Discover the 9 Clearest Lakes in Canada

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: November 14, 2023
Share on:


Canada has well over 800,000 lakes, making it the country with the most lakes in the world. With so many lakes, you can imagine it’s hard to choose just one to visit. Most of the lakes in Canada are clear and perfect for swimming and exploring. But which lakes are the clearest? Can you swim in the lakes? Follow along to discover the 9 clearest lakes in Canada and fun facts about each.

Discover the 12 clearest lakes in Canada.

1. Peyto Lake

Starting our list of the clearest lakes in Canada is Peyto Lake. This lake is within Alberta, Canada in Banff National Park. It’s a chilly and sparkling glacier-fed lake, named after Bill Peyto. The primary inflow of this lake is Peyto Creek. The lake’s outflow is the Mistaya River. Peyto Lake is 1.7 miles long and 0.5 miles wide. It has a surface area of 0.54 square miles and sits at an elevation of 6,100 feet.

Peyto Lake is situated between Caldron Peak, Peyto Peak, and Mount Jimmy Simpson. It takes work to reach the lake, but it’s well worth the hike. The best place to view this lovely and clear lake is from Bow Summit. While visiting this lake and the surrounding area, you may see animals like moose, grizzly bears, coyotes, bald eagles, bats, and American dippers. In the lake are also trout, mountain whitefish, and bass.

Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake is one of the clearest lakes in Canada.


2. Abraham Lake

The next clear Canadian lake on this list is Abraham Lake, also in Alberta, Canada. Abraham Lake is an artificial lake in the “Kootenay Plains area of the Canadian Rockies’ front range. Not only is the water very clear, but the lake is also the largest reservoir in Alberta.

Abraham Lake has a surface area of 20.7 square miles. It’s also about 20 miles long and 2.1 miles wide. This massive lake sits at a surface elevation of 4,400 feet. Abraham Lake is known for its beauty and its unique ice formations. During the winter, the lake freezes over. This causes trapped methane to form frozen bubbles under the ice on the lake’s surface. You can especially see these ice bubbles from mid-January to mid-February.

Abraham lake winter ice formation bubbles

Abraham Lake is 20 miles long and 2.1 miles wide. It has a surface area of 20.7 square miles.


3. Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is one of the most popular lakes in Canada. It’s a stunning turquoise lake within Banff National Park in Alberta. Moraine Lake is in the Valley of the Ten Peaks at an elevation of 6,181 feet. The lake is about 46 feet deep and has a surface area of 0.19 square miles. Moraine Lake isn’t as large as other lakes in the area but is still stunning nonetheless. It’s a great spot for canoeing and kayaking. The best time to visit this lake is during summer. In winter it can be dangerous and many trails and roads are closed. A great trail to hike while at Moraine Lake is the Rockpile Trail. It surrounds the lake, giving hikers breathtaking views.

Amazing place to be on earth. Moraine lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Moraine Lake is in Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada

©Kabindra shrestha/

4. Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is yet another clear lake in Canada. The water is crystal clear, stunning, and has a deep turquoise color. This picturesque lake is within Yoho National Park in British Columbia. Yoho National Park is in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Emerald Lake is a popular large lake with plenty of things to do in and near. For instance, while visiting, you can kayak and enjoy more of the water. Another popular activity around Emerald Lake is cross-country skiing during the winter. You can also bird watch and view wildlife. If you’re lucky, you may see a black bear or mountain goat.

Emerald Lake is a large freshwater lake in Yoho National Park.


5. Lake Louise

The fifth lake on our list is Lake Louise, which is also in Alberta. This lake is within Banff National Park. It’s a shimmering glacial lake named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta. This popular lake is clear, but also known for its deep turquoise color comes from rock flour carried into the lake. This is because of the melting of the glaciers near the lake.

