Come for the mountains, stay for the lakes (and also the mountains — who are we kidding). Within Jasper National Park's expansive 11,000 km², the rugged landscape is dotted with blue and green lakes both big and small. These natural jewels are often glacier-fed and are the perfect places to anchor yourself for an afternoon. Set your own pace with these various activities that ensure a well-rounded lake experience.
Parks Canada/ Ryan Bray
How often do you get to splash around in the clear waters of a wild, mountain-ringed lake? Although the water might be a tad chilly, Lake Annette, Pyramid Lake and Lake Edith all have lovely sandy beaches and the former two also offer picnic areas with fire rings with grills and stroller-friendly paved paths.
Located on crystal clear Patricia Lake, Jasper Dive Adventures offers a unique underwater experience for visitors to the park. The certified PADI Scuba Dive instructors offer courses for all levels, from open water diving to rescue diving. Already certified? Take a guided tour to the WWII wreck in Patricia Lake, code named Project Habbakuk.
Stand up paddleboarding is one of today’s fastest growing water sports. It works exactly how you’d expect (standing up on a long floating board and paddling) and is a great way to experience the calm surfaces of Jasper’s lakes. The Boathouse at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge rents out SUPs, along with a number of other vessels.
Parks Canada/ Olivia Robinson
What could be more iconic than canoeing through the Rockies? Grab a friend and glide through Lac Beauvert to admire the emerald green against the mountain backdrop. If you don’t have your own canoe, grab a rental from the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge boathouse. Want a longer excursion? Wild Current Outfitters specializes in 1/2 day, small group guided adventures in hand-built canoes (with shore side snacks included!)
Prefer to take in the lakes’ beauty from shore? Many lakes are ringed in trails, and mountain biking in an excellent way to explore them from May to October. The approximately 4 kilometer trail that circles Lac Beauvert is accessible and scenic. Conveniently, the Fairmont Boathouse also rents bicycles for 1hr, 2hr, 4hr, and half day excursions.
Pursuit Banff Jasper Collection/ Mike Seehagel
Experience Jasper’s famous Spirit Island. This world-renowned landmark is only accessible by water, and located in Maligne Lake — the largest glacial fed lake in the Canadian Rockies. The interpretive Maligne Lake Cruise, offered by Pursuit, is a great way to see and learn about this iconic lake scene.
Parks Canada/ Olivia Robinson
With a massive network of lakeside trails, hiking is the perfect way to absorb the beauty of Jasper's lakes while staying dry. Whether you’d prefer a short stroll or trek all day in rugged terrain, there’s a trail for you. Walks and Talks offers guided tours (led by a lifelong Jasper local) overlooking Pyramid Lake.