Peyto Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Getty Images/All Canada Photos

Peyto Lake

Jasper National Park

You'll have already seen the indescribably vibrant blue color of Peyto Lake in a thousand publicity shots, but there's nothing like gazing at the real thing – especially since the viewing point for this lake is from a lofty vantage point several hundred feet above the water. The lake is best visited in early morning, between the time the sun first illuminates the water and the first tour bus arrives.

From the bottom of the lake parking lot, follow a paved trail for 15 minutes up a steady gradual incline to the wooden platform overlooking the lake.From here you can return to the parking lot or continue uphill for more fine views from the Bow Summit Lookout trail.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Jasper National Park attractions

1. Crowfoot Glacier Lookout

6.36 MILES

From this pullover viewpoint on the Icefields Pkwy you can see the icy behemoth of Crowfoot Glacier nestled on the rocky flanks of Crowfoot Mountain,…

2. Takakkaw Falls

15.64 MILES

A thundering torrent of water tumbles from its source in the nearby Daly Glacier over a sheer cliff face for 255m (836ft), making it the second-highest…

3. Yoho National Park

16.64 MILES

Although the smallest (1310 sq km) of the four national parks in the Rockies, Yoho is a diamond in the (very) rough. This wilderness is the real deal; it…

4. Saskatchewan River Crossing

19.63 MILES

This junction of Hwy 93 (the Icefields Pkwy) and Hwy 11 (the David Thompson Hwy) marks the site where 19th-century fur trappers crossed the North…

5. Emerald Lake

19.72 MILES

For most visitors, this vividly colored lake is Yoho’s most unmissable sight. Ringed by forest and silhouetted by impressive mountains, including the…

6. Upper Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint

20.63 MILES

The main viewing platform for Canada's ingenious spiral railway tunnels is off Trans-Canada Hwy/Hwy 1, 8km east of the hamlet of Field.

7. Lower Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint

20.91 MILES

Canada's marvel of railway engineering, the so-called 'spiral tunnels,' can be viewed from this pull-out on the Yoho Valley Rd.

8. Kicking Horse Pass & Spiral Tunnels

20.92 MILES

The historic Kicking Horse Pass between Banff and Yoho National Parks is one of the most important passes in the Canadian Rockies. It was discovered in…