As Alberta continues to experience a province-wide heat wave, one of the best ways to cool off is by doing a little swimming.
Albertans are lucky to have both lakes and the Rocky Mountains in our backyard, making for tons of perfectly refreshing public swimming spots.
Real estate marketplace Zolo recently released a top 10 ranking of the best places to go swimming in Alberta. Watering holes range from urban Calgary rivers to the glacier-fed lakes of the Rockies, and there are options all over the province.
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So pull out your best bathing suit, fill up that water bottle, and slather on that sunscreen, because you’ve got some swimming to do.
1. Sylvan Lake
Sylvan Lake is only an hour and a half drive away from Calgary – although it’s a popular spot, so you’re going to want to arrive early to secure your spot on the beach.
This lake offers clear and shallow waters, along with water sports like boating, waterskiing, and fishing. Grassy areas, picnic tables, and volleyball courts create a fun beach experience for everyone.
2. Horseshoe Lake
Horseshoe Lake is located just off of the Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park, making it the perfect place to take a break during your road trip this summer. This area boasts cool, refreshing waters, fishing, and scuba diving.
3. Long Lake Provincial Park
Located just over an hour from north Edmonton, Long Lake Provincial Park has two beaches: one for day use, and the other for the park’s campground. Both beaches are shallow, with warm water and marked swimming areas, making this lake great for the whole family.
And you don’t need to worry about packing your own snacks, as there are lots of fast food concessions around Long Lake.
4. Moraine Lake
This popular Banff lake is known for its kool-aid blue waters, stunning mountain vistas, and great hiking. Moraine Lake swimmers should have a fluffy towel and warm clothing ready for after they take a dip, as these mountain-fresh waters are pretty chilly!
5. Upper Waterton Lake
Upper Waterton Lake is the perfect spot for some summer swimming, as it has naturally cold water. The area also offers a variety of activities, including waterskiing, fishing, scuba diving, and sailboarding.
And don’t forget your camera, because the mountains create picturesque backdrops against the lake.
6. Johnson Lake
Located just outside of the Banff townsite, Johnson Lake will cool you off instantly with its glacier-fed waters. Epic mountain views and picnic areas make for the ideal spot to spend a hot summer day.
7. Sandy Beach Park
Sandy Beach Park is situated along the Elbow River in the heart of Calgary, and provides locals with warm, shallow water and the perfect opportunity to float around on an inflatable device.
The park is also home to picnic sites, playgrounds, bike paths, and walking trails, so you’re sure to be kept busy all day long.
8. Half Moon Lake
Half Moon Lake is located inside a resort in Sherwood Park, just outside of Edmonton. There’s lots of space to spread out a blanket and plant an umbrella to enjoy a day in the sun.
The resort also features walking trails and sports such as mini golf, beach volleyball, pickleball, and basketball.
9. Lac Ste. Anne
Just over an hour from Edmonton, Lac Ste. Anne is home to a sandy beach and grassy picnic areas. The lake has warm, shallow waters, and all the amenities you need for a day at the beach are within close proximity.
10. Wabamun Lake
Wabamun is a popular lake 65 kilometres from Edmonton. Users can waterski, kayak, canoe, sail, windsurf, and more in Wabamun Lake’s semi-clear waters, and you’ll want to keep an eye out for birds, as Ospreys nest both here and at nearby Lake Isle.