Valley of the Five Lakes Trail Best Easy Hike Jasper National Park

Valley of the Five Lakes trail offers five stunningly beautiful glacier lakes in one easy hike at Jasper National Park. Imagine five pristine lakes in shades of glistening emerald green to brilliant turquoise blue. A peaceful setting in the Canadian Rockies, surrounded by forest. Feast your eyes on some of nature’s most magnificent work in Alberta Canada.

 

Hiking the Valley of the Five Lakes Trail in Jasper National Park Alberta

Experience the beauty of hiking the Valley of the Five Lakes Trail in Jasper Alberta

 

Road trip to Jasper from Calgary

Driving from Calgary to Jasper takes about 5 hours without any stops during the trip. With the Rocky Mountain views on your way to Jasper there is temptation to stop at every new vista. I’ve got you covered with this Icefields Parkway driving guide.

 

Jasper National Park features turquoise and emerald lakes in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta Canada

 

 

Hiking trail signs in Jasper National Park Alberta Canada

Hiking trail signs in Jasper National Park Alberta Canada

 

Jasper is the second most visited national park in Canada with Banff taking top spot. Driving the Icefield Parkway from Banff to Jasper is on the top of many bucket lists for travel in the province of Alberta.

RELATED: Amazing Kayaking Adventure in Jasper National Park

 

Mountains and meadows at Valley of the Five Lakes hike in Jasper National Park

Mountains and meadows along the hiking trail in Jasper Alberta

 

Imagine living in Calgary for thirty years and not taking a road trip to Jasper, shamefully that’s me. It’s one of those vacations you always imagine taking but never get around to reserving a place in the mountains. Well I finally made it happen, with the help of my summer hiking buddy, my sister :)

 

Female hiker looking at turquoise lake along Valley of the Five Lakes hike in Jasper AB

My sister taking time to enjoy the view in the Canadian Rockies

 

Lodging in Jasper

First hurdle to staying in Jasper is to find lodging in your budget. Planning well in advance is advisable for any Jasper excursion but we did book a rather last-minute trip in July.

Almost stuck staying at a hostel outside of town until luckily my sister got a hot tip about accommodation in Jasper.

The summer high season in both Banff and Jasper is mid-June through early September. Most hotels book up months in advance. Hostels and campgrounds get full too.

 

Pristine turquoise glacier lake at Jasper's Valley of the Five Lakes trail

Pristine turquoise glacier lake at this Jasper trail of five lakes

 

Stay in Jasper local accommodation

Fortunately, there is another option for Japer National Park lodging. Locals list their homes or rooms for rent on the website Stay In Jasper and they even have a section for last minute bookings.

Basically, this is a step up from Airbnb because all the homes must pass inspection by Parks Canada and licensing by the Municipality of Jasper. Each home must meet the required building code and fire prevention regulations along with health and safety standards.

 

Glacial lake reflecting the landscape of Jasper National Park Alberta Canada

Glacial lake reflecting the beautiful landscape of Jasper National Park

 

We managed to get a room with only a couple of weeks’ notice in the busy summer season. Our total cost for 3 nights = $225 for one room with 2 single beds, shared bathroom, common dining area with fridge, coffee maker, etc.

 

Aquamarine to turquoise color of the glacial waters at Valley of the Five Lakes hiking trail in Jasper Alberta

Aquamarine to turquoise color lakes await you

 

Camping is another option if you have the gear. I’m thinking about investing in some basic camping gear, so I can stay in more remote places. But the list of stuff to buy for a camping trip seems a bit daunting and it adds up fast. I probably should try the resale shops because I think there are a couple that specialize in outdoor gear.

 

Jasper hike Valley of the Five Lakes is easy and rewarding for the stunning views

This Jasper hike is easy as well as rewarding for the stunning views at each of the 5 lakes

 

Getting to Valley of the Five Lakes

From Jasper

10-minute drive

Take Hwy 93 south about 8 km (5 miles) and turn left into the parking lot, shortly after crossing the Athabasca River.

From Lake Louise

3-hour drive

Take Hwy 93 (Icefields Parkway) north for 225 km (140 miles) and watch for the sign on the right.

