The Most Beautiful Places in Alberta, Canada

1. Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of the most photographed lakes in Canada, and for good reason! About an hour east of the town of Banff you’ll find yourself at this vibrant blue water lake, which comes about as close to a postcard picture as you can get.

Rent a canoe at the Lake Louise Boathouse, or hit the trails and take in the views from above. One of the most popular (and rewarding) hikes is the moderate “tea house hike” from the lake’s shores to Lake Agnes Tea House hidden in the mountains over the smaller – yet still beautiful – Lake Agnes.

2. Town of Banff

Banff has the historical charm of a small mountain town, with all the amenities you need to have a fun, lively stay. Authentic saloons with mechanical bull riding are a plus for visitors looking for a taste of the local culture, as are the many farm-fresh restaurants and cool shops downtown.

3. Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake has the best of everything: crystal clear water, towering glaciers, and picturesque Spirit Island. While you can always splurge a little on a cruise around the lake and to the island, we recommend renting a kayak and seeing the sights on your own. Visit early to avoid the crowds and for a better chance of catching a glimpse of wildlife!

4. Moraine Lake/Larch Valley

Moraine Lake is a surreal-blue lake backed by the Valley of the Ten Peaks. You can easily spend a day here, hiking around the lake or Canoeing through the glassy water — if visiting in warmer months. I also highly recommend a hike through Larch Valley. Fall is the best time to hike; the wildflowers and golden fall foliage amidst the evergreens is an exceptional view!

5. Athabasca Falls

Voted 2nd best waterfall in Canada by Reader’s Digest, Athabasca Falls might just be the crown jewel of Jasper National Park. The falls and limestone gorge it’s created are even more stunning before the Mount Kerkeslin backdrop!

There are many platforms to view the falls, but be sure to stay on the trails and never venture off to get a better look; the surrounds are slippery and often icy, making anything off the paved trails very dangerous.

6. Lake Minnewanka

This scenic glacial lake stretched beneath the Canadian Rockies is ideal for outdoor activities at any time of year — hiking and canoeing in summer, and snowshoeing in the winter. In warmer months you can even go scuba diving!

Try to plan your trip for winter months when the aurora borealis is at its peak; Lake Minnewanka is known to have the Northern Lights make an appearance in late winter through spring.

7. Johnston Canyon

Winter offers the most breathtaking views, as the catwalks through the canyon give you an up-close-and-personal look at the ice formations among the limestone cliffs. Book an ice walk if visiting during the winter — the frozen falls make for a spectacular experience!