Drive too quick and you’ll miss it, but Horseshoe Lake in Jasper is worth the stop! Located 30 km south of Jasper, you’ll find the marked trailhead, but no signs leading you to this popular summer hotspot.
It’s the perfect spot for cliff jumping, swimming, and floating on exorbitant pool floats.
Though crystal clear, Horseshoe Lake is deep, in fact, one of the deepest lakes in Jasper.
What to bring with you: life jackets, pool floaties, towels,
The area is usually filled with cliff jumpers, but there’s enough space to explore that you should be able to find a spot on the side. There are plenty of smaller ledges for the smaller children to jump off of, but also plenty of higher ledges for adventurous older kids and teenagers (like 80 ft high!)
The gorgeous, clear water views are worth the stop, even if you aren’t going to jump off into the freezing cold water.
Is the activity kid-friendly? The activity is kid-friendly, yes – toddler friendly, no. We had a pretty tricky time getting over to the cliffs, and making our own path around the lake to reach part of the cliffs. This was difficult with a toddler in tow, and the lack of paths made it an activity that we’ll try again without the smallest person in our squad. For the older kids, the trails (or lack thereof) were easy enough to navigate, and they loved finding a flat part on the rocks with somewhere near to climb up and out of the water, as their home base.
Note: wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Depending on the time of year that you visit the trail, it can be wet. To get to the cliffs, we had to wade through about four inches of water to the side. As an alternative, the trail is short enough from the vehicle that you could also bring in a float, or kayak, to paddle around the lake and expand your cliff jumping options even further.
Stay Safe while Cliff Jumping at Horseshoe Lake
- Ensure that you have a spotter, already in the water before jumping. This way, you can ensure that you’ll have someone nearby in case you freeze up, or get injured
- The kids should wear PDFs when jumping – the water is cold and this will ensure that they’re just a little safer
- Stat gradual and work your way up. At the beginning of the cliffs, immediately left of the trail there are smaller shelves that can be jumped off of. As you make your way into the lake, there are plenty of options, but starting on the lower options can help the kids to build the confidence.
- Visit on really hot days, as the lake water is incredibly cold
How to get to Horseshoe Lake
You can find Cliff Jumping at Horseshoe Lake just under thirty kilometres from Jasper, on Highway 93, the same way that you would venture to Athabasca Falls. If you’ve hit Athabasca Falls, turn around – you’ve gone too far. Though there are no signs from the road, the parking lot and cars parked on the shoulder will give away the spot, and once you enter the parking lot, you’ll see the Horseshoe Lake sign.