Along the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park at Bow Summit is Peyto Lake. You can’t see it from the parking lot, but since it’s only about 1/2 mile to the first viewpoint, it’s a very popular hike. It’s worth following the less used trail a short distance further to a rock outcropping to gain this full view, as well as see the Peyto Glacier. For the more ambitious, you can climb further up a 4×4 road to the site of an old lookout tower, with views worthy the effort. There are also a couple of trails providing access to the lake (Peyto Lake South & Peyto Lake East). Since I’d already hiked to Bow Lake Waterfalls, time prevented me from further exploration.
- Grizzly activity closes trails or requires groups of four to travel together. Therefore, it’s always good to go prepared with a Plan B; better yet, also with Plan C and D.
- If you’re like me and prefer photos minus strangers, and quiet trails with more opportunity to see wildlife, especially during peak tourist season, GO EARLY. Since this was a Plan C hike, I didn’t arrive until early afternoon and it was packed with probably 100 people on the trail. This is a stop for the tourist buses.
- This is a good hike to combine with Bow Lake and/or Bow Lake Falls.
- When you’re done hiking, stop by the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge for a treat, located conveniently Bow Lake trailhead parking area. They also have lodging options.
- Other nearby lodging options:
- A Parks Canada Pass is required.
- Link to my other Canada blog posts.
- Canadian Rockies Trail Guide by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson
- Don’t Waste Your Time In The Canadian Rockies: The Opinionated Hiking Guide by Kathy and Craig Copeland