Peyto Lake, Banff National Park

5 out of 5 stars 30 Reviews

Ice Field Parkway # 93 Highway.

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  • View from the rockpile
    View from the rockpile
    by PinkFloydActuary
  • From the viewpoint
    From the viewpoint
    by PinkFloydActuary
  • From the rockpile
    From the rockpile
    by PinkFloydActuary
  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake: best view regardless of weather

    by zrim Written Jul 28, 2003

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    I have not seen all of the alpine lakes accessible only by trail. I have not seen Mt. Assiniboine. But I saw a lot and for my money, Peyto Lake overlook takes home the blue ribbon. To me, the lake looks like a liquid glacier. As if it was emptied and filled by galcier melt only this past spring.

    glacier blue
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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake

    by spidermiss Updated Apr 5, 2011

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    Peyto Lake is named after an early 20th Century explorer, Bill Peyton. The lake is situated on the Icefields Parkway and the lake is fed from glacier which is shrinking rapidly and this is monitored by scientists at an automatic weather station nearby. You look at the lake and the surrounding area, Wapta Icefield that sits on the Continental divide, down below from a view point.

    Peyto Lake, Banff National Park Wapta Icefield & Surroundings, Banff National Park Dawn at Peyto Lake, Banff National Park
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  • Ann75's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake and the Bow Summit Lookout

    by Ann75 Written Jan 30, 2013

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    If you are planning to drive the beautiful Icefields Parkway then Peyto Lake is a must see! Yes, from the parking lot it's only a short trail up to the viewpoint and it can get very crowded up here...especially in the summer months. Try and plan your visit before 10.00am or after 4.00pm to avoid the large crowds. If you have a couple of hours to spend then I suggest you continue on from the viewing platform to the Bow Summit Lookout trail which takes you away from the crowds while still enjoying the gorgeous views.

    Many people walk only the paved nature trail to the Peyto Lake viewing platform. However, if you continue past the viewing platform and climb another 3km (1.9 miles) to the Bow Summit Lookout you will find some amazing views away from all the crowds. In my mind definitely worth it if you have a couple of hours for this hike. Here is a link to a PDF file with a very good description of this trail: Bow Summit Lookout Trail

    View of Peyto Lake from the platform View of Peyto Lake from the platform View of the glacier run off at Peyto Lake View from the Bow Summit Lookout Trail View from the Bow Summit Lookout Trail
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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake (Icefields Parkway)

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

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    The highest point on the Icefields Parkway is Bow Summit, 2088 m above sea level. Here the road crosses alpine meadows near the source of the Bow River before dropping into the Mistaya Valley. From the lower parking area at Bow Summit, a short trail takes you uphill to the Peyto Lake lookout.

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  • Sharrie's Profile Photo

    PEYTO LAKE Overlook

    by Sharrie Written Feb 25, 2003

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    PEYTO LAKE Overlook: Another jewel in the Rockies range. This incredible blue lake 250 m (820 ft) below this famous viewpoint changes color through the summer. The lake is named after Bill Peyto, the eccentric guide who camped alone on its shore. Quite a camper, don't you think ;-)? To have a lake as beautiful as this to be named after one.

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake

    by chewy3326 Updated Nov 17, 2011

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    One of the most gorgeous gems of the Rockies is Peyto Lake, a shimmering, large turqouise lake just north of Bow Summit. Massive peaks and the Wapta Icefield tower over the lake, shaped like either an angel, or a dog (use your imagination!). The most popular viewpoint of the lake is from Bow Summit: from a parking lot, a 10-minute paved trail leads uphill to a wooden viewing platform with an absolute stunning view of the lake and a forested valley to the north. Expect it to be crowded though! Tour buses roll through every couple minutes and drop tons of tourists who run to the viewpoint and snap a few shorts before leaving; while that certainly allows you to see the lake, plan on allotting more time to appreciate an absolute wonder. A number of plaques along the trail give a good description of the natural environment of the area; one of them allows you to compare the now-small Peyto Glacier to what it looked like at the beginning of the 20th century.

    Peyto Lake
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  • zrim's Profile Photo

    Evidence of a glacier

    by zrim Written Aug 3, 2003

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    You can see the route the glacier took when it cut through this valley. And still today snow and ice melt off the mountain and follow the glacier's path to replenish Peyto Lake with fresh glacial water.

    can you see the path of the glacier?
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  • sinjabc's Profile Photo

    Bow Summit view of Peyto Lake beautiful

    by sinjabc Written Aug 20, 2006

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    This was our first stop on Highway 93 from Lake Louise to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway.

    The hike up to Bow Summit is easy to moderate (maybe 10 minutes uphill). It was mid-summer, so many of the wild flowers were already turning. There were still some pretty ones to look at. We did not hike around the area because there were no other viewpoints.

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  • mht_in_la's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake

    by mht_in_la Updated Jul 6, 2003

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    Located 40 km north of Lake Louise by Icefield Parkway (#93) is the amazing Peyto Lake. From the parking lot, follow the sign to Bow Summit (20 min uphill), and you'll be rewarded with the panoramic view of Peyto Lake (see panoramic photo in my travelogue). To the left, you'll see the melting glacier water feed into the Lake. To the right, you'll see the distinctively shaped Peyto Lake (shaped like a reverse-Y). Most Peyto Lake photos I've seen are taken from the same angle (Bow Summit viewing platform), but the color of the Lake changes depending on season and light. There are also hiking trails around Bow Summit and down to the pebble beach of the Lake.

    Peyto Lake
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  • Peyto Lake Lookout

    by Canyonman Written Jun 30, 2015

    The absolute most beautiful place I've ever been. Visited the last of June in 2014. Once we arrived I was so taken back by the view and color of the Lake my breath was actually taken away. Please make the drive you'll be so glad you did.

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  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Aug 11, 2014

    Another one of the "must see" sites of Banff, and everyone knows it. We arrived here fairly early in the day, but already the lot was starting to fill up. From the parking lot, it's a short, but relatively steep climb up to the official viewpoint. Once you get here, expect it to be VERY crowded - full of tour buses and car visitors. Get what picture you can, then continue up the trail (they are fairly well marked.) Eventually, you branch off to a more primitive trail, but still fairly well marked and you end up on a wide rockpile with some great views of the lake. I think it took maybe an extra 20 minutes to throw this loop trail onto our visit - completely worth the extra time investment to get a little solitude and a great view of the lake.

    From the viewpoint From the rockpile View from the rockpile

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  • orke's Profile Photo

    really nice viewpoint - especially during morning

    by orke Written Oct 27, 2004

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    the view from the view point is really good and the parkign is like 5 minutes walk

    there is also another and even closer parking spaces for handicapps and for buses (i think)

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  • cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake

    by cinthya_in_victoria Written Jan 4, 2008

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    the Peyto Lake Lookout is an absolute must-see! We were taken there early in the morning; watching the sunrise there was something magical...

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  • windsorgirl's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake

    by windsorgirl Written Jul 13, 2004

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    About 40kms from Lake Louise along the Icefields Parkway you will come across the brilliant turquoise waters of Lake Peyto. It is only a short walk from the parking area to this amazing viewpoint.

    Peyto Lake, Banff NP
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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Peyto Lake

    by Jim_Eliason Written Aug 26, 2013

    This lake created by Glacier runoff is known for it's crystal blue color. Trails lead to an overlook and also around the lake,.

    Peyto Lake Peyto Lake Peyto Lake Peyto Lake Peyto Lake
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