COVID-19 still presents a very real and dangerous threat to public health. While much of Alberta’s outdoors have been reopened to visitors, it is recommended to plan ahead, check local restrictions and current public health measures, and avoid any areas that may be too crowded.
Lake Minnewanka is probably one of Alberta’s most beautiful lakes.
It might not have the turquoise waters you can find in the upper reaches of the Rockies, but it more than makes up for it with its beautiful skies and picture-perfect surroundings.
The lake itself is 21 kilometres long and 142 metres deep, taking the silver for second largest lake in the Canadian Rockies. Visitors can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and even ice diving, in and around its expansive waters.
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For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from Albertaparks.ca and AdventureSmart. Parks Canada visitor guidelines are available here. Always remember to leave no trace, pack out what you pack in, stick to designated trails, and refrain from feeding wildlife — and please note that irresponsibly taken selfies (even if they look great for the ‘gram) can be fatal.
Where is it?
Lake Minnewanka is located on the eastern part of the Banff National Park, and it is surrounded by numerous mountains, such as Cascade Mountain, Mount Inglismaldie, Mount Girouard, and Mount Peechee. Its glacier waters are fed by the Cascade River and other smaller streams.
How do you get there?
Located 130 km east of Calgary, the fastest way to get to Lake Minnewanka is by car. With normal traffic, you can get there in just an hour and a half from Calgary. Take the Highway 1 and exit toward the Banff/Minnewanka loop. Then, follow signs to Cascade Pond/Two Jack Lake and merge onto the beautiful Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive.
Those driving from Edmonton will be able to get there in four hours and 20 minutes, heading south to Calgary and then following the aforementioned directions.
With year round activities, Lake Minnewanka is an awesome destination for winter or summer lovers alike. You can relax while enjoying the beautiful scenery with a picnic.
With lots of trail options, you can hike or bike along the rocky shoreline. Go for a boat cruise, rent a boat, or, if you prefer, paddle your way through the lake while canoeing or kayaking. One of the favourites activities at the lake is scuba diving and ice diving (in the winter, naturally). Numerous dams have been built in the lake over the years, and the most recent in 1941 raised the water level 30 m, making the submerged village of Minnewanka Landing a diver’s paradise.
Before heading up for your next adventure at the lake, make sure you check updated weather and trail conditions at the Parks Canada website.