Jasper National Park, Alberta
It seems strange to be talking about swimming in the beautiful lakes of Jasper when the temperatures outside are hovering around the minus a million degrees Celsius. However, the towns of the Canadian Rockies change drastically between summer and winter. Winter sees people donning the warmest clothes ever made and putting ice skates and ski’s on while summer is quite the opposite. It really depends on what your interests are. During the warmer months, you can climb to the highest peaks and admire the stunning views of the Canadian Rockies. In winter, you can climb to the highest points and then fly down the slope at full speed.
In Jasper, the most popular swimming lakes lie to the northeast of the town. Just like pretty much everything in Banff, you can get to them by foot if the mood strikes you. Though it seems all the lakes are named after friends of my mother, they are actually all far more stunning and less wrinkly come to think about it. Lake Annette is glacially fed which means that even in summer, it is as cold as the many girls who refuse to talk to me in bars. If you are feeling brave on a hot day, you would be doing well to make it to waist deep. It is great for ice skating in winter though.
Lake Edith lies next to its old buddy Annette and is equally deep and cold. For this reason, it tends to attract more kayakers than swimmers. The setting is stunning though with mountains all around and private cabins that were built in 1930 all around the lake. Lac Beauvert rests beside the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and is a gorgeous emerald green in summer. In winter, it makes for a great skating rink. If you stay through the seasons in the Rockies, it really does feel like two different worlds – both of which are unique in their own beautiful way.