Unveiling The Top 29 Lakes in Canada for Your Dream Vacation

Ever wondered why Canada is often referred to as the “Land of Lakes”? Well, it’s because this beautiful country is home to a staggering number of lakes – over 2 million!

Yes, you read that right. Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. But with such a vast number, how do you decide which ones to visit? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

We’re going to unveil the top 29 lakes in Canada, each one offering its unique charm and beauty. So, buckle up and get ready for a virtual tour of the best lakes in Canada.

Alberta

Moraine Lake

Nestled in the heart of the Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake is a sight to behold. Its turquoise waters, a result of light refracting off the rock flour deposited in the lake by surrounding glaciers, make it one of the most photographed spots in Canada.

The lake is surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and rock piles, creating a landscape so surreal it’s hard to believe it’s real. It’s not just a beautiful lake in Canada, it’s a paradise for nature lovers.

Crystal Clear Waters Reflecting the Mountains at Moraine Lake
Crystal Clear Waters Reflecting the Mountains at Moraine Lake | Copyright: Pixabay

Lake Louise

Next on our list is Lake Louise, a popular lake in Canada known for its vibrant blue-green waters. The lake is a perfect spot for canoeing in the summer and ice skating in the winter.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, located on the lake’s eastern shore, offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. It’s no wonder Lake Louise is often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Rockies’.

Embraced by Opulent Mountains and Pines at Lake Louise
Embraced by Opulent Mountains and Pines at Lake Louise | Copyright: Pixabay

Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake, named after Bill Peyto, a trail guide and trapper in the Banff area, is another gem in Alberta. The lake’s unique bright turquoise color, a result of glacier rock flour flowing into the lake, makes it one of the most beautiful lakes in Canada.

The best view of the lake can be enjoyed from Bow Summit, the highest point on the Icefields Parkway.

Panoramic View of Peyto Lake
Panoramic View of Peyto Lake | Copyright: Pixabay

Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake, the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies, is a must-visit. It’s known for the color of its water, the surrounding peaks, the three glaciers visible from the lake, and Spirit Island, one of the most photographed locations in the world.

It’s also one of the best fishing lakes in Canada, with rainbow trout and brook trout being the most common catches.

Cruising Along Prehistoric Mountains at Maligne Lake

Cruising Along Prehistoric Mountains at Maligne Lake | Copyright: Viator

Abraham Lake

Abraham Lake might be artificial, but its beauty is as real as it gets. It’s famous for a natural phenomenon that occurs in winter when trapped methane gas freezes, creating bubble-like formations under the ice.

This makes it one of the best ice fishing lakes in Canada and a popular spot for photographers.

Bubble-like Formations Under the Ice at Abraham Lake
Bubble-like Formations Under the Ice at Abraham Lake | Copyright: TripAdvisor

Medicine Lake

Medicine Lake, located within Jasper National Park, is a geologic marvel. Unlike most lakes, Medicine Lake isn’t a traditional lake but a basin that fills with water in the spring and summer.

It’s also known for its abundant wildlife, making it a great spot for animal enthusiasts.

Abundant Flora, Fauna, and Rocky Trails at Medicine Lake
Abundant Flora, Fauna, and Rocky Trails at Medicine Lake | Copyright: TripAdvisor

Bow Lake

Bow Lake, one of the largest lakes in Banff National Park, is a tranquil spot perfect for picnics, hiking, and photography.

The lake is fed by the Bow Glacier, which is visible from the lake itself. It’s also one of the best lakes in Canada for swimming, thanks to its relatively warm temperatures in the summer.

Picture-Perfect Spot for Selfies at Bow Lake

Picture-Perfect Spot for Selfies at Bow Lake | Copyright: Pixabay

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka, the longest lake in the mountain parks of the Canadian Rockies, is a haven for wildlife and offers activities like boating, scuba diving, hiking, and biking.

