15 Jasper Lakes WELL Worth a Visit

Like nearby Banff, many Jasper lakes 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, clear turquoise 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.


The Best Jasper Lakes to Visit


Maligne Lake

Spirit Island
Spirit Island
Maligne Lake in the winter
Maligne Lake in the winter

Maligne Lake is a glacial lake just a 45-minute drive from the town of Jasper. It is one of the most serene lakes in the Canadian Rockies and is prized for its 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 cruise to Spirit Island. Of course, you can also camp overnight near the beautiful Spirit Island, which is a popular thing to do for adventurers in the area.

maligne lake in august

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.

maligne lake in august

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 fantastic night in the wilderness.

If you don’t want to make the journey out, don’t worry; there’s still plenty to see around the Maligne lakeshore. There’s a boathouse here that rents out canoes and kayaks. You can also book a Maligne Lake cruise and take a trip to Spirit Island on a motorized boat.


Medicine Lake

Medicine Lake in August
Medicine Lake in August

Medicine Lake is a fantastic sight in Jasper. Located about 12 miles southeast of toen, It is a wonderful place to visit in summer and winter as you drive down Maligne Lake Road. Though technically part of the Maligne River, it looks like a lake to the untrained eye, especially when it swells with water from the big thaw, which takes place in late spring and summer.

Medicine Lake in December
Medicine Lake in December

Many people call Medicine Lake the “disappearing lake” because the water drains out through sinkholes in the bottom, travels through a cave system, and resurfaces downstream. We couldn’t believe it when we saw it either in the winter! 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 highly recommend bringing your own or renting a canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard to enjoy these lakes because they are amazing! Though there is also a small rental shack that operates near the lakes in the summer.

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.


Lac Beauvert 

natasha walking into beauvert lake in jasper
Best Lakes in Jasper

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 Lac Beauvert.


Mildred Lake

Mildred Lake

Mildred Lake is on the Jasper Park Lodge property near Lac Beauvert. This small lake can be seen on your right-hand side as you approach the resort. It’s stunning in the summer, but it’s actually one of the more popular lakes to visit in the winter, when the whole area turns into a winter wonderland. Come here in December for a groomed skating oval and outdoor firepits!


Jasper Lake

Jasper Lake

Jasper Lake is about 20 minutes away from Downtown Jasper. This is a shallow lake right next to the highway. It’s not the most exciting lake to spend a day at in Jasper, but there is a nice parking area so you can get out and admire the views and reflection of Mount Greenock.


Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake is one of the best places to visit in Jasper. This wonderful kidney-shaped lake is right at the foot of the iconic Pyramid Mountain. It’s a local favorite and a sight to see for all visitors to the park.

pyramid lake

Pyramid Lake is fairly big, at 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 are 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

Patricia Lake

Patricia Lake is right next to Pyramid Lake, so close you could even walk between both! 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

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

Cavell Lake

Cavell Lake is a stunning lake 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 spectacular scenery.


Horseshoe Lake

Horseshoe Lake

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.

Horseshoe Lake

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

Jasper Lake and Talbot Lake
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 to take out the kayak and go fishing for a bit! It’s ultra-clear and full of pike and trout!


Valley of the Five Lakes

valley of the five lakes

The Valley of the Five Lakes is a popular hike circuit that loops you through, as you might have guessed, five lakes! This is a 4.5 km easy circuit that the whole family can enjoy. Along the way you’ll pass dazzling bright blue lakes, with the fourth and fifth lakes being highlights of the entire trail. You can enjoy all five of the lakes in under two hours!


Honeymoon Lake

Honeymoon Lake

Out of all the Jasper lakes, Honeymoon Lake is the only one with front-country Jasper camping available. The campsites sit along the small lake, right off the Icefields Parkway next to Sunwapta Falls.

It’s a lovely lake for kayaking or stand up paddleboarding, and the trails along the lake are a great way to enjoy the wilderness. Like many other first-come-first-serve campgrounds in Jasper, it has limited facilities. However, you will find dry toilets, potable water, and fire pits.


Can You Swim in These Lakes?

Swimming in Horseshoe Lake
Swimming in Horseshoe Lake

You can pretty much swim in any lake in the Canadian Rockies—the question is, do you really want to? In many of these mountain lakes, the water temperature rarely gets about 4°C, so you only have 15 minutes or so before you start to become hypothermic.

Though it’s unlikely you’ll be swimming for even half that amount of time without a wetsuit on. We typically last for less than 30 seconds before we have to get out of these Alberta lakes.


Which Are The Most Accessible?

Pyramid Island
Pyramid Island in Winter

Most lakes on this list are easily accessible with a short walk. In some cases, you can see the lakes right from the car!


When Do These Lakes Freeze?

Jasper in winter
Ice hockey on Pyramid Lake the last week of November

The lakes near Jasper will start to freeze in November; by December, you can ice skate on many of them. The best lakes for ice skating are Pyramid Lake and Patricia Lake.


When Do The Lakes in Jasper Thaw?

stand up paddleboarding under pyramid lake

Winter in Jasper sometimes feels like it lasts forever, which is very evident when the lakes remain frozen for more than half the year. In general, you can expect many mountain lakes to start thawing from mid-May to mid-June, with most lakes being completely thawed by July.


Fishing In Jasper

You can fish on most of the lakes in and around Jasper. There is some excellent fishing to be had as Jasper National Park is prime trout-fishing territory. Fishing in Jasper requires a special national park fishing permit. You can pick this up at info centers, campgrounds, and fishing businesses in Downtown Jasper. Brush up on the fishing rules here.

Our Top Recommended Jasper Tours


Using Watercraft

On Maligne Lake
On Maligne Lake

Using gas motors on any waterbody in Jasper National Park is not allowed. However, electric motors are permitted on Maligne, Medicine, Talbot, Pyramid, and Patricia lakes only. Inflatable vessels like stand-up paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks are allowed on the lakes in Jasper.


Plan Your Trip to the Canadian Rockies

  • Get to Banff or Canmore Without a Car: The Banff Airporter provides fantastic service connecting you from the Calgary International Airport (YYC) to Banff or Canmore.
  • Get Around: We suggest renting a car to get around. You can search for rental cars on Rentalcars.com. Or embark on an epic campervan trip, we like to compare camper prices on Outdoorsy.
  • Cheaper Airfare: We also use Going to watch for cheap airfare deals and like to use travel credit cards to hack our way into free flights and hotels! Our favorite cards are the Capital One Venture X and Chase Sapphire, which both work well in Canada and have no foreign transaction fees.
  • Hop On, Hop Off: This tour is taking Banff by storm. It’s exactly what it sounds like, hop on and off a bus bound for all the best attractions at your own pace!

↓ Join the community ↓

The Banff Blog Facebook Group is your headquarters for Canadian Rockies travel advice and information, including hike and off-season travel information. You can also meet new adventure buddies.

the banff blog facebook group

About Natasha

Natasha calls Canmore, Alberta home. After traveling across seven continents and 90 countries with Cameron, she settled down in the stunning Canadian Rockies. She loves to help others travel and make their planning easier. She is a winter enthusiast and loves to snowboard, ice skate, and snowshoe and enjoy all the fantastic summer opportunities in Banff like hiking, scrambling, and biking. You can find her in the mountains or enjoying a coffee by the river. Learn more on the about us page!

If you have found the content on this site helpful to your trip planning please consider supporting The Banff Blog. You can say thanks directly by buying us a coffee. All support is much appreciated!

Leave a Comment