Charming blue lakes surrounded by snow-capped mountains and evergreen fir forests — is what most people think of when they imagine the Canadian Rockies. However, there’s much more!
The Canadian Rockies contain some of the most famous national parks in Canada, including Banff, the oldest national park in Canada. The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, due to their outstanding features. Glaciers, mesmerizing blue lakes, mighty waterfalls, and snow-capped mountain peaks offer an unparalleled number of activities. The mountains attract hikers, climbers, skiers, and water sports enthusiasts from across the globe.
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10 hours ago
Unbeatable window seat views from the Canadian Rockies.
This is Marvel Lake, situated at the foot of Marvel Peak near the southern edge of Canada's Banff National Park. The lake is named after Marvel Peak, which itself was named for the HMS Marvel, an M-class destroyer that fought in the Battle of Jutland in WWI. However, there is some uncertainty around the naming history, as several peaks in the area were simply named with superlatives such as Wonder Peak.
As with many Canadian lakes, the vibrant colors of the water are due to the presence of glacial flour in the water. Glacial flour is produced by the movement of glaciers or boulders during which the rock surfaces grind against one another. The glacial flour is very lightweight, so it remains suspended in the water where it can scatter sunlight, resulting in the brighter colors we see.
There are a number of factors involved that might alter the color of a lake including tannic acids (which are released by decaying organic matter and turn water more brown), sediments (which can make water appear more murky), algae (which can give a wide range of colors from red to blue to green), and glacial flour. The glacial flour shifts the spectrum of light from blue towards green, making alpine lakes like Marvel Lake appear a lighter and more vivid hue than lakes without glacial flour.
Depending on the route, the hike to the lake is about 9.3 miles (15 km). It is considered difficult given various steep, rocky sections, so it is recommended that visitors have some climbing experience before attempting the trek. For most, the hike is well-worth the effort to be greeted by iconic peaks with forested slopes, sweeping valleys, various lakes, and more. But one thing is for sure: the lake is a true marvel.
Location: Marvel Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
#WWTTY : Where Will TOTEM Take You?
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