July 6, 2020 in

The ultimate guide to 18 of Jasper’s best lakes

Sabrina Doyle
5 minute read
Written by Sabrina Doyle
Main image by Ryan Bray/ Parks Canada

Jasper National Park has a lot of lakes – 1,762 of them to be exact. Of these, a mere 107 are named. Some are brilliant turquoise and have been photographed by millions. Some are remote surprises tucked behind the next mountain. Some are beachy, family-friendly havens. All have the potential to delight you.

Whether you’re seeking beauty, fun or adventure, Jasper’s lakes have enough variety that there’s something for everyone (start with these seven unforgettable lake-based activities). Here are a few favourite lakes in the national park.

1 Lake Annette

Location: Near the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. One kilometre after turning toward the lodge from the Maligne Lake Road, take a left towards Lake Annette.

Stroll the 2.4 kilometre paved path encircling this local hotspot (watch for interpretive signs that name nearby mountains) before laying out a blanket on the beach. There are also picnic tables, fire boxes, a playground, cooking shelter, changing rooms and an overall chill, family-friendly vibe.

2 Lake Edith

Location: Just north of Lake Annette, along the same roads.

A bit less populated than Lake Annette, but no less beautiful. Edith’s 4.9 kilometre path around is more ensconced in the trees, and the beach doesn’t have quite as many amenities.

Things to do in Jasper

Roth and Ramberg/ Travel Alberta

3 Lac Beauvert

Location: Directly beside the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s main building.

For stunning beauty and more easily accessible watersport options (on-site rentals include canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, SUPs and more) than any other lake in the national park, this sparkling emerald-green option is a no-brainer.

4 Mildred Lake

Location: Also on the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge property. Spot it on the right as you drive up the approach road.

Though mostly just eye-candy in the summer, this cute little lake becomes a fantastic, groomed skating oval in the winter. Rent a pair of skates on-site and do a few laps or bring pals for a game of shinny in one of the many cleared hockey areas.

Pyramid Island - Pursuit

5 Pyramid Lake

Location: At the end of Pyramid Lake Road, approximately a 7 minute drive from town.

Pyramid Lake has a lot to boast about. The iconic bridge connecting to Pyramid Island is an Instagram superstar, and a lakeside resort offers canoe and kayak rentals right on the beach. With Pyramid Mountain overlooking the lake, it’s also a great spot for stargazing, and skating in the winter.

6 Patricia Lake

Location: On Pyramid Lake Road, slightly closer to town.

Pyramid Lake’s less famous neighbour is a great spot for fishing. And if you’re staying at the Patricia Lake Bungalows, you can enjoy a variety of watersport rentals and lakeside activities.

7 Jasper Lake

Location: Beside the Yellowhead Highway, about 20 minutes from Jasper.

Technically, this shallow lake beside the highway is part of the Athabasca River, but the channel is so wide in this part that it’s essentially a lake. With a parking lot, new outhouse bathroom and a stretch of beach, it makes a scenic pitstop on the way to or from town.

People Fishing Talbot Lake - Ben Morin / Parks Canada

8 Talbot Lake

Location: on the other side of the highway from Jasper Lake.

While driving the Yellowhead Highway it’s not uncommon to spot people fishing in this lake. With a pull-out, outhouse and gravel boat launch area, it’s a peaceful spot to float in the shadow of Cinquefoil Mountain.


Sarah Hatton

9 Medicine Lake

Location: On Maligne Lake Road, about a half hour from town.

There are few places better suited to watch the sun come up than the Medicine Lake lookout point. Watch for moose and eagles as you meander along this long, shallow lake; with mountains rising on both sides, it’s truly a sight to behold. Fun fact: this lake partly drains every year into an underground karst system of caves.

Spirit Island  - Jason Charles Hill

Jason Charles Hill

10 Maligne Lake

Location: at the end of Maligne Lake Road.

Spirit Island is one of the most photographed spots in the Canadian Rockies, but it’s not the easiest place to get to. Located halfway down Maligne Lake, it takes a 14 kilometre paddle (canoe rentals available on-site) or boat cruise to reach this iconic spot. When artist and explorer Mary Schaffer became the first European to lay eyes on Maligne Lake in 1908, she called it “the Hall of Gods,” adding that “if Lake Louise is a pearl, Maligne is the entire pearl necklace.”

11 Valley of Five Lakes

Location: Along the Icefields Parkway, about 10 minutes south of town.

A family-friendly, 4.5 kilometre hike takes you past – you guessed it – five beautiful and tiny lakes all sparkling with various shades of jade and blue. Keep eyes peeled for two of Parks Canada’s iconic red Adirondack chairs overlooking a beautiful viewpoint.

12 Horseshoe Lake

Location: approximately 20 minutes south of town on Highway 93.

High cliffs overlook clear waters at this hidden gem lake that’s shaped (roughly) like a horseshoe.

13 Honeymoon Lake

Location: approximately 40 minutes south of town on Highway 93.

Enjoy a picnic with views of Endless Chain Ridge over this crystal clear and perfect for canoeing. Buck Lake and Osprey Lake are also only a short hike away.


14 Cavell Pond

Location: at the base of Mount Edith Cavell, a short hike from the end of Cavell Road.

A short, well-used trail leads to a stunning lookout over the north face of Mt. Edith Cavell and the minty green coloured Cavell Pond, which sometimes catches fallen icebergs from the glaciers above. Continue further up the trail for even more dramatic viewpoints and seasonal wildflowers.

15 Geraldine Lakes

Location: about a half hour drive south of town, plus a short hike to reach the lake. Trailhead located on the gravel Geraldine Fire Road, at the end of Highway 93A.

Sandwiched between the steep slopes of Mount Fryatt and Whirlpool Peak, First Geraldine Lake is an easy 1.8 kilometre hike from the trailhead. To reach Second Geraldine Lake, go another 4.4 kilometres along a rougher, boulder-strewn trail to find scenic waterfalls and even more views.

16 Jacques Lake

Location: In the backcountry, about a ten kilometre hike or ski from the trailhead, which is located near Medicine Lake.

Along the mostly flat trail to this lake (and backcountry campground) you’ll also pass two other pretty lakes. In winter, it’s a great spot to cross-country ski.


Rogier Gruys

17 Amethyst Lakes

Location: In the backcountry, in a region slightly northwest of Mount Edith Cavell. Accessible only by hiking 20 kilometres of rough trail.

World-renowned views, fishing, and backcountry camping adventures await at this jaw-dropping spot. The Rampart mountain range reflects in the lakes. But getting here is not for the faint of heart; good fitness, multiple days and a lot of bug repellent (depending on the time of year) is the price to pay for such beauty. The region is closed during some winter months as it is caribou habitat.

skyline curator lk

Sabrina Doyle

18 Curator Lake

Location: In the backcountry, in the mountains slightly southwest of Medicine Lake. Accessible only by hiking more than 20 kilometres of rocky trail.

The Skyline Trail is one of Jasper National Park’s most beautiful multi-day backcountry trails, and Curator Lake is a beautiful gem around the halfway point. Depending on which direction you hike the trail, this peak-encircled lake will either precede or come after a four-kilometre ridge walk with panoramic views. Only hikeable in summer.