Like nearby Banff, Jasper National Park has some stunning lakes that will make any visitor happy with delight. Thanks to the many glaciers in the Canadian Rockies one can visit Jasper and enjoy the bright blue waters of glacial lakes, or sit back and relax on the canoe in a town favorite.
No matter where you are in Jasper you’ll be surrounded by mammoth mountains, turquoise clear water, and open skies. Whether you are in the mood for a quick dip, or a hike to a refreshing lake, or even an ice skate on a magical lake in the winter we’ve narrowed down the most beautiful lakes in Jasper to check out.
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The Best Lakes in Jasper to Visit
Maligne Lake is a glacial lake that is just a 45-minute drive from the town of Jasper. It is one of the most serene lakes in all of the Canadian Rockies and prized for astounding natural splendor.
It’s well worth a visit for anyone visiting the Canadian Rockies, and is a must stop if you’re in Jasper for a few days. In the summer you can canoe, paddleboard, kayak, or even take a motorboat out on it. Of course, you can also camp overnight near the beautiful Spirit Island, which is a popular thing to do for adventurers in the area.
As you may have guessed by its name, Spirit Island is a serene and revered place, especially to the area’s indigenous people. Due to its sacredness, the island is off limits, but boat tours are available which will take you close enough to appreciate its splendor.
For those who need a little more exertion and adventure, it’s possible to view the island by kayak or canoe; this option is only for the physically fit because the roundtrip is difficult to complete in a day. There are campsites nearby where you can book an overnight spot, breaking the trip into a day and a half and giving you a wonderful night in the wilderness.
If you don’t want to make the journey out not to worry, there’s still plenty to see around the Malinge lake shore. There’s a boathouse here which rents out canoes and kayaks as well. It’s also possible to book a tour with Pursuit to take a trip to Spirit Island on one of their motorized vehicles.
Medicine Lake is a fantastic thing to see in Jasper. Located about 12 miles southeast of Jasper, Medicine Lake is a wonderful place to see in both the summer and winter in Jasper. Though technically part of the Maligne River, to the untrained eye it looks like a lake, especially when it swells with water from the big thaw, which takes place in late spring and summer.
Medicine Lake is actually called the “disappearing lake” amongst many people as the water drains out through sinkholes in the bottom, traveling through a cave system and resurfacing downstream. We couldn’t believe it when we saw it either! But it’s truly a unique phenomenon.
Lake Edith and Lake Annette
We spent many days in Jasper enjoying these two lakes, which are right next to each other and just a short drive away from the town of Jasper. I would highly recommend bringing your own or renting a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard to enjoy these lakes because they are amazing!
They are a bit of a local favorite as they are warm enough to swim in. There’s even a dock to jump in from on Lake Annette and also places to rent paddleboards at Edith Lake.
Out of all the best lakes in Jasper, Lac Beauvert is easily my favorite. It’s freezing cold even on the warmest days in the summer, but it has some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen.
You’ll be able to see straight to the bottom on any day. The Jasper Park Lodge surrounds a large portion of the lake, meaning if you can score a stay here you’ll have amazing access to Beauvert. The Jasper Park Lodge rents out all the fun toys to be able to enjoy the lake and they also have champagne picnic lunches to take away and enjoy on the lakeshore.
You don’t have to be a guest of the Park Lodge to enjoy the lake, anyone is welcome to bring their own paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks on this stunning lake in Jasper.
Pyramid Lake in Jasper National Park is one of the best places to visit in Jasper. This lake is a wonderful kidney-shaped lake right at the foot of the iconic Pyramid Mountain. It’s a locals favorite and also a sight to see for all visitors to Jasper.
Pyramid Lake is fairly big with a size of 1.2 km2 and discharges right into the Athabasca River. It’s the perfect place to hang out for the day whether it’s winter or summer. There’s plenty of things to do in the area and it will certainly be a highlight of your trip to Jasper. Don’t forget to check out Pyramid Island while visiting!
Patricia Lake is right next to Pyramid Lake, so close you could even walk! It’s another popular lake in Jasper for locals to hang out at. There are plenty of places to chill out and firepits to have a bonfire. Patricia Lake was actually named after Princess Patricia of Connaught, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Patricia Lake is a notable lake in the Canadian Rockies for its involvement in WWII when the British devised a plan to build an unsinkable aircraft carrier as they needed natural lake ice to build a substance known as Pykrete. There are still remnants between 40-90 feet down of this project which recreational divers continue to dive. You can read more about its history here.
Cavell Lake is a stunning lake in Jasper that sits right under the iconic Mount Edith Cavell. Getting here requires a quick and easy walk of less than 1 km round trip. The short walk is well rewarded with stunning views of a blue lake and stunning scenery.
Horseshoe Lake is a popular lake in Jasper to visit. It’s an easy place to visit right off the Icefields Parkway and a fun stop to make when driving between Banff and Jasper. It takes just a short hike from the road to get to the lake and along the way you’ll see beautiful cliff formations.
These cliffs actually mean Horseshoe Lake is the best place to cliff jump in in the summer! The highest jump point is said to be almost 80 feet high! If you don’t want to jump not to worry, there are plenty of places to enjoy the views from.
Jasper Lake and Talbot Lake
Both Jasper Lake and Talbot Lake are about 25 minutes north of Jasper along the Yellowhead Highway. On one side sits Jasper Lake and on the other side of the highway is Talbot Lake. Both are fantastic lakes to visit in the summer. These lakes are actually part of the Athabasca River, where the river broadens out.
Jasper Lake is well known for its awesome sand dunes, as it is the only sand dune ecosystem in all of the Canadian Rockies. It’s well worth the journey from the town of Jasper to see these sand dunes. Talbot Lake is a great spot for taking out the kayak to go fishing for a bit! It’s ultra-clear and full of pike and trout!
Jasper Travel Planning Resources
- Packing Guide — Check out our Canadian Rockies packing list to help pack your bags and ensure you don’t leave anything at home.
- Rent a Car — We suggest most visitors consider renting a car for the best trip possible. Try RentalCars.com to compare quotes from different rental agencies. Here are all the things you need to know before renting a car in Banff.
- Where to Stay — We learned long ago that where you stay can have a massive impact on your trip. Check out our favorite hotels in Jasper and cabins in Jasper.
- Protect Your Trip — Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance! We always carry travel insurance to protect from injury, theft, or a canceled trip. Try World Nomads for competitive short term plans.
- Tours in Jasper — Check out our list of the best tours you can enjoy in Jasper!