This may be the most difficult topic to tackle yet. With an estimated 31,752 lakes peppered throughout the Great White North how do we even begin to sort out a Top 10 list??
To make it fair, we’re basing our decisions on a few factors;
- Hidden Gems
- Pristine Condition
There’s really no way to avoid the subjectivity here. Some people would say that popularity makes it beautiful while others feel the complete opposite: If too many people know about it, it’s not cool anymore. Due to this, we’ll have to apologize in advance. For sure there’s going to be tons of hidden gems that top your list that don’t show up here. For sure there’s going to be a lake you disagree with because “it’s way too crowded now”. Regardless of your personal preferences and if you're getting there by canoe, fishing boat, or a simple hike around the water, these lakes are absolutely MUST SEEs!
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!
1. The Great Lakes
No list of Canada’s best lakes would be complete without the Great Lakes. They’re world famous and (aside from a few lakes in Russia and Africa) are the world’s largest source of freshwater. If you need to catch up on your Canadian history/geography the Great Lakes consist of:
Although each of these are impressive on their own, it wouldn’t be much of a top-10 if we listed them all individually. BUT, you do have to see each one of them. It’s your duty as a Canadian.
2. Wedgemount Lake
British Columbia’s gift to the world, Wedgemount Lake looks like it’s been Photoshopped in real life. Picturesque glaciers, wildflowers, and crystal clear (pollution-free) skies frame every angle of the undefinable blue-green coloured water.
It really is like stepping into a postcard.
3. Maligne Lake
Alberta makes an appearance in the top 3 slots with Jasper National Park’s Maligne Lake. With crystal clear waters, a gorgeous view of the glaciers that feed it, and the overwhelming sensation that this is what Mother Nature intended the world to be like, it’s impossible not to feel at peace here.
4. Abraham Lake
Located in the North Saskatchewan River, Abraham Lake is another Canadian wonder. Formed after a dam went up in 1972, the lake boasts a magical visual spectacle. Methane gas is released by the plants living on the lakebed. As the gas bubble rize to the surface they begin to freeze, creating dazzling frozen bubbles just under the ice.
Catching the bubbles under the Northern Lights may just be the most beautiful thing that this - or any other - country has to offer.
5. Lac Saint-Jean
Without the Saint Lawrence River we wouldn’t have Canada, and we wouldn’t have this beautiful slice of heaven. Quintessentially Canadian, Lac Saint-Jean is fe by dozens of other small rivers that are pure joy to explore. Enjoy every activity the wilderness has to offer including the famous Traversée Internationale du Lac-Saint-Jean annual swimming competition.
6. Lake Louise
Travelling to Banff National Park, we find Queen Victoria’s daughter’s (Princess Louise Caroline) namesake: Lake Louise.
Undoubtedly you’ll run into other zen-seekers, but the centrestone to the resort hamlet’s uniquely emerald water and natural landscape that stretches to infinity has the rare ability to make you believe that it was built just for you.
7. Emerald Lake
Yoho National Park is home to Emerald Lake. It’s a cold lake and frozen most of the year. But when the ice finally melts, the gorgeous green - getting its colour from powdered limestone - sparkles like a star. A definite must-see.
8. Athabasca Sand Dunes
When you think about Canada you picture trees, lakes, mountains, moose, and beavers. Rarely do you picture a desert, but this is exactly why the Athabasca Sand Dunes make it to our list. A hidden gem and Canadian oddity, the dunes stretch 100 kilometres along the south shore of Lake Athabasca. With no on-site services and access limited to only floatplane, visitors should be very comfortable with their wilderness survival skills.
Honourable Mention - Spotted Lake
With its size - less than a quarter of a KM wide or long - it’s hard to even call this a lake. And, it’s not much to look at…...usually.
The coloured spots are caused by unusually high mineral contents interacting with soil as the water evaporates. The cool thing is that the hotter the weather is, the faster the evaporation happens. This changes the colour of the spots meaning you’ll be treated to a unique piece of natural art every time you visit.
So there you have it, our list of the best lakes Canada has to offer. As mentioned before, we’re very aware that we’ve probably missed a few of your favourites. Send us a picture of your favourite lakes and help your fellow Canadians enjoy everything that this country has to offer.
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