Valley of the Five Lakes

Jasper National Park

Jasper, Alberta

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Valley of the Five Lakes


  • Most of the Valley of the Five Lakes Trail is wooded, well-maintained, and very wide -- perfect for families.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • Wetlands shortly beyond the trailhead.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • A view of the many mountains in Jasper as seen from a high point on the trail.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • Fifth Lake, the second largest lake on the trail.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • Boats along the shore of Fifth Lake.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • Fourth Lake.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • Fourth Lake, with the trail along the north side.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • Third Lake viewed from the trail. Mount Edith Cavell (3,363 meters, left), the most prominent mountain entirely in Alberta, can be seen in the distance.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • Second Lake viewed from the trail.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • Second Lake viewed from the trail.- Valley of the Five Lakes
  • First Lake is the largest lake of the five. The Victoria Cross Ranges are viewable from the southeastern shore.- Valley of the Five Lakes
Overview + Weather
Gorgeous scenery. Family-friendly hike. Short and easy drive from town of Jasper and most nearby campgrounds.
Crowded near the trailhead. Relatively high grizzly bear activity.
Jasper, AL
Pets allowed: 
Highest point: 
1,130.00 m (3,707.35 ft)
Year round: 
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance fee
Permit required: 
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall, Spring
Total Distance: 
4.50 km (2.80 mi)
Total elevation gain: 
45.00 m (147.64 ft)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,085.00 m (3,559.71 ft)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


The Valley of the Five Lakes is a must-do for any visitor to Jasper National Park. For those travelling with families, the relatively small changes in elevation and the well-maintained trail will be very appealing. And for those interested in more challenging hikes, this hike will be a great way to kill a couple of hours with five spectacular lakes that can truly rival lakes in the backcountry with crystal-clear blue water and impressive vistas of the Rocky Mountains.

Accessing Valley of the Five Lakes can be done several different ways, but a trailhead on Highway 93 (Icefields Parkway) is considerably shorter than other options. The trailhead is only about 15 minutes from the town of Jasper, Whistlers, or Wabasso Campgrounds, and about 20 to 25 minutes from the Fairmont Jasper Lodge. Nearly all visitors to Jasper National Park will have a relatively short drive to get to the trailhead, which is clearly signed off the left side of the highway for southbound travellers. The parking lot has been recently expanded and, while busy, will typically have spots open for hikers; however, parking off the side of the highway is permitted if there are no spots available.

The first kilometer of the trail is by far the busiest. After hiking across a wetland using an elevated walkway, proceed straight at the (roughly) four-way junction and up the hill to reach a three-way junction with a route to First Lake to the left and a route to Fifth Lake to the right. The trail will form a lasso-shape here around the far side of Second, Third, and Fourth Lakes, and it is about 500 meters to either First Lake or Fifth Lake from the junction (the trail does not wrap around either First Lake or Fifth Lake, which are larger than their counterparts). First Lake is relatively hard to get a good view of and is the only one that hikers might miss if they are not paying close attention. If you chose to head toward First Lake, look toward your left for a clearing of trees and you can get a good view of the lake just before the junction to the other four lakes. The trail is much more open for Second, Third, and Fourth Lake. Fifth Lake is relatively wooded as well, but a trail to a small dock is impossible to miss.

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(1 within a 30 mile radius)

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(2 within a 30 mile radius)

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