Banff National Park, located in Alberta, Canada, is by far one of the most beautiful and glorious parks I have ever visited. While it holds claim to over a dozen beautiful lakes, Peyto Lake is its crown jewel–in my opinion anyway. When we arrived in the Park, I had never even heard of Peyto Lake and had, by chance only, seen a photo of it in a magazine lying on a table at our hotel. I knew the moment I saw it that I simply had to see this lake that looked so poorly photo-shopped among the grand Rocky Mountains. I was not disappointed.
Location of the Trail
- The trailhead is located not terribly far from Lake Louise just off of Icefields Parkway, which is considered one of the most scenic highways in the world–and it’s easy to see why with its abundance of lakes and wildlife and high snow-topped mountains.
- I was able to locate the road to the trail via Google Maps. There is a fairly moderate-sized parking lot off of the road, but there were no clear signs as to which way one should go trail-wise. However, it is beside this sign that you’ll find the steep uphill climb:
- The trail, while moderately short, is rather steep. It is completely paved and definitely doable for everyone; however, one may have to make a few pitstops along the way. It says that it will take you about ten minutes, but it might be more realistic to say that it will take you 15 minutes to get to the top depending on how often you stop.
- One aspect that makes this lake more accessible to all is that there is a drop off point farther up the highway past the parking lot that allows people to avoid the steep walk altogether!
- There is a balcony-type ordeal once you reach the top. I read that it can get quite crowded, which was indeed the case when we were there. It’s absolutely necessary that you walk a little farther down (to the right) to get away from all the people!
- The lake is a stunning example of how something known as “glacier rock flour” pours into these lakes coloring them stunning shades of blue. Here one can see it in “action”:
- The water is little more greenish, I suppose you could say, on this end; however, as you can see from the following photos, it becomes a dazzling blue. And I assure you, it doesn’t matter how long you stare at it (which should be a long time), it still seems unreal. Even the mountains look like a fake backdrop!
- If you’ll look at the random guy on the side of the above photo, you’ll see that you can actually keep walking a fairly good ways down. In fact, there were people who went pretty far and may have been even hiking down to the lake itself. It was extremely steep, however, and we didn’t have time to see. I have every intention of going back one day to see!
Hands Down–> My Favorite Lake in Banff!