Bow & Peyto Lakes

There are so many beautiful glacial lakes located in the Canadian Rockies, and probably one of the most famous of these is Peyto Lake. The views of Peyto Lake from above are iconic. Alongside Lake Louise and Moraine Lake (which we didn’t get to see because the road was closed), it is one of the most photographed lakes in the Canadian Rockies. It requires a short hike, but it is possible for all travelers, and the views are worth it.

If you visit the Rockies and don’t stop at Peyto Lake, did you really go to the Rockies?

When the sun is shining, this lake glows in a blue that looks more like the Caribbean than the Canadian Rockies. This is caused by the rock flour that the mountain streams feed into it, the suspended particles giving it the intense blue colour. In the summer months is when the lake is still being fed by the mountain runoff is when it has the best colour, but as you can see from our photographs, it is beautiful no matter what time of year you visit. 

It is a short walk uphill to the Bow Summit, and even with the trail completely covered in packed snow, there were still many other tourists visiting. We were here in early October, the trees and mountain were covered in snow and the edges of the lake were just beginning to freeze over. It was a little bit cloudy and a bit later in the day, so the lake had a different dark blue-green tint to it, which was still an incredible sight. 

Norma visited here for the first time in 2012, when she was living in Vancouver (before we met) and did a quick trip into the Rockies with some friends she met in the city. The scene was much different with the extreme change in weather that we experienced, with a heavy snowfall preceding our arrival into the mountains in 2018. Regardless which time you visit, the lake is incredible, and you will quickly discover why it is such a popular location.

Further along the Icefields Parkway is Bow Lake, which has some great hikes and picnic areas to stop at. We arrived here late in the day, as the sun was coming down, so we didn’t have as much time to explore Bow Lake as we did Peyto Lake, but it was still an incredibly peaceful scene that we would love to return and explore.

These two lakes are close to Lake Louise, and we did debate coming back in the sunshine to see them again, but decided that the list of things we had to come back to see in the Rockies was growing longer than the list of things we DID see, so we will have to return in a few years to explore once again.

Peyto Lake:

Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2013.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2013.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2013.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
A Chinese Tour group asked to borrow our flag for a picture. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2013.
Peyto Lake. 2018.
Peyto Lake. 2018.

Bow Lake:

Bow Lake. 2018.
Bow Lake. 2018.
Bow Lake. 2018.
Bow Lake. 2013.
Bow Lake. 2018.
Bow Lake. 2013.
Bow Lake. 2018.
Bow Lake. 2018.
Bow Lake. 2018.
Bow Lake. 2018.

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