A Walk to Peyto Lake in Banff National Park

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I was on a nice long road trip from Phoenix, Arizona and headed for Canada. I had researched a few things I wanted to see while exploring Banff National Park and on the list was a gorgeous lake called Peyto Lake. Let me show you guys!

Where is it?

The Peyto Lake turn off is on the Highway 93 (also known as the Icefields Parkway) in the northern part of Banff National Park. You will leave the Trans-Canada Highway 1, and head north toward Jasper National Park. You’ll pass Hector Lake, and eventually see a sign for Bow Summit and Peyto Lake. Take the left turn to the parking area for a small walk to a viewpoint to see Peyto Lake.

The Trail

The trail to view Peyto Lake is an easy and short walk on a paved trail. It is well maintained and quite beautiful. There are old trees growing and an abundance of new growth.

Be Aware: There are bears in the park and you could encounter one at any time, continue to carry bear spray on every trail just incase you run into one and need to defend yourself. But use this as a last resort.

The Lake

I had researched this lake prior to starting the nearly month long road trip and my excitement was building on the short trail. I almost wanted to break out in a run to the overlook, because I was so excited!

We made it and the water was just as blue as I had hoped for and seen in pictures. So peaceful and calming.

The Stoke!

Is the water at Peyto Lake really that blue?

Yes! The water in Peyto Lake really is as blue as all the pictures show. The shade can change varying on the time of year you go, and weather or not its a sunny day or there are clouds in the sky. The extreme blue color from the lake comes from glaciers rubbing over rock and breaking off tiny tiny pieces of silt and then eventually through melting it is deposted in the lakes. Once in the lakes the “dust” is so light that it remains floating in the water and shines blue from the sunlight.

Why is it called Peyto Lake?

It is called Peyto Lake because of this dude named Wild Bill Peyto. He was a pioneer and among the first park wardens for Banff National Park. He lead many explorations, was a trapper, as well as a guide.

His home was situated near the bow river where he lived and stored all of his trapping and horse outfitting gear, until he was called to fight in the first world war. He also has a dope mustache! They say that old Bills’ ghost can be seen around lake Louise, so keep a watchful eye out for him.

More great Places I visited on this trip

This is just one of the top amazing lakes we found while traveling through Banff National Park. Keep an eye out for some more of them. Feel free to reach out to me and ask any questions! I cant wait to go back to this place, it takes your breath away, as well as the other places throughout the park! Happy Trails!

“A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.”

-Henry David Thoreau


7 thoughts on “A Walk to Peyto Lake in Banff National Park

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    1. I went in July of 2019, near the end of the month. I just got lucky again I guess. We were out pretty late being that the sun doesn’t go down until very late. I just looked and the time stamp on the photo and it was 836 at night.

      1. Ohh yeah, going in the evening is probably a good idea! I’ve been a couple of times, both end of September / beginning of October and it was heaving both times. We took a little hike up way above the lake though and that’s much quieter, but on the platform we have an extremely zoomed in photo of us to get everyone else out of it! Hahaha.

      2. Ahh I gotcha, yeah it seemed like everything was busy until 6 pm or so, after that it seems to clear out. I’m a night shift worker anyways so being up a little later was no problem for me!

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