There's no shortage of lakes in Canada, but we found one that ticks all our boxes. This stunning B.C. lake is home to crystal-clear waters and perfect sand that will make you forget you're in the Pacific North West. It's so calm and quiet here that you'll instantly feel at peace on its shores.

Situated in a gorgeous mountain valley within Wells Gray Provincial Park, Murtle Lake is famous as the largest canoe-only lake in all of North America, according to BC Parks.

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It's divided into two arms — the west arm, with its white-sand beaches, and the north arm with mountainous terrain and vast meadows full of wildlife. Both arms stretch about 20 kilometres long.

The lake is three kilometres wide and is so still and pure it's like a giant silver mirror reflecting the mountains in the distance.

The lake only allows canoes and kayaks in terms of watercraft, but you can swim there too. Just be warned, as there aren't any lifeguards on duty. Plus, the water is glacier fed, so get ready for an icy shock. But that's the perfect treat after a sweaty summer's day.

There are also tons of hiking trails around the area, though many are water-accessible only. You may want to bring a canoe — thankfully, there is plenty to rent right nearby.

The beach also takes camping reservations for a small fee of $5 per person, per night. Each campsite comes with a fire ring, bear cache, and outhouse.

Just be warned that the lake has a hard no-pets-allowed policy.

This is the perfect chance to learn how to canoe or kayak.

It's a good idea to take a canoe cart with you since you'll have to carry your boat around 2.5 kilometres to get to the lake itself.

As the summer winds to a close, this is a wonderful opportunity to sneak in one last adventure while it's still warm enough to risk the icy water without catching a cold.

Murtle Lake

Address: Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC

Why You Need To Go: Chill off this summer on this glacier-fed lake with soft sands. Rent a canoe and take a relaxing day on the water.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment and obey any local laws.


 

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