After going there multiple times in Summer, I finally got to see Peyto Lake in winter!
- Snow-shoes (recommended). We did not need them though because the path was well made. But if it snowed a lot the day(s) before you go, it would be best to have them
- Crampons: Not needed (except if it was warm and then super cold, then you might need them)
- Bear spray: There is no cell reception there so I would advise to get a bear spray even in the winter. I went at the end November when there was lots of snow and I saw a bear paw in the fresh snow.
/ DOG FRIENDLY /
Alrightttt, if you are following me since a little amount of time, you will know this by now. Peyto Lake is my absolute favorite lake of the Rockies (so far).
I don’t know if it is the paw shape or the blue color or the valley you can see all around, but this lake has a special place in my heart. The first time I went with my friend Angèle, it was in 2014 and no one knew the lake yet. It was not too touristy (as lake Moraine by the way, where we did not even stay because we didn’t even think it was as pretty as Louise or Peyto). We found a “secret hike” (now called bow summit) that was departing from the parking lot. Our indications were something like: Go left at the third tree. When you see the rock: Go right and up for 10 minutes. And so on. We picked until we reached snow and then came back down because we were not equipped for snow.
Anyhow, I really wanted to see the Peyto lake in winter. After a failed attempt in November because I was on my own and I saw a bear paw in the fresh snow, I went back with my friend Mathilde and our dogs at the beginning of February.
We had crampons and snow shoes but didn’t wear any.
We took the upper parking road for going up and the “normal” walkway for going down.
For the upper parking lot trail, the snow was packed but not too much so it was still hard to walk because once every while we would have our feet go down in the snow. Very fun for the dogs though!
We met lots of people backcountry skiing or snowshoeing on that trail.
The hike up was not too long, like 15 minutes maybe tops.
Then the viewpoint is very accessible and we were almost alone. We saw two groups of not numerous people when we were there.
That view. Oh wow. I think I even prefer it with the snow.
I love the contrast between the snow and the trees. It looks like photoshopped almost.
Even though the lake is two hours from Banff, it is totally worth the trip. The road is also an absolute thrill.
Ughh I love winter so much! Every thing looks prettier don’t you think?
I wanted to do the whole Icefield Parkway during my break from work but money is a little tight because of me switching jobs and stuff so I will have to come back next year to do it!
So many things on my bucket list.
What do you think? Winter or summer?
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