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Peyto Lake, Canadian Rockies 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.

We don’t have many images here because this is the main area. Park in the upper parking lot if you cannot do the long walk up the steep road.  You will need to stitch your images together here. You do not have to be on a tripod to do that. The picture above is stitched and handheld. There were some trails, but we have yet to adventure down them towards the lake to see what we can find. Maybe this year when we return in June. We go every year with Extra Eyes Photo Tours on the Canadian Rockies Photo Tour.

The lake is formed in a valley of the Waputik Range, between Caldron Peak, Peyto Peak, and Mount Jimmy Simpson, at an elevation of 1,860 m (6,100 ft).[2]

During the summer, significant amounts of glacial rock flour flow into the lake, and these suspended rock particles give the lake a bright, turquoise color. Because of its bright color, photos of the lake often appear in illustrated books, and the area around the lake is a popular sightseeing spot for tourists. The lake is best seen from Bow Summit, the highest point on the Icefields Parkway.[3]

The lake is fed by Peyto Creek, which drains water from Caldron Lake and Peyto Glacier (part of the Wapta Icefield). Peyto Lake is the origin of the Mistaya River, which heads northwest from the lake’s outflow.

Candian Rockies Photography Magazine Extra

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

Photography Information:

Petyo Lake is a photo stitching location. 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, six 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.

When you pull out of the driveway of the Summit, there is a cool spot on the street with some water. You can 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.

You will have to stitch this together to get the shot like above. You can do this handheld. You can turn your camera vertically and take pictures overlapping each other by approximately 20%. Just make sure you get enough pictures. It’s not like you can just jump on a plane because you missed an image. (Unless of course, you are Pam Goodyer) 🙂



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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.  You can stay at a different general location and travel to Peyto Lake. Check out Banff Rocky Mountain Resort Here.

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.

camping photography magazine extra, photography, where to do, how to do, travel photography, Pam Goodyer


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.

food and dining photography magazine extra


There aren’t any restaurants or any places to get food or even snacks near this location. Make sure to bring your own food/snack while traveling the Icefield Parkway. 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. They 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.

weather photo magazine extra


For this location Read here.

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