Lake Louise is small, with a surface area of 0.31 miles. It’s 1.2 miles long and 0.31 miles wide. Although it isn’t very big, the lake has a maximum depth of 230 feet. Popular activities on the lake include bird watching, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. In the winter, you can also visit the nearby Lake Louise Ski Area to ski or snowboard. Also in the winter, you can ice fish on Lake Louise.

An arial shot of Lake Louise including the Banff hotel

Lake Louise is an excellent place for ice fishing in the winter.


6. Lake Huron

Lake Huron is another excellent and clear lake in Canada. This lake is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. It’s in the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Michigan. It’s the second largest of the Great Lakes with a surface area of 23,007 square miles. While the lake is best known for its gigantic sides, unique islands, and strange shipwrecks, it also has very clear water, especially along the shore.

One of the best places to visit on Lake Huron in Canada is Little Cove Provincial Park which features Little Cove Beach. The lake’s shore truly looks like a Mediterranean beach. This park and beach is a family-friendly swimming spot during the summer. You can also kayak and hike. The park and beach are within Bruce Peninsula National Park. Another place to explore Lake Huron’s beauty in Canada is the Fathom Five National Marine Park. While here, you can book a glass boat tour and view well-preserved shipwrecks in the dazzling clear water.

Amazing Sunken Ship Bruce Peninsula, Tobermory, Lake Huron, Fathom Five National Marine Park, Ontario

Lake Huron is home to many shipwrecks. Some are visible from the surface of the water and the shore.

©Kibrok Photography/

7. Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake is jaw-droppingly beautiful. It’s hard to look away from this lake’s stunning water. Garibaldi Lake is a turquoise-colored alpine lake in British Columbia. The lake sits at an elevation of 4,869 feet. It has a surface area of 2,460 acres and can reach as deep as 849 feet. The average depth of the lake is an astounding 390 feet. This large alpine lake is within Garibaldi Provincial Park

Reaching this lake is no easy feat. To get to the lake, you need to hike the 5.6-mile-long Garibaldi Lake Trail. The trail offers scenic views and opportunities to see wildlife. Some animals that call Garibaldi Provincial Park home are marmots, mountain goats, pikas, grey jays, and American three-toed woodpeckers.

View of a mountain lake between fir trees

While hiking to Garibaldi Lake, you may see many animals, including birds like grey jays, and American three-toed woodpeckers.

© Charykov

8. Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake is one of the clearest lakes in the country. This lovely lake is in Jasper National Park in Alberta. It’s a 14-mile long, 0.93-wide lake with a shore length of about 28 miles. The lake has a surface area of 7.61 square miles. It’s a rather small lake, known for its deep azure-colored water. This picturesque lake attracts photographers from all over the world. Not only is the water a deep sparkling blue but there are three impressive glaciers visible from the lake. Surrounding the lake are also many mountain peaks. In the lake are rainbow and brook trout.

Spirit Island in Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Maligne Lake is a clear lake within Jasper National Park.


9. Lake Minnewanka

Last but not least is Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park in Alberta. This beautiful lake is about 13 miles long, making it one of the longest lakes in the region. Lake Minnewanka is a popular destination in the national park, especially in the summer. While here, you can hike walking trails near the lake or take a boat ride on the lake to soak in its beauty. Lake Minnewanka is also a great spot for fishing. Within the lake are lake trout and Rocky Mountain whitefish.

Lake Minnewanka is an excellent fishing spot within Banff National Park.


Summary of the 9 Clearest Lakes in Canada

1.Peyto LakeBanff National Park, Alberta
2.Abraham LakeKootenay Plains, Alberta
3.Moraine LakeBanff National Park, Alberta
4.Emerald LakeYoho National Park, British Columbia
5.Lake LouiseBanff National Park, Alberta
6.Lake HuronOntario
7.Garibaldi LakeGaribaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia
8.Maligne LakeJasper National Park, Alberta
9.Lake MinnewankaBanff National Park in Alberta

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Galyna Andrushko/

Share on:
About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.