The lakes in the Canadian Rockies are stunningly beautiful. The blues and greens are otherworldly and the water is so clear you can see straight to the bottom (at least a good 30 feet or more). Canoeing on one of these gorgeous glacier-fed lakes was something we definitely wanted to do during our time in Jasper and Banff National Parks.
As a family of four — with two young kids (aged 4 and 7)— renting one canoe for all of us could have been a challenge. Throughout most of the parks, canoe rentals are only for two to three people max. There are also age restrictions imposed in some locations. A few locations will accommodate two small children under 55 pounds.
We were advised by the Jasper Visitors Center to hedge our bets on canoeing Beauvert Lake at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Here, even though the canoes are three seaters, they did not impose age restrictions and they allowed us to bring our two kids with us. (Both our kids are quite slender and don’t weigh much). The two could share the seat in the middle — or if they so chose (which neither of them did) one could sit on the bottom of the canoe. The boathouse staff kindly provided us a towel to sit on so they wouldn’t get wet.
The boathouse staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful, and genuinely wanted our family to have a great experience in Jasper.
If you’re traveling to Banff and Jasper National Parks there are a lot of lakes to choose from, and many opportunities to canoe or kayak. We recommend Beauvert Lake for several reasons:
1. Our family of four was allowed to rent a canoe together.
2. The lake was peaceful and uncrowded
3. Canoe rental rates were more reasonable than elsewhere. We rented a canoe for two hours for $55 at Beauvert Lake. Elsewhere in Jasper, such as Maligne Lake, rentals are $75 per hour. Down in Banff National Park at the more touristed lakes Louise and Moraine expect canoe rentals to run between $105-125 per hour.
4. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has a lovely patio restaurant, the Emerald Lounge, overlooking the lake which made for a perfect lunch venue after our canoe ride.
Being on the water is an incredible way to experience the Rockies. There is a sense of peace, calm and tranquility that is palpable as you float along on this cool water, listening to the birds and drinking in the stunning landscape. It’s a great activity for an afternoon in this gorgeous national park.