The Incredible Lakes of Canada

Updated on Apr 09, 2023 | Canada Visa Online

By: Canada eTA

We have whittled down our list to include some of the most well-known, scenic, and spectacular lakes in the entire country, ranging from spectacularly blue glacier-fed lakes to lakes asking to be sailed by canoe in the summer or skated on in the winter.

Canada is a stunning country with miles and miles of mountains and hills, forests, big towns, and countless lakes. This nation's pristine nature serves as a paradisiacal home for several animals.

There is no doubt that Canada truly is known as the "country of lakes." The nation is endowed with over 31752 lakes (including small, medium, and large ones). Out of all the lakes in Canada, 561 or so have a surface area larger than 100 square kilometers. Canada is where these lakes can be found in all their splendor.

Even on the warmest summer day, several of the lakes on this list remain icy cold, and one of them forbids swimming altogether. However, others of the lakes on this list are ideal for a swim. However, as you'll see, it is still highly recommended.

Plan your sightseeing using our ranking of Canada's top lakes.

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The Incredible Lakes of Canada

Lake Louise

The stunning Lake Louise in Banff National Park is one of Canada's most remarkable lakes. If you take a swim in the turquoise blue water, it might tempt you to think it is in the tropics, but this glacier-fed lake is quite chilly all year round.

Lake Louise

Even though it might not be the ideal lake for swimming, it is a very well-liked vacation spot. The lake, located beneath the majestic Rocky Mountains, is accessible and wonderfully picturesque. it is a beautiful location for paddling in the summer and for ice skating in the winter.

Around the lake, there are many day treks that can be undertaken. The Lake Louise Lakeshore walk, a flat, one-hour accessible hike that will take you around the lake's perimeter, is a simple one to start with. Another simple option is the Fairview Lookout, which gains 100 meters and leads to a vantage point across Lake Louise. More challenging trails will take you even higher into the mountains while moderate trails wil l take you to nearby lakes like the Lake Agnes Teahouse hike.

The magnificent Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is located on the shore of the lake.

Kluane Lake

At a height of 781 meters, Kluane Lake is located in the mountains close to Kluane National Park. The lake is glacier-fed, giving it a stunning blue hue that reflects the mountains in the distance.

Kluane Lake

The lake is highly known for its fishing, especially for its whitefish and lake trout. Additionally, the caribou herds from Aishihik and Kluane move close to the lakes.

The majority of Kluane Lake's southern shoreline is occupied by the Alaska Highway, which provides some breathtaking vistas of the lake and its surroundings.

Whitehorse, which is home to 25,000 people, or more than half of Yukon's entire population, has developed recently into a significant hub for the arts and culture. With this list of the top tourist attractions in Whitehorse, you can discover the greatest things to do in this small but intriguing city. Learn more at Tourist Guide to Whitehorse, Canada.

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake, another beautiful lake close to Lake Louise, is nearby. Moraine is just about half the size of Lake Louise, but it is the same brilliant emerald color, and it is surrounded by some mountains that are just as magnificent.

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake can be a little more difficult to get to because the road that leads to it closes in the winter and the lake is still frozen as late as June. The parking area along the lake is rather tiny and frequently becomes full. Staff from Parks Canada oversees the lot, so if you arrive late, you risk being turned away. If you want to completely avoid dealing with the parking, you can always choose to take a shuttle to the lake.

A day trip to Moraine Lake is fantastic because you can go canoeing (rentals are available directly at the lake), go hiking by the lake or on one of the more difficult trails nearby, or just relax by the lake and enjoy the scenery. If you still can not get enough, a seasonal lodge that provides overnight lodging is available.

Lake Superior

Each of the five Great Lakes has unique characteristics and draws, but only one made it onto our list: Lake Superior. What exactly makes this lake so wonderful, then? Its size is unquestionably noteworthy: at 128,000 square kilometers, it is the largest freshwater lake in the world and the largest of the Great Lakes.

Lake Superior

But Lake Superior is more than simply a huge lake; it also has a raw, sobering beauty. Its sandy beaches and sparkling blue bays practically give the impression that you are in the tropics when it is clear, yet in a matter of seconds, a crawling fog can take over and make travelers hopelessly lost. The lake rages with rough waves during a storm.

