Peyto Lake

July 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The first time we went to Peyto Lake was right after we had visited Bow Lake and found it to be partially frozen. As we drove to Peyto Lake, I was sure it was going to be frozen since it was north of Bow Lake. What I didn't know at the time was that it was at a lower elevation, which meant that it was likely warmer than Bow Lake. It was the second full day of our trip, and all we had really seen was just cloudy skies. That morning was no different.


We got out of our car and hiked the paved trail (that tells you how popular this spot is) to the viewing platform. The first thing I noticed was the color of the water. It then hit me there was no ice anywhere on the lake. "Nice!... Oh...look at the clouds--nothing but clouds overhead. Oh, but look at the low string of clouds between us and the mountains above the lake. That's pretty cool. And I like the way the clouds are shrouding the mountaintops in the distance--looks kind of eerie. I better get a picture of this."


Peyto LakePeyto Lake


The viewing platform is fairly large, and there weren't that many people there. I was able to move around a bit to get different compositions and the sun actually started to break through the clouds. Small patches of blue could be seen, coming and going between the lower clouds. I made a series of shots for a panorama. 


Peyto Lake Panorama


But I needed to get down lower. I needed to get off the platform. I looked around the platform for a place I could get around the railing and onto the ground in front of the platform. I found a spot and made a dash for it. I walked though the woods and came out a short way in front of the platform and proceeded to look for a different view. This is the one I like the most from that position.


Clearing Storm Above Peyto LakeClearing Storm Above Peyto Lake


I was happy with the time we spent at Peyto Lake that day. The clouds, as they sometimes do, added to the scenery that day. 


A couple days later we were driving north, headed for Jasper, where we were going to spend three days and nights. It was going to be a long day driving to Jasper and I wanted to see a few places in Jasper National Park that day, so the plan was to not stop anywhere on the way. But, it was our first sunny morning of the trip. We stopped at Herbert Lake and Bow Lake and made a number of images there. As we were approaching Peyto Lake we decided we may as well stop there again since the sky was so blue and we were ahead of a couple of tour buses we saw when we were at Bow Lake. We pulled into the parking lot and found two or three other tour buses. Maybe this wasn't going to be such a good idea after all. When we got to the platform, I was surprised that it wasn't very crowded. I was more surprised at the lake below us. I wasn't prepared for what I saw. I hadn't seen anything like it in any of the photos I had seen online. Not a ripple on the water. A perfect reflection of the mountains in the lake.


Reflection on Peyto LakeReflection on Peyto Lake


It was surprising how much a clear blue sky changes things. The color of the water was less green (due to it reflecting so much blue from the sky--note the difference in the color in the water near the top shoreline versus the bottom shoreline), the mountains were a different color with sunlight on them, and you could see the peaks of the distant mountains. Amazing. Gosh, this was a great morning. Could the rest of the day be as good as this?



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