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Swimming Spots in Banff

by K Gordon Schultz

Go Swimming in Banff, Alberta

So you have arrived in Banff, you have emptied your bags in your hotel room; you have eaten the complimentary chocolate and requested more. You have two great weeks of activities ahead of you so there is no need to rush into anything. Why not get rid of those traveling knots in your back by taking a dip in one of Banff’s many swimming spots. In winter, to avoid death, it might be best to keep with the hot springs or at least an indoor heated pool but with summer around the corner, here are some non glacier fed options to dive into.

Cascade Ponds

Every summer, when only a junior Park Ranger, I came to the Cascade Ponds with my family. My cousins and I would spend the whole day trashing about in the water, pretending to drown each other. The parents would lie by the pond side taking something cold from the ice cooler. At the end of the day before the sun went down, we would cook up a feast on the BBQ. These were great memories and there is no reason that you can’t get involved and take a slice of this on your holiday here! There are great facilities too, including public washrooms, picnic shelter, walking trails and a small beach area.

Johnson Lake

Ah Johnson Lake! In July and August every year, this place can become quite busy with sun revelers and swimmers looking to take advantage of the deeper and vaster space than Cascade Ponds. Although still a popular family area, the water is not supervised. Over time, Johnson Lake became a place where I came to fish with buddies, relax and try (and fail miserably) to chat to women! Great (and bitter) memories! Like Cascade Ponds, it has all the required facilities; picnic area, hike around the lake, fishing, beach area and best of all a rope swing on the quieter opposite side of the lake. Not the best way to catch fish but damn good fun!

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