You can swim in Lake Superior at one of its beaches, go fishing, kayak along the shore, or go on a wilderness hike in one of the nearby parks, such as Lake Superior Provincial Park, Ruby Lake Provincial Park, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, or Pukaskwa National Park. There are many other ways to get close to Lake Superior as well.

Emerald Lake

Yoho National Park in British Columbia contains 61 lakes and ponds. The largest lake inside the park's boundaries is Emerald Lake, which earns it the moniker. It takes little imagination to see how this lake gained its name: rock flour (ultrafine particles of glacial silt) gives the water a glittering green tint similar to the gem for which it is named.

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake offers a tonne of enjoyable activities all year round. You can rent a canoe throughout the summer and go paddling on the water in it. The lake freezes over in the winter and is a well-liked location for cross-country skiing. Early fall, just before the snow falls and after the summer throngs have dispersed, is one of the best times to visit the lake.

A 5.2-kilometer track circles the lake, with roughly half of it accessible to wheelchairs and strollers when there isn't snow on the ground. Snow can stay on the paths into June because of the area's high elevation. An attractive lodge beside the water is called the Emerald Lake Lodge. You can stay the night or simply drop by for a meal.

Spotted Lake

In British Columbia, Spotted Lake, close to Osoyoos, is arguably the coolest lake in all of Canada – metaphorically speaking, that is. Large polka dots speckle the water of the lake, giving it a pleasantly comical appearance. Some of the polka dots are blue, while others appear to be green.

Spotted Lake

The spots on the lake may appear magical, but there is a scientific explanation for them that has to do with the minerals. The lake is covered in rich mineral deposits, including sodium, calcium, and magnesium sulfates, among others. The dots become visible in the summer when some of the water evaporates. Based on the mineral composition, the spots' hues can differ.

There isn't much to do here other than admire the lake's beauty. Public access to Spotted Lake is limited since it is both an ecologically delicate location and a holy site of the Okanagan Nation. Visit during the summer when the spots are more noticeable.

Many of the activities to do in Halifax, from its wild entertainment scene, laced with maritime music, to its museums and tourist attractions, relate in some way to its strong association with the sea. The port and the city's maritime history still have an impact on Halifax's daily life. Learn more at Tourist Guide to Must Visit Places in Halifax, Canada.

Garibaldi Lake

The lakes in this list are generally accessible. You do not have to work very hard to get to the lake—some only require a long drive while others make you fight for a parking spot. Another tale is that of Garibaldi Lake.

Garibaldi Lake

You'll have to work up a sweat if you want to view Garibaldi Lake in person because it is situated in British Columbia's Garibaldi Provincial Park not far from Whistler. To reach Garibaldi Lake, you must go nine kilometers — one way — and gain an incredible 820 meters.

The trail begins with a steady ascent over switchbacks in the woodland before arriving at alpine meadows that are covered with vibrant wildflowers in the summer.

You can go to the lake as a day excursion or reserve a campground directly next to the lake; however, the hike up will take a little longer if you have a bag full of camping supplies. There are even more routes to explore from the lake, such as the ascent of Black Tusk or the Panorama Ridge trail, all of which offer breathtaking vistas over Garibaldi Lake.

One option to appreciate Garibaldi Lake's beauty that doesn't involve hiking boots is to take a scenic fly tour in a small plane, which will give you a bird's-eye view of the lake. it is not free, unlike trekking, but you'll get there a lot more quickly and without getting too sweaty!

Peyto Lake

Another glacier-fed aquamarine lake in Banff National Park, we know this. You could be excused for believing that after seeing one stunning glacier lake, you've seen them all, but you'd be gravely incorrect in thinking that. Even if you have already had the chance to view Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in person, it is still highly recommended that you take a trip along the Columbia Icefields Parkway to see Peyto Lake in person.

Peyto Lake tends to get crowded during the tourist season, just like the other easily accessible lakes close to Banff. Many people attempt to avoid the crowds by arriving early in the day, but we'll let you in on a little secret: late afternoon and early evening also frequently result in less crowded conditions.

Please note: For the 2020 season, the viewpoint, observation platform, and higher parking lot are closed for improvements. It is hoped that they will reopen in the coming winter.

