We arrived at 8:30am and got one of the final parking spots left, but we were lucky and got the spot closest to the trail-head. Shortly after 9am the parking lot was closed to any other cars, and it was a weekday! Summer is crazy busy here and you may get turned away if it's too crowded, come back and try again and hope some people have left - it's worth it. The shoulder seasons (spring and autumn/fall) are best as there are less people and the water is about 4 degrees in summer anyway so doesn't make much of a difference really. Hire a canoe for $75/hour or bring your own. It's the best way to see the lake without too many other tourists. The water is an incredible blue and every inch of the lake is gorgeous with some of the most incredible views you'll see in Banff NP. If paddling isn't your thing, climb the rocks to get a wonderful viewpoint of the lake and mountains, and take a walk along the side of the lake, the path to your right follows the lake all along one side to the far end where water rushes into the lake from the mountains. You'll get beautiful views of the lake, the mountains and you can watch the canoes paddling past. Great spot for all ages to visit, though young children and those with mobility issues have struggle on the rocks or following the path the whole way. Years ago when I visited there were longer walks from the left of the rock mountain you could do, and assume they are still there. There is a kiosk and restaurant on site.
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