It’s also one of the best lakes in Canada for vacation, with plenty of camping spots and picnic areas.

Renowned for its Natural Beauty, Lake Minnewanka
Renowned for its Natural Beauty, Lake Minnewanka | Copyright: Pixabay

Lake Annette

Lake Annette, located in Jasper National Park, is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. It’s one of the warmest lakes in Canada, making it perfect for a summer swim.

The lake also offers a sandy beach and a picnic area with a stunning view of the surrounding mountains.

Abundant Nature for the Perfect Picnic Spot at Lake Annette
Abundant Nature for the Perfect Picnic Spot at Lake Annette | Copyright: Pixabay

Horseshoe Lake

Last but not least, Horseshoe Lake is a small but charming lake known for its clear waters and cliff jumping opportunities. It’s a hidden gem that offers a peaceful escape from the more crowded lakes in the area.

Warm Enough for a Swim at Horseshoe Lake
Warm Enough for a Swim at Horseshoe Lake | Copyright: TripAdvisor

British Columbia

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake, located in Yoho National Park, is the largest of Yoho’s 61 lakes and ponds. As the name suggests, the lake is known for its stunning emerald green waters, a result of powdered limestone deposited in the lake.

The lake is surrounded by mountains and lush greenery, making it a perfect spot for hiking, canoeing, and wildlife viewing.

In the winter, it transforms into a snowy wonderland, offering activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. If you’re looking for a beautiful lake in Canada that offers year-round activities, Emerald Lake is the place to be.

Emerald Lake Surrounded by Mountainous Hiking Areas
Emerald Lake Surrounded by Mountainous Hiking Areas | Copyright: Pixabay

Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake is a turquoise-colored alpine lake nestled in the heart of Garibaldi Provincial Park. It’s one of the most popular lakes in Canada for hiking and camping. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and glaciers, offering breathtaking views that are worth the hike.

The turquoise color of the lake, a result of glacial flour suspended in the water, is a sight to behold. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can’t miss out on Garibaldi Lake.

Garibaldi Lake Surrounded by Glaciers
Garibaldi Lake Surrounded by Glaciers | Copyright: Pixabay

Spotted Lake

Spotted Lake, located in the Okanagan Valley, is one of the most unique lakes in Canada. During the summer, the water of the lake evaporates, leaving behind large spots of minerals.

The size, color, and pattern of the spots change depending on the mineral composition and the amount of water in the lake. It’s not just a natural lake in Canada, it’s a natural phenomenon that’s worth witnessing.

Large Mineral Patches at Spotted Lake
Large Mineral Patches at Spotted Lake | Copyright: Pixabay

Okanagan Lake

Okanagan Lake, located in the Okanagan Valley, is one of the best lakes in Canada to visit. It’s known for its warm, clear waters, making it perfect for swimming, boating, and water sports.

The lake is also home to the legendary Ogopogo, a mythical sea creature often compared to the Loch Ness Monster. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a beach lover, or a mythical creature enthusiast, Okanagan Lake has something for everyone.

Warm and Clear Waters are Perfect for Swimming at Okanagan Lake
Warm and Clear Waters are Perfect for Swimming at Okanagan Lake | Copyright: Pixabay

Berg Lake

Berg Lake, located in Mount Robson Provincial Park, is a popular lake in Canada among hikers and nature lovers. The lake is known for its stunning views of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and the Berg Glacier, which can be seen calving directly into the lake.

The Berg Lake Trail, a 23-kilometer trail that takes you around the lake, offers some of the most stunning views in the park. If you’re a hiker, Berg Lake is a must-visit.

Stunning Views of Mount Robson at Berg Lake
Stunning Views of Mount Robson at Berg Lake | Copyright: TripAdvisor

Kootenay Lake

Kootenay Lake, located between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges, is one of the best lakes in Canada for fishing. It’s home to a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, bull trout, and kokanee salmon.

