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 to try your luck.
Boaters beware of the high winds that can blow down the valley without warning. Canoers should avoid this lake. I watched a shore tied 5M aluminum boat with motor 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 thankful I wasn’t on the water or in the trees at the time.
I get the feeling that 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. This Is Bear Country.