Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park




Year round

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

About Lake Minnewanka

Named ‘Water of the Spirits’ by the First Nations, Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake fed by Cascade river and is the largest body of water in the Banff National Park.


What to do at Lake Minnewanka ?

Things to do at Lake Minnewanka

1. Enjoy the exhilarating scenery of Lake with Mount Inglismaldie and Fairholme range as the backdrop.

2. Picnic at the Lake.

3. Take the Stewart trail and hike or Bike along the rocky shoreline and pass the rocky beaches to Stewart canyon and Cascade River. Continue onto Alymer Lookout (8km). Group Access for Lake Minnewanka Trail during bear activity months. (from Stewart Canyon Bridge to the East Park Boundary), Aylmer Pass Trail, Aylmer Lookout Trail)

4. Take a boat cruise to Devil’s Gap.

5. Motor Boating is allowed here . Go Canoeing or Kayaking (windy).

Lake Minnewanka, Banff National Park

Lake Minnewanka

6. View wildlife.

7. Fish in the Lake. National Park license required.

8. Enjoy light show by nature, if you get lucky : See Aurora Borealis at night with the Lake and mountains are foreground. Check this site to see if there is any strong aurora activity today.

9. Go scuba diving : This lake is a ‘high altitude’ dive site. It has three sites for scuba diving.

10. Go cross country skiing at the Cascade Valley. The parking lot is the trail head for Cascade River Bridge & Stoney Creek Bridge trail head

11. Try Snow shoeing at Stewart Canyon Trail.

12. Go Ice Diving.

Interested in scenic drives in Banff National Park? You may like Bow Valley Parkway & Icefields Parkway

How to get to Lake Minnewanka ?

Location / Directions to Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

The Lake is located about 11km from the Banff town.

To reach the lake from Banff town, Head north on Banff Ave and then continue onto Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive to reach the Lake.

From Calgary, Take the exit toward Banff/Minnewanka Loop from Highway 1. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Cascade Pond/Two Jack Lake and merge onto Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive.

Public Transit – ROAM:

The Minnewanka Route 6 will travel from downtown Banff to Lake Minnewanka via the Lake Minnewanka Road.

GPS : 51.247196,-115.499275

Click on the map tab or the above link for directions.

How much to visit Lake Minnewanka?

Admission/ fees: Free with Banff National Park Admission.

Boat Rentals from Brewster Canada – verify

Boat Rentals:

Motor Boats 1st hour$80
Additional hours$50
Half Day (4 Hours)$225
Double Kayaks 1st hour$50
Additional hours$30
Single Kayaks 1st hour$30
Additional hours$20

When to go to Lake Minnewanka ?

Hours / timing –

Year round.- Activities Vary depending on the season.

Boat house hours at Lake Minnewanka – 2018

Boat House for Rentals:

May 11 – June 8 | 9 AM – 5 PM
June 9 – Sep 17 | 9 AM – 6 PM
Sep 18 – Oct 8 | 11 AM – 5 PM

How long will it take to see the lake ?

Depending on interest, half an hour to a full day.

What about Amenities, accessibility & parking?


Snack Bar.

Parking lot.

Unloading ramp and parking area for boats and trailers.

Canoe / Boat rentals.

Posted in Activities, Attractions, Lakes & Rivers and Nature

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