Lake Minnewanka Statistics




109 KM

Estimated Time

5 hours

What are the activities at Lake Minnewanka ?


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Why choose a trail at Lake Minnewanka?

Lake Minnewanka (pronunciation: /ˌmɪnəˈwɑːŋkə/)("Water of the Spirits" in Nakoda) is a glacial lake located in the eastern area of Banff National Park in Canada, about five kilometres (3.1 miles) northeast of the Banff townsite. The lake is 21 km (13 mi) long and 142 m (466 ft) deep, making it the longest lake in the mountain parks of the Canadian Rockies (the result of a power dam at the west end). The lake is fed by the Cascade River, flowing east of Cascade Mountain, and runs south through Stewart Canyon as it empties into the western end of the lake. Numerous streams flowing down from Mount Inglismaldie, Mount Girouard and Mount Peechee on the south side of the lake also feed the lake. Aboriginal people long inhabited areas around Lake Minnewanka, as early as 10,000 years ago, according to stone tools and a Clovis point spearhead discovered by archaeologists. The area is rich in animal life (e.g. elk, mule deer, mountain sheep, bears) and the easy availability of rock in the mountainous terrain was key to fashioning weapons for hunting. The western end of the lake can be reached by following Lake Minnewanka road from the Trans-Canada Highway. Boat tours are available near the parking lot. A hiking and mountain biking trail runs along the northern shore of the lake, passing Stewart Canyon and six backcountry campsites. Mount Aylmer which at 3,162 m (10,374 ft) is the highest mountain in this area of the park, is located a few kilometres north of the lake. Dams were built in 1912 and 1941 to supply the town with hydro-electric power. The most recent dam (1941) raised the lake 30 m (98 ft) and submerged the resort village of Minnewanka Landing that had been present there since 1888. Because of the presence of the submerged village, submerged bridge pilings, and submerged dam (the one from 1912) the lake is popular among recreational scuba divers. The construction of the dam resulted in involuntary resettlement of inhabitants from the reservoir area.

Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. It is the largest lake in the park, and one of the most popular destinations for tourists. The lake is surrounded by mountains, including Mount Aylmer and Mount Inglismaldie, and is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, and bears. The lake can be accessed by road or by hiking trails, and there are several campgrounds and picnic areas around its shores.

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Rate & open hour

Access fee $ 0.00
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51.2640686 -115.3745674

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Starting Point

The easiest way to get to the start of the trails at the Lake Minnewanka is to drive to the Banff townsite and then take the Lake Minnewanka scenic drive. The scenic drive is about 20 km long and it will take you around the entire lake. The start of the trails is located at the east end of the lake near the dam.

Why visit Lake Minnewanka

The Lake Minnewanka area is a beautiful place to visit with plenty of activities to enjoy. The lake is a great spot for fishing, boating, and swimming. There are also hiking and biking trails that wind through the forest and around the lake. In the winter, the area turns into a winter wonderland with opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

Is Lake Minnewanka in Alberta a good place for the whole family?

Lake Minnewanka is a great place for the whole family. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone busy, including fishing, hiking, and biking.

Things not to be missed

The best activities near Lake Minnewanka in Alberta are hiking, biking, and fishing. A bref description not to be missed near the lake is the stunning scenery and fresh air.

1. Hiking - There are a number of hiking trails near Lake Minnewanka, including the popular Banff Trail.

2. Fishing - The lake is a popular spot for fishing, with trout and salmon being the most common catches.

3. Boating - Visitors can enjoy boating on the lake, with rentals available from several local businesses.

4. Camping - There are several campsites near the lake, perfect for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors.

5. Wildlife Viewing - The area around the lake is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, elk, and bears.

Where to eat?

1. The Boat House Grill - This hidden gem is located on the shores of Lake Minnewanka and offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The Boat House Grill serves up a variety of delicious dishes including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pizza.

2. Minnewanka Marina Cafe - This cafe is located in the heart of the Banff National Park and offers a beautiful view of Lake Minnewanka. The cafe serves up a variety of breakfast items, sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts.

3. Two Jacks Lakeview Cafe - This cafe is located in the Two Jacks Lake area of the Banff National Park and offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. The cafe serves up a variety of breakfast items, sandwiches, pizzas, and desserts.

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