Hike to the Peyto Lake Overlook

Bow Pass

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
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Neatest lake

Easy hike, go there early in the morning at sunrise or around sunset , that way you won't have as big of crowds. The lake is a beautiful colour the area is amazing. Another one of those spots where you need to go see this place in real life. Went here July 2017, but honestly anytime of the year is awesome, even winter.

You have to do it

We knew we had to see this lake so we left pretty early in the morning to get there. Even with some pretty heavy smog from forest fires and the fact that it was early there were still a ton of people at the overlook. At around 8am the first tour bus arrived and we left then. Gorgeous lake and worth waiting in any line to get a glimpse and picture!

Pictures don't do it justice.

Peyto Lake is a must-see if you're driving through the Icefields Parkway. It's a pretty short, easy hike that spits you out overlooking Peyto Lake. This is by far the bluest lake I have ever seen. It doesn't seem real even in person. It's a pretty busy spot but don't let that deter you from going.


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