The lake is also known for its ferry ride, which is the longest free ferry ride in the world. With its clear waters, stunning mountain views, and abundant wildlife, Kootenay Lake offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

A Protected Clear-Water Bay at Kootenay Lake
A Protected Clear-Water Bay at Kootenay Lake | Copyright: TripAdvisor

Upper Arrow Lake

Upper Arrow Lake, a beautiful lake in Canada, is a reservoir on the Columbia River. The lake is known for its hot springs, which are a perfect way to relax after a day of exploring the surrounding mountains and forests.

The lake is also a popular spot for boating, fishing, and wildlife viewing. If you’re looking for a lake that offers both adventure and relaxation, Upper Arrow Lake is the place to be.

Boating and Fishing at Upper Arrow Lake
Boating and Fishing at Upper Arrow Lake | Copyright: Google

Joffre Lakes

Last but not least, Joffre Lakes is a series of three glacier-fed lakes located in Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. Each lake offers a unique shade of blue, a result of glacial silt suspended in the water.

The trail that takes you through the lakes offers stunning views of glaciers, waterfalls, and mountains. It’s one of the best lakes in Canada to visit if you’re a fan of hiking and nature photography.

Joffre Lakes Surrounded by Towering Trees and Abundant Nature
Joffre Lakes Surrounded by Towering Trees and Abundant Nature | Copyright: Pixabay

That’s it for British Columbia, but our journey through the best lakes in Canada is far from over.

Ontario

Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes of North America, is the easternmost and smallest of the group. But don’t let its size fool you; it’s packed with activities and attractions. From sailing and fishing to exploring the beautiful waterfront cities like Toronto and Kingston, Lake Ontario has something for everyone.

It’s also home to the Thousand Islands, a collection of over 1,800 islands that offer a unique boating and sightseeing experience. If you’re wondering what is the most famous lake in Canada, Lake Ontario surely ranks high on the list.

Colorful Paradise at Lake Ontario
Colorful Paradise at Lake Ontario | Copyright: Pixabay

Lake of Bays

Lake of Bays, located in the Muskoka region, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for its clear waters and rugged landscapes, it’s one of the best lakes in Canada for swimming and boating.

The lake is dotted with charming cottages and offers activities like fishing, hiking, and golfing. In the winter, it transforms into a snowy playground, offering skiing and snowmobiling. If you’re looking for a lake that offers year-round fun, Lake of Bays is the place to be.

Lake of Bays is a Perfect Spot for Swimming
Lake of Bays is a Perfect Spot for Swimming | Copyright: TripAdvisor

Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake, straddling the border between Ontario and Minnesota, is one of the best lakes to fish in Canada. It’s home to a variety of fish species, including walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass.

The lake is also known for its Voyageurs National Park, which offers hiking, boating, and camping opportunities. With over 2,200 islands and 929 miles of shoreline, Rainy Lake offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Rainey Lake Mermaid of Rainey Lake, Ontario
Rainey Lake Mermaid of Rainey Lake, Ontario | Copyright: TripAdvisor

Lake Huron

Lake Huron, the second largest of the Great Lakes, is known for its clear waters and beautiful sunsets. It’s home to Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world, and the Bruce Peninsula, known for its rugged landscapes and hiking trails.

Lake Huron is also one of the best lakes in Canada for vacation, with plenty of resorts, cottages, and campgrounds. Whether you’re a beach lover, a hiker, or a history enthusiast, Lake Huron has something to offer.

Mesmerizing Sunsets at Lake Huron, Ontario
Mesmerizing Sunsets at Lake Huron, Ontario | Copyright: Glc.org

Lake Superior

Last but not least, Lake Superior, the largest and deepest of the Great Lakes, is a natural wonder that’s worth exploring. It’s known for its wild beauty, with rugged shorelines, dense forests, and clear waters.

