Peyto Lake Viewpoint
The hike to the Peyto Lake Viewpoint should be on every Rockies itinerary. This viewpoint offers one of the finest views of Peyto Lake on an accessible, family-friendly hike. While the main Peyto Lake viewpoint is crowded, make sure to visit the second one, which is often deserted.
From Lake Louise take the Trans-Canada Highway west. Turn onto the Icefields Parkway and head towards Jasper for 41.0km, parking in the Bow Summit parking lot.
|When to do|
May through November
Out and back
The Peyto Lake Viewpoint will be closed for construction in the summer of 2019. The current estimated start date of the closure is in August. Check with Parks Canada for actual dates.
We love the walk to the Peyto Lake Viewpoint. For many visitors, this is one of the iconic views of the Canadian Rockies. That means it’s busy, so get here early or late during the peak summer season.
We debated sharing the Upper Peyto Lake Viewpoint on this trail description, as it has so often been a quiet refuge to share with close friends. It’s incredible that an extra 10 minutes’ walk can yield such tranquility. Alas, we’ve decided to share this route with our friends on 10Adventures.
From the Bow Summit parking lot, walk towards the washrooms. Turn right and walk along the fence towards a path at the NW corner of the parking lot. Here you will find a signed path that has been paved.
The trail to the Peyto Lake viewpoint rolls up and down, with additional signs describing what you’re seeing. After approximately 650m, you come to a wooden viewing platform, which is often packed with tourists. This is the main Peyto Lake Viewpoint, and there is a good reason for this of course – the view is spectacular!
From the viewing platform, we strongly suggest you head a bit farther uphill and towards the Upper Peyto Lake Viewpoint. To do this, return to the paved path you were on and continue uphill. Roughly 150m after leaving the viewing platform you will soon come to a sign showing that the path becomes a circuit. Go counter-clockwise on this circuit, and notice the man-made dirt trails heading out on your right. Wait until the paved path turns left, and there should be a sign indicating to go right towards the Upper Peyto Lake Viewpoint. From here there are many paths all to the same place.
Take the main path and 250m later you’ll come out of the trees at the spectacular viewpoint. Hopefully you can savor the wonderful scenery all to yourself. Be careful on the rocks as it’s easy to get swept up in the incredible views of Peyto Lake and not pay attention of where your feet go, and tumble from the rocks.
To return from the Upper Peyto Lake Viewpoint, head back to the main path and complete the circuit that you ascended. Return to the parking lot, always staying on paved paths.
The Icefields Parkway is remote, stop off at Laggans in Lake Louise for snacks before the drive.
Check out our YouTube video on this great family hike.
Anybody driving the Icefields Parkway should stop in at Bow Lake and do this family-friendly hike. Hiking along the edge…
Do you want to see the Athabasca Glacier for Free? While at the Columbia Icefields consider hiking the Toe of…
The Warden Lake trail is an easy, family-friendly hike through an area that was recently affected by wildfire. With open…