Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka showing mountains and landscape views
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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 Hotels Close to Lake Minnewanka

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
3 out of 5
1029 Banff Ave, Banff, AB, T1L1H8
The price is $306 per night from Jul 7 to Jul 8
Stay at this 3-star family-friendly hotel in Banff. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 spa tubs. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,352 reviews)
"Hosted a family wedding reception here and the food was exceptional and the staff was excellent - very friendly and accommodating."

Reviewed on Jul 4, 2022

Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Hidden Ridge Resort
Hidden Ridge Resort
3.5 out of 5
901 Hidden Ridge Way, Banff, AB, T1L 1H8
The price is $383 per night from Jul 11 to Jul 12
Stay at this 3.5-star aparthotel in Banff. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 spa tubs. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our reviews. Popular ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (2,863 reviews)
"Relatively quiet lodge. Free bus passes! Heated pool and hot tub were great."

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2022

Hidden Ridge Resort
Renovated + Spacious Condo | Base of Tunnel Mountain
Renovated + Spacious Condo | Base of Tunnel Mountain
Banff, AB
The price is $465 per night from Jul 10 to Jul 11
Stay at this vacation home in Banff. Enjoy an indoor pool, a spa tub, and onsite parking. Popular attractions Upper Hot Springs and Banff Gondola are located ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (73 reviews)
Mountain Getaway
"Family of 4 (with college age sons) enjoyed our long weekend in Banff using this condo near Tunnel Mountain to base our excursions from."

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2022

Renovated + Spacious Condo | Base of Tunnel Mountain
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.

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Best Lodging Options Near Lake Minnewanka

Rundlestone Lodge
Rundlestone Lodge
3 out of 5
537 Banff Avenue - Box 489, Banff, AB, T1L1A6
The price is $276 per night from Jul 20 to Jul 21
Rundlestone Lodge
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
3 out of 5
1029 Banff Ave, Banff, AB, T1L1H8
The price is $306 per night from Jul 7 to Jul 8
Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
Hidden Ridge Resort
Hidden Ridge Resort
3.5 out of 5
901 Hidden Ridge Way, Banff, AB, T1L 1H8
The price is $383 per night from Jul 11 to Jul 12
Hidden Ridge Resort
Renovated + Spacious Condo | Base of Tunnel Mountain
Renovated + Spacious Condo | Base of Tunnel Mountain
Banff, AB
The price is $465 per night from Jul 10 to Jul 11
Renovated + Spacious Condo | Base of Tunnel Mountain
Christmas Ski in the Canadian Rockies Dec 19-26
Christmas Ski in the Canadian Rockies Dec 19-26
Banff, AB
Christmas Ski in the Canadian Rockies Dec 19-26
Spacious two-bedroom fully outfitted condo in Banff
Spacious two-bedroom fully outfitted condo in Banff
Banff, AB
Spacious two-bedroom fully outfitted condo in Banff
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
3.5 out of 5
521 Banff Ave, Box 1070, Banff, AB, T1L 1H8
The price is $302 per night from Jul 7 to Jul 8
Banff Caribou Lodge and Spa
Tunnel Mountain Resort
Tunnel Mountain Resort
3.5 out of 5
502 Tunnel Mountain Road, Box 1137, Banff, AB, T1L 1B1
The price is $329 per night from Jul 8 to Jul 9
Tunnel Mountain Resort
Banff Inn
Banff Inn
3 out of 5
501 Banff Ave, Banff, AB, T1L1A9
The price is $291 per night from Jul 13 to Jul 14
Banff Inn
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.