Alberta, Canada

Peyto Lake Canada, Banff NP: Yes, I’m Really that Blue!

Peyto Lake, Canada: what’s so special about it? Is it really that blue? How to explore it with kids. Current closure. Essentials, Bow Summit lookout

Peyto Lake, Canada: why is it a must-see while visiting Banff National Park? A mix of blue, green, and turquoise, glowing from the inside – “Peyto” could easily be a color of its own. On a clear summer day, Peyto Lake will hypnotize you and make you want to pinch yourself for a reality check!

Peyto Lake currently closed for rehabilitation and the next opportunity to visit it might be in August 2021.

Peyto Lake, Canada

Where all those colors came from?

Peyto Glacier is feeding the lake, slowly melting, moving, and scratching the surface of the ground at the same time. Tiny, flour-like particles of silt are filling the water, giving it that postcard, “Peyto” color.

How to enjoy the Lake during peak season

Panoramic view of the Peyto Lake from the Bow Summit platform. Alberta

1. Bow Summit lookout

The best place to view Peyto Lake is at the Bow Summit lookout.
During the summer season, choose early morning or late afternoon hours to avoid huge crowds. The parking lot is pretty big but is still not enough for all the people visiting during peak season.

The lookout is too small and can’t fit all of the visitors. Even the flat unfenced area just below the platform, where nothing stops you from going over the edge, fills up quickly with travelers in the morning.

View from the unfenced area just below Bow Summit lookout platform. Peyto Lake

2. Peyto Lake, Canada: Hike to the Bow Summit lookout

A short 15 min hike from the parking lot leads to the Bow Summit lookout, but it has some very steep parts. Even with a super-lightweight stroller, you will have a hard time getting to the top.

Alternatively, you can drop off those, who are unable to take the hike, at the “buses and handicapped” parking lot (which is very close to the lookup platform), then go back to the main parking lot and meet at the top:

Peyto Lake: Essentials

There are no picnic tables, cafe, or place for kids to run freely. The trail is pretty narrow and ends up right at the parking lot. Expect long lines to the restrooms during the busy summer months.

  • Bring the very best mosquito repellent you can find for your trip to Banff and Jasper. Mosquitos were so bad during our visit in July!
  • Make sure to check hours, conditions, fees, and restrictions before you go.
  • Don’t forget a water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
Peyto Lake Canada: The Lake is fed by the Peyto creek which drains water from the Peyto Glacier (on the left)
Peyto Lake Canada: The Lake is fed by the Peyto creek which drains water from the Peyto Glacier (on the left)

Peyto Lake, Canada on My Map

Have a great time at one of the most wonderful places in the Canadian Rockies 🙂

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By Mrs. Grazy Goat

I am Ira, the author behind Grazy Goat. My husband and I run this blog and share our experiences about thrilling places and cultures. Our son Artem recently joined us and helps with editing.

We are very happy to have YOU here 😻

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