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Pyramid Lake in Jasper National Park attracts a lot of visitors who come to admire its scenic island and mountain views. While relaxing on the beach or walking the short nature trail on Pyramid Island are enjoyable things to do, kayaking Pyramid Lake offers a different perspective of the lake’s famous sights.
From the water not only do you get a unique view of Pyramid Island, you can also visit a secluded part of the lake most people don’t see while on land. And of course, there are countless spots to stop and gaze at the aptly named Pyramid Mountain.
Even if you don’t have your own boat, you can still enjoy paddling on Pyramid Lake since kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards can be rented onsite at Pyramid Lake Resort, or rented in the town of Jasper and delivered to the lake.
Kayaking Pyramid Lake in Jasper National Park
There are a few places you can access Pyramid Lake if you have your own kayak or canoe, but the main launching point is Pyramid Beach at the southwest end of the lake. Here there is a small parking lot steps away from the sandy beach and lakeshore.
If you can’t get a parking spot at Pyramid Beach, you can try launching from one of the smaller access points along Pyramid Beach Road (before the main beach), or from the dock beside Pyramid Lake Road (before Pyramid Lake Resort).
Once you’re on the water, a nice route is to follow the shoreline in a counterclockwise direction. If you started at Pyramid Beach, you’ll first paddle by some picnic areas on the sandy shore.
Next up you’ll pass a small public dock then come to the dock at Pyramid Lake Resort. This is where you can rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard if you don’t have your own.
Continuing on, you’ll now be paddling beside the Pyramid Lake Road. Trees block much of the road from view, but you can still hear some traffic noise if it’s a busy day. For a quieter experience, you can always paddle further out from shore.
As you glide along this part of the lake there are wide, unobstructed views of Pyramid Mountain straight ahead. As nice as the peak looks from here, it’s just one of an endless amount of beautiful views of Pyramid Mountain you get to enjoy while kayaking Pyramid Lake.
After a lengthy stretch of paddling, you’ll eventually arrive at Pyramid Island, the best-known landmark at Pyramid Lake. The island is just as beautiful from the water as it is from land, but there’s something extra special about enjoying the scene from your own space on the lake.
Photographers will enjoy using the leading line of the wooden footbridge bridge to create a slightly different composition than the typical pictures often seen of Pyramid Island.
From here, paddle around the island to enjoy more views of Pyramid Mountain. Along the shore you’ll see benches and picnic tables at several viewpoints on the island.
The north side of the bridge is another nice place to stop and take some photos of Pyramid Island with Pyramid Mountain in the background.
It’s worth paddling beyond Pyramid Island because then you’ll reach a less busy, more sheltered part of the lake.
If you decide to carry on, follow the shoreline as it bends to the right. The lake gradually starts to narrow as you paddle east along the heavily forested shore. Stop every so often to look behind you at the wonderful view of Pyramid Mountain.
Soon you’ll reach a bridge at the end of the lake where it flows into Pyramid Creek. Turn around here and paddle back along the opposite shore.
As you head west along the north shore of Pyramid Lake there are more fantastic views of Pyramid Mountain to enjoy. Perhaps the best part is getting to admire this popular mountain away from the crowds of people and traffic noise you get at other parts of the lake.
Continue paddling along the north shore until you reach a small sandy beach. This is a great place to land and have lunch and you’ll likely have it all to yourself.
Once you’re ready to leave the beach you have two choices to get back to your launch point. You can take the long route and go along the west side of the lake, thereby completing a full loop, or you can shorten your paddling distance by cutting straight across to Pyramid Island then taking the most direct path back to your launch point.
When deciding what route to take, consider your energy level, the weather, and the wind speed, as crossing a fairly large, unsheltered body of water is challenging when the water is choppy. Also keep in mind that the weather can change quickly in the mountains.
No matter which way you return, you’ll be able to savour more views of Pyramid Mountain and the surrounding forest. Keep watch for wildlife too- you might even spot some loons.
Review of Pyramid Lake Kayaking
Pyramid Lake is one of the top places to go kayaking in Jasper thanks to the gorgeous views of Pyramid Mountain you get to enjoy from every part of the lake. While the water isn’t the captivating blue-green colour that many other lakes in Jasper have, the scenery more than makes up for that.
Kayaking Pyramid Lake is a great choice if you want to go for a longer 8-10 km trip without having to venture far from town or onto a large, more difficult lake to paddle. Pyramid Lake is also convenient if you need rentals because you can get them at the lake or delivered there. There’s also more than one good spot to launch from with parking close by.
Parks Canada lists Pyramid Lake as intermediate, so it’s best for people who have some experience paddling. The weather can change quickly here and if the wind picks up there’s not much shelter from the waves.
Tips for Kayaking Pyramid Lake
Location: Pyramid Lake is located about 6.5 km northwest of the town of Jasper in Jasper National Park.
Getting There: From downtown Jasper follow Pyramid Lake Road all the way to the lake. Turn left onto Pyramid Beach Road if you want to launch from the main beach, if not keep straight until you come to the first dock.
Best Time to Kayak Pyramid Lake: For the most peaceful paddle, kayak Pyramid Lake in the morning or early evening. It’s also best to kayak this lake on a calm day with little wind.
Launching Area: The best spot to launch from is Pyramid Beach. There’s a wide sandy shore and parking for about 20 vehicles in a lot beside the beach.
- Another option is to launch from one of the smaller access points along Pyramid Beach Road. These also have sand on the shore.
- A third launching area is at the dock beside Pyramid Lake Road, across from parking lot #6. The parking is very close to the lake, you just have to carry your boat across the road at a marked crosswalk.
Pyramid Lake Boat Rentals: Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and more can be rented from Pyramid Lake Resort on the lakefront. It’s open for rentals from 10:00 am- 5:00 pm (hours may vary due to weather). Rentals are available by the hour on a first come first served basis. Current prices can be found here.
- Some sports equipment rental stores in Jasper will deliver boats to Pyramid Lake. Pure Outdoors is one that offers this service and their prices are way cheaper than renting from the resort.
Facilities: There are outhouses at Pyramid Beach and by the dock at parking lot #6. The Pyramid Lake Resort has a restaurant.
You may also enjoy these other things to do in Jasper:
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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!
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