain boat tour around the lake to discover the immense beauty of this alpine paradise.

Pyramid Lake

Last on our list in Jasper National Park, yet far from least, lies Pyramid Lake located at the base of Pyramid Mountain. Popular among locals, this tranquil lake captivates visitors with its shimmering shades of crystal blue. Visitors can bike, canoe, or kayak along its still waters and take in the beauty of the rugged natural surroundings.

Visiting each of these lakes offers something spectacular for every visitor. They are like stepping into a painting and experiencing a little slice of heaven on earth. This summer is gearing up to be a beaut, so take the plunge and put these breathtaking lakes at the top of your bucket list. As Ferris so famously said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Britanny Burr is a freelance writer and a contributor to Great West Media. This story was written for the Great West Media & Southern Alberta Newspapers Hot Summer Guide advertising feature. The Hot Summer Guide is a special feature about summer activities, bucket list adventures, staycation options, road trips, attractions, events, and road trip-worthy food & beverage destinations across Alberta. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff.

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