Scenic Stop: The Picturesque Two-Jack Lake

Banff National Park, Alberta

Two Jack Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta

Two Jack Lake near Banff, Alberta, is a stunningly picturesque lake offering visitors opportunities for scenic drives, wildlife viewing, kayaking and even camping.

Located on the Lake Minnewanka loop, it's a perfect place to take a scenic drive around both the turquoise-coloured Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake. There are two campgrounds in the area that offer sheltered, secluded campsites tucked away in the forest. Day-use areas offer picnic areas & barbecues for family gatherings.

Two Jack Lake Campground - Main Site

The main site of the Two Jack Lake Campground is the larger of the two available campgrounds, offering sites in a heavily treed forest with seclusion and privacy. Bighorn sheep and elk often frequent the area. Cooking areas and flush toilets are available, but there are no showers. Open from mid-May to September/early October.

Click here for location and more information from Parks Canada.

Two Jack Lakeside Campground

The Two Jack Lakeside Campground is the smaller campground and is located closer to the water. This is an idyllic camping location with some campsites backing onto the lake. Kitchen shelters, flush toilets and heated showers are available.

Parks Canada offers additional information.

Things to do at Two Jack Lake

Summer

  • Take a scenic drive along the Minnewanka Loop. Watch for nature at its best including elk, mountain sheep and a variety of birds. On rare occasions, Parks Canada may close the area when a bear is in the area.

  • Do a day hike or a back-country hike. There are hiking trails along the scenic shore.

  • Two Jack Lake fishing is available too. It's reputed to be good for trout fishing. A Banff National Park fishing license is required.

  • Learn to scuba dive in Two Jack Lake. I did a few years ago. It was cold (freezing, really!) but fun to do with a group of friends.

  • Go out in the canoe for a quiet paddle around the lake. Or, if you would rather leave the physical stuff to someone else, head over to the nearby Lake Minnewanka and enjoy a relaxing and scenic boat ride.

Winter

  • A scenic drive along the Minnewanka Loop is just as pretty in the winter. There's an amazing array of wildlife, usually by the roadside where the snow has been cleared. I've even seen a moose (I know I'm supposed to say they're "majestic" animals, but they're sort of homely - all nose & snout).

  • Cross-country skiing can be done on the trails. The snow cover may be patchy in the forest.

  • For the determined angler, ice fishing is available on Two Jack Lake & Lake Minnewanka. The wind on the open ice can be strong.

Getting to Two Jack Lake


View Two Jack Lakes in Banff National Park in a larger map

 

Two Jack Lake is located 11 kilometers (15 minutes) outside of Banff, Alberta or 128 kilometers (1.5 hours) from Calgary, Alberta.

Check out other things to do in Alberta!