7 best turquoise lakes to discover on a BC roadtrip

7 best turquoise lakes to discover on a BC roadtrip

Everyone knows I LOVE Canada. I’m like a walking, talking advertisement for the bloody country. Tourism Canada should pay me a monthly cheque for the amount of tourists (I like to think) I send their way!

I fell in love with Canada when I first visited back in 2015 and decided to pack up my life and live there for two years. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. Problem is, it’s such a huge country and British Columbia alone makes up 10% of Canada’s entire land surface!

Whether you’re visiting for a day, week, month or year, you’ll never be stuck for adventure and I guarantee you’ll forever talk about its beautiful nature — if there’s one thing Canada is synonymous with it’s those bright turquoise glacier-fed lakes. You will have seen them somewhere before, online or on the front of a glossy magazine. A lot of people think they can’t possibly be real, but I assure you they are!

Here’s some of what I think are the best lakes in BC – found whist living in Whistler and when on my BC to Rockies roadtrip.

  1. Garibaldi Lake, Garibaldi Provincial Park
    It’s not easy getting to this BC lake, but the 18km roundtrip hike is worth every drop of sweat and every swear word that will probably come out of your mouth (or cross your mind) on the way up. It’s a long, winding trail through the forest up to the lake, with a couple of different turn offs for overnight camping. It’s open year round, but be aware the trail will be covered in snow and the lake frozen in the winter months. Get to the end in summer and you’ll be rewarded with sweet views and blue hues.

    best lakes in BC

    I decided it would be a good idea to jump in Garibaldi Lake. I did not think how cold I would be the whole hike down but it was worth every shiver! Photo: Rowan Sims

  2. Joffre Lakes, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
    Another of the best lakes in BC to visit are Joffre Lakes. The 3 lakes are actually some of the easiest to access, so never fear if your idea of fitness is binge-watching Madmen! It’s 11km roundtrip and mostly stairs. Once you hit the first lake, the next two are fairly easy and close to walk to. You can also camp, which is something I never did but it’s supposed to be pretty great.
  3. Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park
    This one in Yoho National Park is the easiest to get to because you can drive. Winning! Get there first thing in the morning or at the end of the day to avoid the crowds, because it is one of the most popular places to visit in the Park and one of the best lakes in BC for any roadtrip.

    best lakes in BC

    Don’t go to Joffre Lakes with annoying big brothers or they’ll ruin your photos!

  4. Berg Lake, Mount Robson Provincial Park
    This lake requires more effort to get to. It’s a 23km hike so most people do it as an overnight hike to really enjoy the lake, but it can be done in a day. It’s supposed to be of moderate difficulty, but I’d suggest only trying it if you’re really into your hiking or have time to camp off along the way.
  5. Lake O’Hara, Yoho National Park
    To get to this incredible alpine lake, you need to plan. Booking for the day bus shuttle is booked a year in advance, I hear. Unfortunately I didn’t get my act together in time! Or you can hike the 11km access road, but don’t expect to get picked up. You can also camp overnight or stay at the Lake O’Hara Lodge.

    best lakes in BC

    Jump in a canoe on Emerald Lake for the ultimate Canadian experience!

  6. Wedgemount Lake, Garibaldi Provincial Park
    This one’s not for the faint hearted — it’s a steep scramble for 12km and one of the most difficult hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Your legs will be burning after this one, that’s for sure! A couple of my friends camped overnight and said it was absolutely incredible! Check out my friend Illy’s blog for a detailed experience of the hike and camping.
  7. Cheakamus Lake, Garibaldi Provincial Park
    A 14km trail leads you along the Cheakamus River, across bridges and through the thick forest to my last of the best lakes in BC, Cheakamus Lake. If you don’t feel like a big hike, take a 20-ish minute ride in Whistler Mountain Gondola to walk the High Note Trail for a cheater’s panoramic view of the glacier-fed lake below. best lakes in BC

Have you been to any of these? Do you have another one to add to the life of best lakes in BC? Share below!

Fact: The glacier-fed lakes get their bright turquoise blue or green colour from the rock silt that sits in the lakes when it falls in from the eroding glaciers. The sun reflects off the rock flour and gives the lakes an incredible blue hue!

best lakes in BC

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