Lake of Bays

People travel to Muskoka, Ontario's cottage country, to get away from the chaos of the city and spend some time unwinding by the water. Although there are several wonderful lakes in the vicinity, Lake of Bays is one of the best.

Lake of Bays

Depending on where you are, the lake's characteristics can alter. There are public beaches, golf courses, and resorts by the water in some developed areas. There are many coves with exclusive cottages, and some of the beachfront has not been developed. The lake also contains a number of islands.

The enormous lake, which is 671.5 square kilometers in size, has a tonne of bays, as its name implies, which creates calm areas of water ideal for cottage sports like boating, swimming, paddle boarding, and water skiing.

The lake turns into a popular location for ice fishing, snowmobiling, and spontaneous pond hockey matches in the winter when the water freezes over.

The Winnipeg Jets, the city's NHL franchise, are well-known internationally, but the city is also well-known nationally for its exceptional arts and culture scene. A very lively cultural life is enjoyed by the locals, also referred to as "Peggers," with everything from play and ballet to concerts and opera on offer. READ MORE:
Learn more at Tourists Guide to Manitoba, Canada.

Kathleen Lake

Kathleen Lake is a picture-perfect silver-blue body of water tucked away among the snow-capped mountains in the Kluane National Park of the Yukon.

There are numerous things to do around and around the lake. it is a lovely place for a cooling swim after finishing the nearby popular King's Throne walk, or you may choose a shorter, more leisurely hike around the lake.

Another option is to set up camp at a campsite close to the lake and use it as your base while touring the area. Mid-May to mid-September is when the campground is open; throughout the summer, reservations are advised.

This is a lovely location to see all four seasons, from taking in the autumn's golden foliage to witnessing the lake's melting of ice in the spring. it is a terrific area to hop in your kayak and then go for a paddle when the lake is calm and glassy. Maintain an eye on the weather, too, as the region is known to have strong winds, and you do not like to be stuck out on the lake in those conditions.

Lake of the Woods

The enormous Lake of the Woods, which is shared by Manitoba, Ontario, and the American state of Minnesota, is home to more than 14,550 islands and spans approximately 4,500 square kilometres. It is among the top attractions in Ontario as well.

Lake of the Woods

Consider this: it would take you close to 40 years to spend one night camping on each of the islands scattered throughout the lake! Depending on where you go, the lake takes on a different personality. There are many of motorboats zooming by close to Kenora, as well as villas situated on the bank of the lake. It feels more isolated the further out you travel. You can go boating and explore on your own, or you can rent a houseboat and take a few people.

Anglers, you should include this lake on your list for sure. It has outstanding fishing, and among other things, your catch of the day might be walleye, northern pike, or lake trout. Set up residence at one of the opulent fishing lodges and go on a guided tour of the lake.

If you are coming from a big city like Toronto, Lake of the Woods is a little out of the way, but that's also part of its charm.

Berg Lake

Berg Lake in British Columbia is a stunning glacier lake with water that is so turquoise it almost seems manufactured. You will need to travel 23 kilometers (one way) through the Berg Lake Trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park to reach this little piece of paradise, so be prepared.

Kinney Lake, a charming lake that is well worth stopping at for a picnic, and the flowing Emperor Falls are the first stops on the stunning journey to Berg Lake. Berg Lake is a short distance away from here. Stretching below Mount Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 meters, you can not miss it.

Camping is permitted at the lake, but reservations must be made in advance, especially if you are traveling during the busy summer months.

In nearly the middle of the province, Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, is located along both sides of the North Saskatchewan River. It is assumed that the city has a long-standing rivalry with Calgary, which is located just over two hours south and says Edmonton is a dull government town. Learn more at Tourist Guide to Must Visit Places in Edmonton, Canada.

 Lake Athabasca

This 7,850 square kilometer lake, which spans both Saskatchewan and Alberta, is the largest in both provinces and is the eighth largest lake in Canada. About 70% of the lake is located in Saskatchewan.

 Lake Athabasca

Plan a vacation to the Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park to enjoy Lake Athabasca in one of the greatest ways possible. A stretch of Saskatchewan's shoreline is surrounded by dunes that are unlike any other terrain in Canada, yet getting there requires a boat or a flight.

Prepare for a true wilderness experience; once you are in the dunes, there aren't many amenities, so plan ahead and pack lightly.

Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake, which is enormous and mostly unknown, is exceptional in many respects. The lake surrounds Fort Frances, Ontario, one of the nicest small towns in Canada, to the north, south, and east.

Any pleasure boater will enjoy exploring this body of water because it is full of bays, more than 2,000 islands, and wide-open stretches of sea. The lake is dotted with cottages, and swimming and water sports are popular.

The north arm of Rainy Lake is characterized by islands, tall white pine trees, and exposed granite shorelines, whereas the south arm is marked by wider areas of water. One of the best national parks in the country, Voyagers National Park, is located on the lake's southern side.

The lake is a popular place to go fishing. One of the most sought-after fish for fishermen is the bass, and every July, teams from all around Canada and the United States compete in the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship. Additionally, walleye (pickerel) are common, and trophy-sized northern pike is also caught.

If you can visit them during the brief summer season, you'll be in for a treat. Northern Canada is home to some of the most stunning and far-flung lakes.

Toronto, the largest city in Canada and the capital of the province of Ontario, is an exciting destination for tourists. Every neighborhood has something special to offer, and the vast Lake Ontario is picturesque and full of things to do. Learn more at Tourist Guide to Must Visit Places in Toronto.

Great Slave Lake

The tenth biggest body of water in the world, Great Slave Lake is a huge body of water. It spans 480 kilometers and reaches astonishing depths of 615 meters in some places.

With Arctic grayling, trout, and northern pike, the lake is particularly well-known for its fishing. More than 200 kinds of birds have been spotted on and near the lake's shorelines, and birdwatchers go from all over the world to witness them.

Although sailing may not come to mind right once, the vast and deep oceans make it an ideal pastime. Running up the sails and setting sail into the sunset, which this far north could be after 11 pm, is the perfect thing to do on Great Slave Lake.

Waterton Lake Alberta

Between the US and Canada is Waterton Lake. An amazing sight is the deep lake that curves around the lush mountains.

Waterton Lake is one of Canada's top tourist destinations because of its diverse flora and fauna. The Waterton Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains it.

As you move about the park, keep an eye out for deer, elk, moose, and black bears. The park offers kitesurfing, windsurfing, and sailboating in addition to opportunities to see wildlife.

Maligne Lake Alberta

The famed Skyline hiking trek begins at Maligne Lake, which is situated in the breathtaking Jasper National Park. Little Spirit island, which is easily accessible and incredibly picturesque, is also located in Maligne Lake. What a lake, and it has three glaciers!

Maligne Lake Alberta

Maligne Lake is very accessible from the town of Jasper by car or shuttle bus, unlike some of the other lakes in this post. Hike the 44-kilometer Skyline Trail from Jasper to Maligne Lake if you are really motivated.

Lake Minnewanka Alberta

Just 3 miles separate Banff from this stunning lake surrounded by mountains. Meaning "Water of the Spirits," Minnewaska. But be aware that because it is a glacier lake, the water is chilly. Lake Minnewanka is most renowned for its outdoor activities like canoeing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and trekking off the water. It is 5 kilometers wide and 13 miles long. There is a lot of wildlife around this lake in Canada, including bighorn sheep and deer.

Red Lake, Ontario

Red Lake is both a town and a body of water. The lake is renowned for having a lot of wildlife. Grouse, deer, moose, ducks, and even bears may be seen by tourists. A local legend regarding the Chippewa tribe gave it its name. The red is a result of the moose's blood that two of the tribe members had killed.

Because it is home to lake trout, northern pike, and many other species of fish, this lake in Ontario is well-liked by fishermen during the summer. Birds, deer, beavers, red foxes, and other Canadian species are also common in the area.

Calgary is a fantastic destination for trips that involve skiing, hiking, or sightseeing. But there are also several tourist attractions for those looking for entertainment directly in the city. Learn more at Tourist Guide to Must Visit Places in Calgary.

Cold Lake, Alberta

Cold Lake is a city and a lake, similar to Red Lake. The lake is renowned for its crystal-clear water, top-notch fishing, hosting hundreds of different bird species, and the general wealth of nature. Given that it was chilly, it is understandable that European settlers called the lake a frigid lake. Watson Lake in the Yukon holds the title of Canada's coldest lake, not this one.

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