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Home> Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake, Alberta Canada Photography Hot Spot

Can you see the wolf image in the lake?  Peyto Lake is located at Bow Summit along the Icefields Parkway in Alberta, Canada. It is a glacier-fed lake located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, near Lake Louise. The lake itself is easily accessed from the Icefields Parkway and is best seen from Bow Summit, the highest point on the Parkway. The exquisite turquoise color of the water is due to the glacial rock flour, which flows into the lake and the particles from the rock flour ‘paint’ the water a vivid turquoise! This lake is named for Bill Peyto, an early trail guide, and trapper in the Banff area. This lake is a stop along the Icefields Parkway, but it is a location that you will not get many different images from.  There is an overlook that you walk down to from the parking lot and view the lake.

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A rare image of Photography Magazine Extra owner, internationally acclaimed, award-winning photographer Pamela Goodyer taken by Tom Gross.

Shutter Priority Mode is used when our main priority is getting the right shutter speed. Shutter speed controls how fast the shutter opens and closes and is responsible for stopping action and getting crystal clear images when our subjects are moving. To read the basics of shutter priority Go to the Shutter Speed Page.

Shutter speed is used to get the milky water look on moving waters but the best way to do it is to also control your aperture and your shutter which is done in Manual mode. You can read about How to Shoot Waterfall Photography here.

During the day you would also need a neutral density filter when trying to blur the moving waters. Go to the Neutral Density Filter page and read about how to use them.

Aperture Priority Mode is used when our main priority is controlling the depth of field. It is often used for macro or close-up photography on things such as flowers so we can blur the background. It is used in school class photos when we focus on the first row and we want the 3rd row to also be in focus.  If you are not familiar with shooting in aperture priority you can read our Aperture Priority Page here.

Shooting in manual mode is a little more difficult. You will have to adjust your shutter speed and your aperture instead of only setting one and letting the camera do the other. It is used for waterfall photography, night photography, portrait photography and a few other things.

You can read more details about waterfall photography here. You can read about night photography here. They both explain the basics of shooting in manual mode.

Shooting night sky photography is actually very simple. It may appear to be complicated at first glance but if you read our section on Dark Sky Photography you can see how it is not as overwhelming as you would think.

There is also some good information that will be useful on our Dark Sky Photography Information page.

Find a workshop near you. Go to our Photography Workshops page and see if there is something for you. 

Shooting waterfall and milky waters photography require a tripod and some knowledge in shooting in manual mode. We have simplified it for you and you can read all about blurring waters here on our Waterfall Photography page.  You may need a neutral density filter for daytime waterfall photography and you can visit our page on Neutral Density Filters here.

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Almost every single image in Photography Magazine Extra is edited with a topaz filter. We are an affiliate and can offer you a 30-day Free Trial of Topaz Filters if you go to our Topaz Filters Review page. No credit card is required.

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Photography Information:

This is photo stitching location for sure. There is only one spot to view the lake from and it’s not far enough back to get an image like above.  That is 6 images stitched together. Of course, we used a circular polarizing filter to keep the reflections off the lake as we did our six shots. This location should be done on your way to your next stop either north or south on Icefields Parkway.

Camera Settings: You can shoot in aperture priority here but make sure your ISO is high enough so you do not go below 1/40th of a second. You will need a tall tripod to shoot on or you can climb over the railing and get it out of your way. There are crowds here so try early morning or late in the day for this hot spot. It’s pretty much a one-shot location.

When you pull out of the driveway of the Summit there is a cool spot on the street with some water so you can get some get a few shots there with the reflections of the mountains in the water. Use your circular polarizing filter to remove the silver glare and get them.

Read more on our Photography Techniques Page

If you don’t have a neutral density filter you can buy one here.


Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Park Information:

Bow Summit is where the Peyto Lake Lookout is located. Watch for the sign marking the Bow Summit as you travel on the Icefields Parkway. When leaving Lake Louise it is an approximately 35 minute drive north up the Icefields Parkway.

Photography Magazine Extra Pam Goodyer

Hotel Information:

Peyto Lake is pretty far from any major destination. It is a stopping point along the way from one spot to another.  It’s not a location you should plan on spending too much time at to do photography. There is one overlook to take some images and that’s it.

PICK – Simpson’s Num-Ti-Jah Lodge – Phone: (403) 522-2167

This is the closest hotel in the area of Petyo Lake located on the Icefields Parkway. It’s a good stopping point at the end of the day between Yoho/Banff and Jasper. There is nothing else around this hotel except for an incredible lake area behind the hotel/restaurant. We got some unbelievable pictures behind this hotel. I would stay here for the location along with the super cool atmosphere.

Check out some of our pictures on the Front page of our website here: www.extraeyesphototours.com – The blue mountains are behind this hotel.

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Waterfowl Lakes Campground is north of Peyto Lake. It is open June 26th to December 7th.

  • No cell phone access at Waterfowl Lakes Campground or any campgrounds on the Icefields Parkway.
  • There are food lockers for walk-in campers.
  • There are 3 dry toilet facilities and 1 washroom with hot and cold running water and flush toilets.
  • The maximum people per campsite is 6. Maximum 1 RV per site.
  • All vehicles (maximum 2) and tents must be set up or parked on the gravel area of the campsite.
  • There are picnic shelters in this campground

Find Waterfowl Camping information here.

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There aren’t any restaurants or any place to get food or even snacks near this location. Make sure to bring your own. I met a lovely couple from England in an RV in the parking lot when I was here. I was asking where I could find the nearest store or restaurant. The were so kind. They invited me into their RV and made me a sandwich. It appears that I was unprepared this day on my journey north on The Icefields Parkway.  The closest food is at the hotel/restaurant stated above in our hotel section.

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For this location Read here.

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