Today was my day off, so me and a friend headed to hike at the Valley of the Five Lakes! These lakes lie in a row along a valley bottom, and though I’ve spent a summer in Jasper before, it was my first time visiting these lakes.
The unique colouring of all the lakes in Jasper occurs naturally and comes from their proximity to the glaciers. When the glaciers melt, they shift over the rock below and create a fine powder called “rock flour” or “rock dust”. This powder gets into the water at the ice fields and then flows north, along the Athabasca River and into all the lakes, where it reflects back beautiful blue, green, and turquoise.
At the Valley of the Five Lakes, the five lakes’ colour all vary slightly because of differences in depth and algae in each of the lakes.
We hiked our way from the first lake to the fifth (with lots of detours and breaks for photographs!). Photo credits go to my friend Tayler, who very kindly took a thousand photos for me after my phone died (I didn’t bring my camera because it was supposed to rain. It did, for about ten seconds).
The first lake:
The second lake (see that green water? Algae!):
The second lake (ft. my trusty Blundstones):
The red chairs overlooking the third lake. The red chairs are a program by Parks Canada, who have put the chairs in scenic locations in national parks all across Canada. You’re meant to sit for a bit, take in the nature all around you, and truly relax (something I’m pretty good at!):
The fourth lake:
Enjoying the views:
The fifth and final lake:
We also spotted some wildlife around the trails. Here’s a ground squirrel, a strange and very cute creature that’s kind of like a large chipmunk. They’re very bold and hang out where the people are, waiting for scraps of food:
Loons swimming. The water was so clear that when they dived, you could watch them swimming underwater!
All in all… a very fun day off, and a beautiful spot in Jasper!