Summer is here and it’s time to get outside and appreciate the natural beauty in British Columbia and Alberta. Being a glacial clay skincare company, it’s no surprise that Team NENA will be lacing up our hiking boots and checking out these refreshing glacial-fed lakes. With some inspiration from our glacial clay mask, we’ve compiled a list of Instagram-worthy glacial fed lakes to check out in BC and Alberta this summer.
Joffre Lakes in Pemberton, BC
Approximate hike time: 5 hours
We’re certain that the turquoise blue water of Joffre Lakes has popped up on your Instagram feed. With not one, not two, but THREE glacial fed lakes along the hike, visitors to Joffre Lakes have three times the opportunity snap a gorgeous photo of its stunning blue water. About 35km past Pemberton, the first lake -- a popular picnic spot -- is only a stones throw away from the trailhead parking lot, but the opportunity to see the other two lakes are well worth the 4 to 5 hour, 10km round-trip hike.
In case you don’t drive or just don’t want to battle the Sea to Sky highway on your own, BC Parks offers a bus service from Downtown Vancouver to Joffre Lakes.
- Garibaldi Lake in Squamish, BC
Approximate hike time: 6-7 hours
Located between Squamish and Whistler in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Garibaldi Lake is home to several scenic trails. The most popular hike is to Garibaldi Lake. The 6 to 7 hour round-trip hike is a lengthy challenge - especially with it’s never-ending switchbacks and changing terrain - but you’ll be in awe once you reach the refreshing glacier blue water. This hike can get busy in the summer, so we recommend going on a weekday instead of a weekend. For advanced hikers and camping enthusiasts, you can carry your gear and camp by the lake.
- Elfin Lakes in Squamish, BC
Approximate hike time: 6 hours
Photo via Brice Ferre of TheOutbound
Also situated in Garibaldi Provincial Park is Elfin Lakes. These two lakes are much smaller in size when compared to Garibaldi Lake but nonetheless, are incredibly scenic. If you are hiking to these lakes during the hot days of summer, be sure to pack your bathing suit with you. The top lake is swimmer friendly. However, the lower lake is reserved for drinking water so be sure to not mix up the two!
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- Lake Louise in Banff, AB
Approximate hike time: varies by trail
If you haven’t been to Lake Louise in person, you’ve definitely seen it online or at the very least, a postcard. Coined as the “hiking capital of Canada", Lake Louise sits pretty among the Rocky Mountains in Banff, AB, about a 9 hour drive from Vancouver. There are endless trails around Lake Louise and in the Banff area but if you’re looking for an easy yet rewarding hike, we recommend Fairview Lookout. With the trail only being about 45 minutes round trip, Fairview Lookout gives hikers a beautiful view of Lake Louise and the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Peyto Lake Overlook in Banff, AB
Approximate hike time: 1 hour
Photo via Brenda Lin of TheOutbound
Once you’ve tackled Lake Louise, head north and set your sights on Peyto Lake. An easy and family friendly hike, Peyto Lake is said to be one of the most beautiful lakes within the Rockies. This particular trail gives you views of not only the lake itself but also of Peyto glacier, Bow Lake and of course, the Canadian Rockies. Being that it is a short hike, it does get busy so expect some crowds in the summer. The earlier you get up to tackle this trail, the better!
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