Snowshoeing the Peyto Lake viewpoint in the winter can be an enjoyable experience for all! It’s a short 1.5 km return trip with an elevation gain of about 25 meters. Walking or hiking this winter tail can be done but snowshoeing is highly recommended. I completed the Peyto Lake Lookout trail in April and there was still plenty of fresh powder to track through!
Personally I think the spring months are by far the best time to visit this location. Be warned, visit this destination in the summer months and there will be plenty of large tour buses. Peyto Lookout is one of the top photographed places in the Canadian Rockies, with it’s amazing water color in the summer tourists flock! The winter however, it’s rare you’ll ever bump into anyone. I saw a few cars in the parking lot but throughout the adventure I didn’t see a single soul.
You’ll be starting out in the lower parking lot (which is plowed & maintained all winter) you snowshoe upward towards the upper parking lot. Expect a 1-way travel time of about 20 minutes. Depending on the snow fall and snow pack your travel time may vary. Bring some water, it may be a short snowshoe but it’s not a walk in the park. I had about 6′ of soft track free powder to deal with. Breaking trail in this much snow is one heck of a leg workout!
Once you arrive at the top it can be confusing at which way to go, more than likely the trail signs will be buried under the snow. But if you keep walking straight you’ll notice the skinny trail winding through the giant evergreen tree’s. Not to worry, there’s probably going to be some track’s leading you in the direction you need to go!
Sit back, relax and enjoy the view. The cloud movement through the Bow Valley can be amazing, fog patches and heavy clouds can move in and out tremendously fast. I was going to shoot a timelapse showing this but by the time I got setup the clouds have rolled out. Take a look below for the timelapse I did end up capturing, still a great piece.
Your trip down will be a lot easier on the legs, going downhill in snowshoes following your previously set tracks is much easier than breaking the trail on the way up. The kid inside me was wishing I had a “crazy carpet” to toboggan down the 25m elevation drop. All the fresh powder would have made for an outstanding cruise!
For up to date trail conditions make sure you visit the Parks Canada Trail Report webpage.
- Elevation gain of 25m (82 feet)
- Distance: 1.5 km (return trip)
- 51.719266, -116.506076
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