The lake is home to the Lake Superior Provincial Park, which offers hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing. It’s also one of the greatest lakes in Canada for kayaking and sailing, with plenty of hidden coves and islands to explore. If you’re looking for a lake that offers both adventure and tranquility, Lake Superior is the place to be.

Beautiful Panoramic Landscapes at Lake Superior
Beautiful Panoramic Landscapes at Lake Superior | Copyright: TripAdvisor

Yukon

Kathleen Lake

Located in Kluane National Park, Kathleen Lake is a gem in the Yukon territory. The lake is surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

It’s also one of the best lakes in Canada for vacation, with a campground that offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding landscapes. Whether you’re a fan of hiking, fishing, or simply relaxing by the lake, Kathleen Lake is a must-visit.

Mountains Turning Red at Kathleen Lake
Mountains Turning Red at Kathleen Lake | Copyright: TripAdvisor

Kluane Lake

Kluane Lake, the largest lake in the Yukon, is known for its vibrant blue waters and stunning mountain views. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, moose, and wolves.

It’s also a popular lake in Canada for fishing, with species like lake trout and Arctic grayling. If you’re a nature lover, Kluane Lake is a paradise waiting to be explored.

Stunning Mountain Views at Kluane Lake
Stunning Mountain Views at Kluane Lake | Copyright: Pixabay

Manitoba

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods, straddling the border between Manitoba and Ontario, is a freshwater lake known for its islands – over 14,000 of them! The lake is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities like fishing, boating, and camping.

It’s also one of the best lakes in Canada for swimming, with sandy beaches and clear waters. If you’re looking for a lake that offers both adventure and relaxation, Lake of the Woods is the place to be.

Lake of the Woods is Perfect for Family Activities
Lake of the Woods is Perfect for Family Activities | Copyright: Google

Saskatchewan

Lake Athabasca

Lake Athabasca, located in the northwest corner of Saskatchewan, is the largest lake in the province. It’s known for its diverse wildlife and fishing opportunities, with species like walleye, northern pike, and lake trout.

The lake is also home to the Athabasca Sand Dunes, the most northerly active sand dunes in the world. If you’re a fan of fishing or unique landscapes, Lake Athabasca is a must-visit.

Unique Turquoise Water at Lake Athabasca
Unique Turquoise Water at Lake Athabasca | Copyright: Soaer.ca

Northwest Territories

Great Slave Lake

Great Slave Lake, the deepest lake in North America, is a natural wonder in the Northwest Territories. The lake is known for its clear waters, which are perfect for boating and fishing. It’s also one of the best ice fishing lakes in Canada, with species like lake trout and northern pike.

In the winter, the lake is a popular spot for viewing the Northern Lights. If you’re looking for a lake that offers both adventure and stunning natural beauty, Great Slave Lake is the place to be.

Stunning Natural Beauty at Great Slave Lake
Stunning Natural Beauty at Great Slave Lake | Copyright: Google

Quebec

Lake Memphremagog

Last but not least, Lake Memphremagog, located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, is a long, narrow lake that extends into Vermont. The lake is known for its clear waters and beautiful surrounding landscapes, making it one of the prettiest lakes in Canada. It’s also a popular spot for boating, fishing, and swimming. Whether you’re a water sports enthusiast or a nature lover, Lake Memphremagog has something to offer.

Lake Memphremagog is a Popular Spot for Boating
Lake Memphremagog is a Popular Spot for Boating | Copyright: TripAdvisor

That’s it for our journey through the best lakes in Canada. From the turquoise waters of Moraine Lake in Alberta to the clear waters of Lake Memphremagog in Quebec, each lake offers a unique charm and a haven for nature lovers.

Santiago
Santiagohttps://itineranthorizons.com/
I'm Santiago, a devoted traveler, husband to Karol and father of two beautiful children. As co-founder and writer of Itinerant Horizons, I share what I've learned from my adventures with other explorers. Let's embark together on an exciting journey to discover captivating destinations!
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