Banff Bodies of Water
Located in the Bow Valley Parkway just off the Jonhston Canyon trail are the Ink Pots, a series of small pools fed by cold-water springs. These quicksand-bottomed pools are clear and greenish in colour with large, dark circular patterns that form at the surface. These ink-like blotches are formed by sand being pushed to the surface by the underwater springs.
This glacial lake is the underwater home of Minnewanka Landing, a resort town that flooded in 1912 due to rising lake levels. Apart from cold-water scuba diving, visitors to Lake Minnewanka enjoy boating, sailing, and fishing while the surrounding area provides opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and camping.
Found at about a 20 minute drive from the town of Banff is Johnson Lake. This cold-water lake features a small beach area making it a popular summertime spot for a cool dip. Picnic tables and a hiking trail that wraps around the shoreline are located here.
Two Jack Lake
Two Jack Lake is often a quiet spot that is located a few minutes from the town of Banff near Lake Minnewanka. The lake area offers a variety of amenities including two campgrounds, one of which is lakeside, and picnic grounds.
This 4.5-km (2.8-mi) drive branches off Mount Norquay just before the Banff/Norquay overpass and takes travellers along the three Vermilion Lakes. This drive provides an opportunity to see a variety of flora and fauna common to marshland areas and is popular for bird watchers, nature enthusiasts, photographers and cyclists.
One of Alberta's greatest rivers, the Bow River meanders 623 kilometres (387 miles) beginning at Bow Glacier and flowing south through Banff National Park and Calgary. Flowing through Calgary's centre, the river serves as one of the city's main water sources (the other is the Elbow River in Calgary's south). In the summer, people use the river for floating through the city in rafts. Out of the city, the river is widely used by fly fishers, kayakers, birdwatchers, canoeists and more. The river is also an important water source for prairie farmland.
Located off the Minnewanka Loop near Johnson Lake is Cascade Ponds, a small lake area at the end of a softly flowing creek. Set against the Banff wilderness, the lake is actually man-made, created for use as a daytime recreation area. The spot features picnic areas, picnic shelters, and camping.
Bow Lake is the source of the Bow River. Across the lake is part of a very large icefield covering an area of the Great Divide. The Bow Glacier extends from this field over the cliffs. The lake is located approximately 93 km (58 mi) north of Banff, just off Highway 93 North.