Kayaking in Jasper National Park- Best Lakes to Kayak in Jasper

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Kayaking in Jasper is one of the most relaxing and serene ways to enjoy the park’s gorgeous natural scenery. While paddling across the sparkling water of Jasper’s lakes you can gaze up at mountaintops, listen to the sounds of the forest, and search for wildlife along the shorelines. 

Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, one of the most beautiful scenes you can see while kayaking in Jasper.
Maligne Lake and Spirit Island

Places to Go Kayaking in Jasper National Park

If you’re wondering where to kayak in Jasper National Park, there are many beautiful lakes to choose from, including several that are close to the townsite. Some of these lakes are also a short distance from one another, so you can paddle one in the morning and one in the afternoon if you wish. 

Kayaking in Jasper on Pyramid Lake.
Pyramid Lake

To help you decide where to paddle, here are descriptions of some of the best lakes to go kayaking in Jasper.

Kayaking in Jasper on Lac Beauvert.
Lac Beauvert

Pyramid Lake

Location: 6.5 km northwest of the Jasper townsite on Pyramid Lake Road.

Onsite Rentals: Yes, at Pyramid Lake Lodge.

Pyramid Lake is a great option for kayaking in Jasper because you’ll get to enjoy views of two iconic landmarks- Pyramid Island and Pyramid Mountain.

Kayak facing Pyramid Island and Pyramid Mountain.

The lake is somewhat horseshoe-shaped and large enough that you can paddle for a few hours, especially if you go all the way around the shoreline. It’s not very sheltered from the wind though until you get to the northeast end of the lake where it narrows and flows into a creek.

Pyramid Mountain overlooking Pyramid Lake.

In addition to seeing Pyramid Mountain and Pyramid Island, while paddling the lake you’ll also have an opportunity to visit a secluded beach on the north shore. It’s a nice little spot to stop for a rest and snack before paddling back to the launch points at Pyramid Beach and Pyramid Lake Road.

Read more: Kayaking Pyramid Lake

Kayaking in the rain on Pyramid Lake.

Lac Beauvert

Location: Just east of the townsite across the Athabasca River. Access points are the Jasper Park Lodge and Old Fort Point Road.

Onsite Rentals: Yes, at the Jasper Park Lodge.

Lac Beauvert is not only one of the prettiest lakes in the park, it’s one of the best lakes to kayak in Jasper for beginners.

Blue water of Lac Beauvert with mountains in the background.

This small, sheltered lake has stunningly clear blue and green water that reflects the surrounding forest and mountains on a calm day. As you paddle around the shoreline you can see coniferous trees, a forested peninsula, Pyramid Mountain, Whistlers Mountain, Mount Edith Cavell, the Jasper Park Lodge, and the golf course.

Kayaking in Jasper on Lac Beauvert.

Kayak and canoe rentals are available at the Jasper Park Lodge, but if you have your own boat the best place to launch is at the end of Old Fort Point Road.

Read more: Kayaking Lac Beauvert

Kayak on Lac Beauvert backed by a forest and Whistlers Mountain.

Edith Lake

Location: 7.3 km northeast of the townsite on Lake Annette Road.

Onsite Rentals: Not for kayaks, but standup paddle boards are available.

Another pleasant and attractive lake to kayak in Jasper is Edith Lake.

Like the nearby Lac Beauvert, Edith Lake also has clear, colourful water but with a longer shoreline. The scenery and mountain views are also similar, including some nice vantage points of Pyramid Mountain.

Kayaking in Jasper on Edith Lake with a view of Pyramid Mountain.

One of the best things about Edith Lake, other than the scenery, is that it’s less touristy than some of the other lakes in Jasper. There are houses and cabins around the lake giving it a local feel and fewer paddlers out on the water. It’s especially peaceful at the northernmost end of the lake. 

Kayak on Edith Lake facing a mountain range.

Annette Lake

Location: 7.6 km northeast of the townsite on Lake Annette Road.

Onsite Rentals: No

Annette Lake is located right beside Edith Lake so it’s convenient to paddle both of them on the same day.

