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Lake Minnewanka
Holiday Travel Guide

Lake Minnewanka showing mountains and landscape views

The “Lake of the Spirits” offers fishing, boating and hiking facilities not far from Banff village.

Lake Minnewanka is the largest lake in Banff National Park. It is a popular recreational spot for fishing, boating, hiking, scuba diving and picnicking. A car park and picnic area on the lake is just over three miles (five kilometers) northeast of the town of Banff.

Lake Minnewanka means “Lake of the Spirits” in the Stoney Indian language. Indigenous people who lived around the lake believed it was inhabited by spirits. Early Europeans called it “Devil’s Lake.”

In the late 19th century, a small summer town was built on the edge of the water, with hotels, wharves and restaurants frequented by vacationers. In 1941, a dam was built that raised the lake’s water level by 98 feet (30 meters) and submerged the town. Today, the underwater town is an attraction for scuba divers.

The lake is 466 feet (142 meters) deep in the middle and 17 miles (28 kilometers) long. Several companies run boat tours on the lake. Cruise the water for photo opportunities of the surrounding mountains. Book the cruise on the day from the main car park. Fishing tours can also be booked here. Spend a day on the lake fishing for lake trout.

Many hiking trails run around the lake, ranging from short strolls to day-long walks. Rent a bike in Banff and ride the entire circumference of about 15.5 miles (25 kilometers). Watch for wildlife and have a camera ready to take photographs. Deer, bears, mountain sheep and eagles roam the area. Stay well clear of the bears, and never hike alone.

Summer is the most popular time to visit. Facilities such as car parks and sheltered picnic spots fill up quickly, so come early in the day.

The lake freezes in winter. Many of the facilities close, but wildlife is easier to spot, because there are fewer people around.

Top Trending Hotels Near Lake Minnewanka

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
3 out of 5
1029 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £63 per night from 25 Apr to 26 Apr
This family-friendly Banff condominium resort is located in a national park, within 3 mi (5 km) of Canadian Ski Museum West, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity ...
4/5Very Good! (2,463 reviews)
"Although the place has been around for awhile and shows some wear it was clean and well-appointed. The kitchen had everything we needed. Enjoyed the stay!"

Reviewed on 18 Apr 2021

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
3.5 out of 5
521 Banff Ave, Box 1070, Banff, AB
The price is £63 per night from 16 May to 17 May
Located in the heart of Banff, this spa hotel is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) from Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Cave and Basin National Historic ...
4/5Very Good! (2,137 reviews)
"Great stay, clean, quiet and all needs were met."

Reviewed on 20 Apr 2021

Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Rundlestone Lodge
Rundlestone Lodge
3 out of 5
537 Banff Avenue - Box 489, Banff, AB
The price is £63 per night from 22 Apr to 23 Apr
Located in the heart of Banff, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Banff National Park Information Centre and Banff Lake Louise Tourism Bureau. Banff Centre ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,052 reviews)
"Everything was great, other than a miscommunication with breakfast"

Reviewed on 18 Apr 2021

Rundlestone Lodge
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

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Top Hotel Deals

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
3 out of 5
1029 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £63 per night from 25 Apr to 26 Apr
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
3.5 out of 5
521 Banff Ave, Box 1070, Banff, AB
The price is £63 per night from 16 May to 17 May
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Rundlestone Lodge
Rundlestone Lodge
3 out of 5
537 Banff Avenue - Box 489, Banff, AB
The price is £63 per night from 22 Apr to 23 Apr
Rundlestone Lodge
Moose Hotel And Suites
Moose Hotel And Suites
3.5 out of 5
345 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £113 per night from 22 Apr to 23 Apr
Moose Hotel And Suites
Rustic Budget Banff Condo with Fireplace | Access to 2 Hot Tubs!
Rustic Budget Banff Condo with Fireplace | Access to 2 Hot Tubs!
1029 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
The price is £90 per night from 22 Apr to 23 Apr
Rustic Budget Banff Condo with Fireplace | Access to 2 Hot Tubs!
NEW + Unique Wolf Condo Hot Tub Access
NEW + Unique Wolf Condo Hot Tub Access
1029 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
The price is £112 per night from 27 Apr to 28 Apr
NEW + Unique Wolf Condo Hot Tub Access
Spacious + Deluxe Rockies Condo Great Location!
Spacious + Deluxe Rockies Condo Great Location!
1029 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
The price is £112 per night from 25 Apr to 26 Apr
Spacious + Deluxe Rockies Condo Great Location!
Deluxe, Bright, Spacious Base of Tunnel Mountain
Deluxe, Bright, Spacious Base of Tunnel Mountain
1029 Banff Avenue, Banff, AB
The price is £134 per night from 25 Apr to 26 Apr
Deluxe, Bright, Spacious Base of Tunnel Mountain
The Fox Hotel and Suites
The Fox Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
461 Banff Ave, Banff, AB
The price is £82 per night from 25 Apr to 26 Apr
The Fox Hotel and Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.