Lake Minnewanka Hike

  Ratings:    Ratings 3 Star
Level: Mod to Diff Time/Dist: 2 days / 40K return Elevation Gain: 260m

Trailhead: Located at the Lake Minnewanka parking lot in Banff National Park 4.5kms north east of Banff.

Description:  Locate the trailhead on the lakes west shore just past the picnic area. The trail continues along the entire 20km length of the lake. Expect to see crowds of people at and around the picnic area during the summer months. There are several backcountry hike in, bike in or boat access camp sites located on the lake. A back country permit is required if you want to overnight the campsites. A shorter hike 1.5kms to Stewart Canyon and the Cascade River is also located on the same trail. Lake Minnewanka holds some very large Lake Trout, a National Park fishing license is required if you want to try your luck. Boaters beware of the high winds that can blow down the valley without warning. Canoers beware. I watched a shore tied 5M aluminum boat, motor and all picked up by the wind and blown end over end into the lake. At the same time we were literally blown to the ground. It was a frightening experience and I'm thankful I wasn't on the water or in the trees at the time. I get the feeling these gales from out of no where is why the Stoney Indians named it Minnewanka the "Lake of the Spirits". There is a nice double lane paved boat launch located at the southwest end of the lake. Larger boat tours are offered by the Parks service that provide excellent views of the lakes shore line and surrounding Mountains.

The dam provided an early supply of power for the local area and flooded the original resort village of Minnewanka in 1941. During the summer months Scuba divers explore the submerged Town and the original Dam. The canal leading from the lake runs into Two Jack Lake then down to the Bow River valley below. This canal is somewhat hidden and partially buried for a few Kilometers. Ice is usually off the Lake by the May long weekend. Nearby Aylmer pass and Aylmer Lookout are prime Grizzly Bear habitat.

Near Here: Local campgrounds include Tunnel Mountain, Two Jack Lake, Bow River and Three Sisters Campground. Trailheads to Aylmer Lookout, Mount Lady McDonald, Ha Ling Peak, East End Of Rundle, Taylor Lake, Twin Lakes, Obrien Lake, Hoodoos Hike, Rockbound Lake, Boom Lake, Johnston Canyon, are all located near here. You are in bear country.

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Lake Minnewanka Lake Minnewanka
Lake Minnewanka Boat Launch Lake Minnewanka Boat Tours
Lake Minnewanka Lake Minnewanka
Lake Minnewanka Lake Minnewanka
Lake Minnewanka Picnic Area  
Mid April  Lake Still Frozen. Mount Costigan  
Boat Launch And Mount Inglismaldie Mount Peechee On Right
Trail Along Lake Minnewanka  
Bridge Over Stewart Canyon, Cascade River Mid April  
Stewart Canyon Cascade River Stewart Canyon Cascade River
  Mount Cascade
Lake Minnewanka Mid April  

Mount Peechee