This lake is fairly small, only about 2.2 km to paddle along the entire shoreline, making it a good choice for a short outing of less than an hour. The best part of this lake is the beautiful turquoise colour of the water, but there are also some mountain and forest views.

Kayaking on Lake Annette.

A downside of this lake is that it does attract a lot of visitors because there’s a beach and a hiking trail that circles the lake. To get parking on a hot summer weekend, it’s best to arrive early in the day or come for an evening paddle.

Blue water of Lake Annette.

Leach Lake

Location: About 28 km south of the townsite on Highway 93 A.

Onsite Rentals: No

If you’re looking for a more secluded, less popular lake to kayak in Jasper check out Leach Lake. 

Wooden dock at Leach Lake with mountain reflections in the water.

Leach Lake is quite small and doesn’t have the bright blue or turquoise water that other Jasper lakes have, but you will likely have it all to yourself for a serene paddle. As for scenery, the shoreline is densely forested and you can see mountain peaks above the treetops. 

Mountain and forest overlooking Leach Lake.

Leach Lake is very close to the parking lot, however, you do have to carry your boat down 16 steps to get to the water. There’s a dock you can launch from that usually has a big group of minnows swimming around it. After your paddle, if you want you can visit Athabasca Falls since it’s close by.

Minnows in Leach Lake.

Maligne Lake

Location: 48 km southeast of the townsite on Maligne Lake Road.

Onsite Rentals: Yes

If you want to go on an overnight or multi-day kayaking trip in Jasper, then Maligne Lake is the destination for you. 

Maligne Lake framed by mountains.

This breathtakingly beautiful lake stretches for 22 km and has three small backcountry campgrounds along its shore- Hidden Cove (4 km paddle), Fisherman’s Bay (13 km paddle), and Coronet Creek (21.3 km paddle).

The highlight of Maligne Lake is Spirit Island, one of Jasper’s most photogenic and famous landmarks. Even if you don’t make the ambitious 14 km paddle to Spirit Island and instead stay closer to the boat house/launch point, you’ll still get to enjoy the blue-green water and rocky peaks.  

Spirit Island backed by mountains.

Before embarking on a kayaking trip on Maligne Lake keep in mind that sudden weather changes and high winds are possible. The glacial-fed water is frigid, even in the summer, so paddling in poor weather isn’t advised. 

Boathouse and Maligne Lake.

More Lakes to Kayak in Jasper National Park

Here are a few other lakes that you can kayak in Jasper.

  • Patricia Lake (5.5 km from the townsite on Pyramid Lake Road)
  • Medicine Lake (25 km from the townsite on Maligne Lake Road)
  • Talbot Lake (29 km from the townsite on Highway 16)
Medicine Lake backed by mountains.
Medicine Lake

Tips for Kayaking in Jasper National Park

Bringing Your Own Kayak: You are allowed to bring your own kayak into Jasper National Park. Before paddling in the park, make sure your boat and paddles are clean and dry to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species.

Kayak Rentals: There are boat rentals available at some lakes in Jasper as well as businesses in town. Renting from a business in town is usually the more affordable option because they have half-day and full-day rates, whereas you pay by hour when renting directly at the lakes (the exception is Maligne Lake which has a daily rental rate). Some rental shops in Jasper will even transport your boat to certain lakes.

Safety: Weather in the mountains can change quickly, so come prepared with layers of clothing. If the wind is picking up and bad weather is approaching, paddle close to shore where you’re safer from large waves.

  • Always wear a PFD. Several of Jasper’s lakes are very cold in the summer and if you capsize it can be hard to breathe and swim to safety.
Row of canoes docked on Lac Beauvert.
Lac Beauvert

Accommodations in Jasper National Park

For your convenience, here is a list of HOTELS IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK. Please consider booking your Jasper accommodations through the included link. It costs nothing extra and helps support this website. Thank you!

More Outdoor Activities in Jasper

You may also enjoy these other things to do in Jasper National Park:


At Adventure Alberta, you’ll find locally written guides to Alberta’s outdoor recreation areas. From national and provincial parks to lesser known conservation sites, we’re busy discovering the best places to hike, bike, paddle, ski, and explore so you can plan your own active, Alberta Adventure!