Even at the start of the Spring thaw, this is a spectacular lake to visit. Don't miss it!
We got to Peyto Lake near the end of our incredibly scenic drive down the Icefields Parkway from Jasper to Banff. It was still very snowy in this part of the Rockies in late May, but we were unprepared for the amount of snow that greeted us right from the lower car park. The upper car park and bus area was still closed for the season, so this meant a 15 minute walk up the road through deep snow to get up to the lake. Be prepared for cold wet feet!
Once we were at the lookout for Peyto Lake it was clear the trek through the snow was totally worth it. Where parts of the lake had thawed we could see the incredible deep turquoise blue as per the postcards. The rest of the lake was covered by a thin sheet of ice that had a beautiful light blue sheen. The lake is framed by snow capped, forested mountains so the whole vista is just spectacular. Make sure your camera battery is full!
We decided to take an alternative track back to the lower car park rather than heading back down the snow-covered access road. However, while the track was signposted from the lookout, the amount of snow covering it meant we very quickly lost sight of the markers and thought we had strayed off course! The track would be lovely in the summer as it winds through the forest, but in spring if we deviated from the footprints of others who had gone before, we sunk into about half a metre of snow. That said, it was still a lot of fun, even if it made for wet socks and shoes when we made it back to the car about 20 minutes later.
We've heard this area can get packed with people in the summer months, so spring and autumn would be the ideal times to visit if you can. There were only about 20 people around during the hour or so we spent here - perfect!
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