Back when we were planning our Canadian Road Trip – searching up itineraries and must-see/do lists – I couldn’t help but raise a skeptical eyebrow at all the beautiful pictures of the glacial lakes puddled along the road through the Canadian Rockies between Jasper and Banff. I mean, are they really that blue? REALLY? That kind of colour just doesn’t exist when it comes to lakes in ol’ Blighty. No offence to my local lake, but on the Pantone colour scale Roath Park’s stuck somewhere between Bone Brown and Duffel Bag Grey (sorry Roath Park, you know I love you really). So you can see why I was so determined that there had to be some sneaky editing going on when it came to the lakes in Canada.
Well, I can confirm that they really are that blue and the only nifty bit of editing going on is to do with the sun. If you want to get nerdy about it, the brilliant colour comes from silt-rock flour flowing into lake straight off the glacier which refracts blue and green light – especially when the sun’s out. And lucky for us, we managed to hit up most of the lakes on the road between Jasper and Banff while the weather was holding up. 🙂
Lake Patricia, Jasper
Lake Patricia – tucked away off a narrow road just outside Jasper town centre was my absolute favourite and was so beautiful it looked completely fake! We arrived there really early in the morning before a long day of driving; the water was nice and still and we had the whole place to ourselves for a good hour.
Peyto Lake, Banff
Bluest of the blue, the best way to see Peyto Lake is climb Bow Summit (or cheat and drive to the top…). You get a beautiful bird’s eye view of the lake and surrounding mountains… but, good luck getting a clear shot because the tiny viewing platform gets really busy! I was so proud I managed to get this picture without anyone bombing it, but whaddya know, there’s a floating head in the corner. Pfft!
Bow Lake, Banff
Sunny and I loved Bow Lake and the oh so picturesque Num-Ti-Jah Lodge so much that we ended up bringing a print of it back home to hang above our bed. We walked right down to the lake and dipped our feet in the absolutely freezing glacier water (not the best idea at the time considering I was struggling with an air con cold I’d managed to catch somewhere between Vancouver and Jasper…). I’m not sure how many people swim in these lakes – I mean, we were there in the summer and they were still absolutely freezing even when the weather was boiling hot. That’s why they call it the polar dip!
Moraine Lake, Banff
It was starting to grey over when we reached Moraine Lake (just down the road from the much more touristy, Lake Louise) and we really noticed how much the sun changes the colour of the water. We followed the path around the side of the lake away from the crowds to take some pictures and watch people kayaking before the rain arrived.
Lake Louise, Banff
The big kahuna. Everyone says you’re missing out if you go to Banff and don’t visit Lake Louise. Honestly? It was the busiest of the lot and wasn’t much to write home about compared to the others we’d seen. I mean, yeah, we’d seen a lot of lakes by that point and the rain dulled the views a little, but the best part by far was blagging our way into the Fairmont Hotel for an early dinner (it’s so busy there that the hotel usually only allows guests to dine). My parents happened to be road tripping the opposite way and we managed to meet up for dinner which was really lovely 🙂
Have you ever visited the Canadian Rockies? Which lake was your favourite? 🙂