Hike to the Peyto Lake Overlook

Canada Bow Pass

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Breathtaking view of a glacier fed lake. Easy 3.8 mile round trip hike. One of the best views in the Canadian Rockies.

Peyto Lake is a scenic location on the Icefields Parkway about 40 km (25 miles) north of the town of Lake Louise. Access to the viewing area for this magnificent area is immediately off the parkway and is well signposted.

From the parking lot at Bow Summit, a short paved trail leads to one of the most breathtaking views you could ever imagine. Skip the viewpoint wooden balcony where hoards of tourists are common during the busy summer season. Instead, follow the paved use trail straight ahead where eventually it meets the dirt trail into the forest.

Upon climbing the short 1.9 mile distance to the viewing point you are greeted by what many consider to be one of the best views in Canada. The lake is located in a convergence of valleys surrounded by magestic mountains and rich forests. The lake system is fed from the Peyto Glacier to the left of the view point and this gives the lake a magnificent blue color in the summer months due to the mineral content. This glacier is part of the extensive Wapta Icefield, which straddles the Continental Divide and extends into the northern reaches of Yoho National Park in British Columbia.

Grab a snack and take it all in. With views this magestic, you may not want to leave! But alas, if you must, retrace your steps back to the parking lot.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Hiking shoes
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Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

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3 months ago

Better than the pics

Everyone has seen a picture of Peyto Lake, but seeing it in person doesn't compare. We went when the lake was still covered in snow, but it was still an incredible view. The hike to the overlook wasn't crowded and it was awesome to see how much snow the area had received. I will definitely make another trip when the lake has thawed out.

3 months ago

8 months ago

Breathtaking During All Seasons

Love visiting Peyto lake, the view never gets old, in fact the characteristics of the surrounding scenery is always so dynamic shedding a different light on the lake each time. Just visited last weekend, trail was snow packed and icy. I'd recommend some traction aids for the winter season, happy trekking!!

8 months ago

11 months ago

Easy Hike, Great View

Drove Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper July 21st, we enjoyed excellent summer weather and blue skies. Getting an early start to be out in front of crowds we arrived to an almost empty parking lot about 7:30 am. Just over an hour drive from Banff very scenic along the parkway. The trail is easy and paved up to the lookout. We were initially discouraged by the large number of people at the lookout we could not get a clear view of the lake, but just be patient the tour buses do not stay long and we were able to have the lookout too ourselves before the next bus arrived.

11 months ago

over 1 year ago

Alberta's finest

One of the most surreal experiences of my life. When you initially hike to the boardwalk which overlooks the lake, you may encounter many tourists during the summer months, but when you take a brisk hike to another vantage point, the crowd diminishes. There are two perfectly set rocks to sit and soak in this amazing lake. Out of all the fantastic lakes in Alberta, this is one of the finest.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

One of the most stunning views along the Ice Fields parkway.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

The glacial flour in Peyto is really stunning in early spring and worth seeing- especially with as quick and easy as the overlook is to access. The downside as with most of all of the other easy to access scenic Banff locations is that it can get very crowded. I would really like to go back and see it in the fall after the snow has started to fall.

over 1 year ago

about 2 years ago

Keep following the dirt path down to the mouth of the glacier for an unreal perspective of the lake!

about 2 years ago

about 2 years ago

One of my favorite overlooks! That glacier blue though! <3 Also - beware of mosquitoes during the early summer months!

about 2 years ago

Added by Brenda Lin

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