Hiking Guide to Valley of the Five Lakes in Jasper

The Valley of the Five Lakes trail in Jasper National Park is an easy 4.3 km walk with little elevation gain, making it a perfect family-friendly hike just outside Jasper Townsite. The highlight of the Valley of the Five Lakes hike is the series of five pristine mountain lakes that you’ll encounter along the way. Each one has its unique shade of turquoise or green-blue water and is set against a backdrop of towering mountain peaks. It’s a pleasant walk to stretch your legs and a perfect hike for smaller kids. Find here all you need to know and can expect along the Valley of the Five Lakes hike. 

How long is the Valley of the Five Lakes trail?

The Valley of the Five Lakes trail is only 4.5 kilometers long with 80 metres of elevation gain throughout the hike. This makes it a very easy and family-friendly hike in Jasper. You can extend the hike by walking around the first lake which will make the total distance of your hike 7.3 km return. Another option is to start by Old Fort Point and make it into a long 18 km return day hike. 

Where is the Valley of the Five Lakes trailhead?

The Valley of the Five Lakes trailhead is located along the Icefields Parkway, about a 15-minute drive south of the town of Jasper in Jasper National Park, Alberta.


Valley of the Five Lakes hike stats

Distance: 4.5 kilometers

Elevation gain: 80 meters

Difficulty: Easy

Time needed: 1 – 2 hours

What is the best time to hike the Valley of the Five Lakes trail?

The best time to hike the Valley of the Five Lakes trail is during the summer months, typically from late June to early September. During this time, the weather is generally mild, and the trail is free of snow, making it more accessible. The foliage around the lakes is also very vibrant in the summer months, while in the autumn months of late September and October, some trees may lose their leaves. There is little fall foliage along the trail, so it’s not a specific autumn hike. I would also advice to try and go on a day with little to no wind. The stunning color of the lakes is best seen on a calm day when the water is clear. Another great feature of hiking the Valley of the Five Lakes trail in summer is that you can swim in the lakes to cool off!

Valley of the Five Lakes-autumn

Valley of the Five Lakes trail description

From the parking lot, you will easily see the trailhead with a map of the hike. The first part of the hike follows trail 9a and takes you through a beautiful lodgepole pine forest. 


After about one kilometre you reach a boardwalk that crosses the Wabasso Creek wetlands where you might spot some wildlife. Continue hiking up the slope which is a beautiful meadow with wildflowers in the summer months. You will then come to a junction where you can choose to walk around the first lake, hike the longer trail to Old Fort Point or continue along the short Valley of the Five Lakes trail which is trail 9a or 9b, depending if you want to hike clockwise or counterclockwise. Take trail 9b if you want to go clockwise and 9a for counterclockwise. 


There’s no advantage to go clockwise or counterclockwise, we chose to go counterclockwise and quickly encountered the first lake. The stunning green color is breathtaking! 

Valley of the Five Lakes trail-lake-view

Shortly after, the second lake reveals itself, followed by the third and fourth lakes. Each of these lakes varies in depth, color and backdrop. 

Valley of the Five Lakes-second-lake

The fifth lake has a small jetty which provides a beautiful vantage point. The lake loop trail then comes to an end as you will recognize the junction where the hike began. Head down along the boardwalk again and continue through the forest to get back to the parking lot to complete the hike. 

Valley of the Five Lakes-first-lake

Do you need a National Park Pass to hike the Valley of the Five Lakes trail?

Because the Valley of the Five Lakes trail is located inside Jasper National Park, you’ll need a Parks Canada Pass to enter. Depending on the number of days you plan to visit the Canadian National Parks, you can either buy single daily admission tickets or the Parks Canada Discovery Pass which is a multi-park entry pass for 365 days. You can purchase the different Parks Canada Passes online at the Parks Canada website, at the National Park Visitor Centres or booths upon entering the many national parks. See all the options and prices below.  

Single daily admission pass

This entrance fee ticket is sold per person, per day, per National Park. It is only the best option if you are solo traveling and just visiting one or two national parks for a couple of days.

  • $10.50 CAD for an adult (from 18-64 years)
  • $9.00 CAD for Senior (65+)
  • FREE entrance for kids younger than 17 years

Group daily admission pass

For the ones traveling with 2 or more people in one car, you can buy a single-day group admission pass. This pass gives entrance for up to 7 people in one vehicle.

  • $21.00 CAD for one vehicle entry for one full day (maximum 7 people)

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is the best option for travelers who plan to visit multiple National Parks. Basically if you’re spending more than 7 days in the Canadian National Parks, you’ll have a much better deal buying the Discovery Pass. This multi-park entry pass is valid for 365 days to access all participating national parks in Canada. These include Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and much more.

  • $72.25 CAD for one Adult (age 18-64)
  • $61.75 CAD for one Senior (64+)
  • $145.25 CAD for a couple or group/family up to 7 people in one vehicle

More Canada travel inspiration

I hope you enjoyed this complete guide about the Valley of the Five Lakes in Jasper. For more travel inspiration about Alberta and British Columbia, head over to our other Canada travel guides. See below our Canada guides per National Park to prepare for your trip.

Read here our incredibly extensive guide about RVing in Canada

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