We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Review of Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Banff National Park Guided Hike with Lunch
More Info
and up
Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary
More Info
and up
Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Banff
Ranked #2 of 30 things to do in Lake Louise
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
43 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

This place is a gem!
The view point is a short 15 min hike from the main carpark and it affords excellent views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
We came in early may and there was still a lot of deep snow on the road from the main car park up to the trail access which made the hike tricky but very rewarding. The lake was also partly frozen - so the best time to come is either in late May/early June or late Sep/early Oct when it is quiet.

Visited May 2013
5 Thank bonnpritch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Texas Gulf Coast, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
485 reviews
296 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 452 helpful votes
“Gorgeous Views of a Glacial Lake”
Reviewed May 13, 2013

Peyto Lake is a gorgeous glacial lake visible from the Bow Summit turnout on the Icefields Parkway. Its elevation is 1,880 m, its length is 2.8 km, and its area is 5.3 square km. Finely ground rock particles carried into the lake by glacial melt water, give its water an exquisite turquoise or emerald color. Its primeval-looking shores are heavily forested with firs. Behind them, rocky and barren slopes, cut with avalanche scars, descend from lofty mountain peaks above. If our mid-June day had been warmer, we’d have had a picnic lunch here. As it was, we trudged down a snowy and uneven trail for a view. We’d been lucky finally to snag a parking space after a long wait. Be aware that parking can be scarce here, as it was for us, even on bitterly cold days when you’d imagine no one else would be out.

Visited June 2012
3 Thank mainemountainbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Wow Wow wow!”
Reviewed May 2, 2013

You might wonder whether you should stop on the ice fields parkway and walk up to Peyto Lake!!! Do it! That is the best decision you could have made!
Unbelievable! I can't describe the lake as I was spellbound! Blue water sparkling in the sun stretching ahead of you..walk up the trail head to the view point to get good photos!
We went here twice, one our way to Jasper and then back from Jasper to Banff..You could hike more if you have the time and see the glacier basin on the other side..but we stuck to the view point as we had a time crunch.
Overall, I would say this is a natural wonder worth seeing..

Visited September 2012
5 Thank Indie42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A highlight of the Icefields Parkway”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

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!

Visited May 2012
2 Thank Where-to-next-nz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilsonville, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Unreal turquoise color”
Reviewed April 13, 2013

The color was unbelievable. It was more crowded, though, than some other spots. We were thrilled to visit it as part of our Caravan Tours trip through the Canadian Rockies, a tour I highly recommend.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Linda_Franklin_55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Peyto Lake also viewed

Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies
Banff, Banff National Park

Been to Peyto Lake? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing