Barrier Lake, Kananaskis Country

#12 of 15 in Nature in Kananaskis Country
Barrier Lake is a man made reservoir at the north end of Kananaskis Country in Alberta, Canada.Highway 40 runs between the lake and Mount Baldy, on the eastern shore. It is entirely located in the Bow Valley Provincial Park.Barrier Lake was created for hydroelectric power generation on the Kananaskis River. The dam that impounds the lake is at the north end of the lake.The lake is also used for recreational activities, with hiking paths surrounding the lake (and cross-country skiing trails in the winter). A visitor centre is located on the eastern shore. