Kayaking in Canada is a dream come true for paddlers across the globe. With about two million lakes, pristine rivers and thrilling rapids, you could spend a lifetime just checking out new spots to launch your yak. From the coastal scenery of British Columbia to Ontario’s raw wilderness, here’s a look at some of the best.
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Kayaking in Canada
Lake Minnewanka, Alberta
Just three miles from the town of Banff is the mountain-backed natural wonder of Lake Minnewanka. Home to deer, woodpeckers and huge Lake Trout, paddling here puts you in the heart of wildlife, with awe-inspiring, scenic views to accompany you. Adding to the adventure, the lake has an intriguing history and was once feared for resident spirits. For off-water fun, don’t miss out on hiking the Lake Minnewanka to Devil’s Gap Trail. If you want to go kayaking in Canada with your own yak, check out the Beach LT by Oru. It’s a foldable kayak that’s simple to transport and assemble.
Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia
When you research kayaking in Canada, you’re sure to come across images of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Soaring mountain peaks reflect on glassy water, with alpine forests decorating the incredible backdrop. Cheakamus Lake is the prime spot for a paddle, with lush greenery surrounding the mirror-like water. You can camp in the area, to make the most of it. Additionally, from the parking lot there’s a lovely trail that’s easy to navigate with a lightweight kayak to the water’s edge.
Ottawa River, Ontario
If you’re a white water fan, the Ottawa River bring the thrills you’re looking for. In fact, its world-famous for huge rapids, so experts will find plenty of challenges. There are two main channels to explore and it’s The Main Channel that offers a rollercoaster of towering waves. For shallower, shorter rapids, The Middle Channel is a fantastic spot to hone your skills. With small river islands, sandy beaches and cascading waterfalls, you’ll enjoy beautiful scenery when it’s time to take a break from the action.
Lake Louise, Alberta
The vivid turquoise water of Lake Louise is a photographer’s dream and one of the most popular spots for kayaking in Canada. Towering mountain peaks meet the shores of the lake, with glaciers reflecting dramatically on the surface. Soak up views of the Victoria Glacier and maybe even spot a bear along the shore. You’ll need to carry your kayak from the government car park to the water. Therefore, it’s best to take a light one that’s easy to carry, such as the Sun Dolphin Aruba SS.
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Qualicum Beach is one of the best places to go for incredible sea kayaking. Along with stunning coastal landscapes, highlights include wildlife-spotting, with Pacific harbour seals, California Sea Lions, dolphins and even Killer Whales in season. Also, due to warm waters and low tides, it’s a great spot for beginner paddlers and children.
Lake Huron, Ontario
The Canadian stretch of Lake Huron enchants paddlers with crystal-clear water and breathtaking sunsets. It’s worth it to take an extended kayaking holiday here, with picturesque beach towns along the coast. Georgian Bay is a top spot for sea kayaking, with countless islands, sheltered channels and picturesque bays. To make sea kayaking a breeze, check out the Ocean Kayak Scrambler.
Moraine Lake, Alberta
It might be hard to keep paddling on Moraine Lake, with so many picture-worthy spots to stop at and capture. Located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park, the glacier-fed lake sits beneath the majestic mountains of the Canadian Rockies, with brilliant blue-green water to glide across. This is a bucket list kayaking and hiking destination for many, so be sure to arrive early to avoid the tourist rush during summer.
Have you been kayaking in Canada? We’d love to hear about your favorite spots, in the comments below.
Can’t get enough of spectacular destinations to launch your yak? Check out bucket list kayaking destinations across the globe.