Waterfowl lake
Waterfowl lake

Waterfowl Lake Trail

Along Icefields Parkway
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Aqua blue Waterfowl Lake and rocky mountains hiking in Banff National Park

Waterfowl Lake Trail

Distance: 0.9mi
Elevation: 112ft
Time: 0.5h

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This quick and easy route takes families to Upper Waterfowl Lake from the Waterfowl Lakes Campground. Lower Waterfowl Lake is visible from the Icefields Parkway, but this short trail will take you to the nicer of the two lakes in no time. A great way to stretch the lakes or explore the area from the campground.

Waterfowl Lake Trail Map

Getting there

From Lake Louise, travel westbound on the Trans-Canada Highway, taking the fork to join the Icefields Parkway (93N). Travel 35.4mi north on this highway until you see signs for Waterfowl Lakes Campground, where you will turn left. There is a road that parallels the highway here; you will follow for 1640ft and park near the closed access road where you will find the trailhead. Feel free to ask campground staff if you need assistance.

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When to do


Backcountry Campsites

Waterfowl Lakes

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

Waterfowl Lake Trail
Elevation Graph

Waterfowl Lake Trail Description

This short hike begins at the same trailhead as Cirque and Chephren Lakes, so follow the signage correctly. Many people think that the Waterfowl Lakes are only visible from the highway, but this hike winds to the second lake, Upper Waterfowl.. It is known to be the more beautiful lake of the two, so be sure to check it out.

From the trailhead, take a left and follow the well-maintained path towards the lake. Mid-summer makes for great wildflower viewing along the route and at the lake. The wide, flat trail is perfect for families and all abilities. Soon, you will come to Upper Waterfowl Lake. The stunning turquoise waters are sure to have you in awe when you arrive. Continue along to the south shore of the lake, where you will gain incredible views of Mount Chephren rising high above.

A great way to avoid possible crowds here is to stay a night at the campground. It is a self-registration site maintained by Parks Canada. If you stay at the campground you’ll be able to catch the lake at its calmest with reflections of Mount Chephren casting onto the glass-like water.



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