From Banff

3.5-hour drive

Take the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 West to Lake Louise then merge onto Hwy 93 Icefields Parkway towards Jasper, 225 km (140 miles) and watch for the sign on the right.

 

Crystal clear glacier lake at Valley of the Five Lakes in Jasper Alberta

Crystal clear glacier lake in Jasper AB

 

Hiking Valley of the Five Lakes

Even if you are not much of a hiker you should enjoy this trail for the spectacular glacier fed lakes. The colors truly are amazing to see. I did not edit the color for most of these photos, only on a couple of pics I tweaked the brightness.

 

Beautiful mountain landscapes and pristine glacier lakes in Jasper National Park

Spectacular landscapes and pristine glacier lakes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

 

The Valley of the Five Lakes hike is an easy walk through some forested area on a well-marked trail with very little elevation gain, only 66 meters (217 ft) total.

Depending on which direction you do the loop you will see the lakes from 1 to 5 or in reverse order.

Watch for the signs for each lake along the trail.

 

Sign for Second Lake at the Valley of the Five Lakes hiking trail in Jasper

Sign for 2nd lake in the series of 5 lakes on one gorgeous hiking trail in Jasper

 

Between lakes 3 and 4 you will find a pair of the iconic red chairs overlooking the lake, so stop and rest and take in the view.

 

Row boat and dock at lake number 5 at Valley of the Five Lakes hike

Row boat and dock at lake number 5 at Valley of the Five Lakes hike

 

At the fifth lake there is a small dock with a couple of row boats, although the lock and chain kept us from rowing around the lake :)

You can do a larger loop beyond the first lake but it doesn’t offer any views along the way, since the trail is through the forest.

 

Valley of the Five Lakes map of hiking trail in Jasper National Park

Valley of the Five Lakes map for an easy and rewarding hike in Jasper

 

Hike info

Type of hike

Loop

Distance

4.5 km ( 2.8 miles) round trip

Elevation gain

66 meters (217 ft)

Time

Allow about 2 hours

Difficulty

Easy, family friendly hike for all ages

Best time to hike

June through August

Can I bring my dog?

Yes, but please always keep dogs on leash

Horseback riding on the trail allowed?

Yes

Biking on the trail allowed?

Yes

Facilities at trailhead

Garbage, recycling, and pit toilets

 

Valley of the Five Lakes trailhead in Jasper National Park Alberta

Valley of the Five Lakes trailhead in Jasper National Park Alberta

 

Tips for hiking in Jasper

  • Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, running shoes/sneakers are okay for this hike
  • Remember to bring water and snacks
  • Wear sunscreen and/or a hat
  • You should bring the 10 essentials on every hiking trip
  • Weather in the Rocky Mountains is unpredictable, so it may snow even in summer months
  • Bring a variety of clothing and wear layers
  • Jasper is grizzly bear country so bring bear spray and know how to use it

 

SAVE it for later on Pinterest!

 

Jasper Valley of the Five Lakes hike features 5 turquoise glacier lakes

 

Jasper National Park features turquoise and emerald lakes in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta Canada

 

Hiking trail Valley of the Five Lakes in Jasper National Park

Easy hike around 5 beautiful lakes in Jasper National Park

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

2 Replies

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  1. Don Wolff says:

    The best advice for visiting Banff or Jasper is NOT to go in July or August. June or September is best. Way less crowded, more accomodation options, still warm outside (usually), and shorter lineups for everything, everywhere…

    • Thank you for your comment, Don. You make a good point. Absolutely agree, if you can make a trip to Banff or Jasper outside of the extremely busy summer season you’ll be much happier. Although my sister and I managed to do alright in Jasper during mid-July. And I found Jasper to be way less crowded compared to Banff or Lake Louise, which really surprised me. Having been to all three places I would definitely choose Jasper over Banff because of fewer tourists. There’s only so much accommodation available in Jasper and that keeps it from feeling overly crowded like Banff. Plus the local accommodation was truly affordable, it was cheaper than the hostel we almost booked! Looking forward to visiting again, but will try for shoulder season and book early rather than last minute.

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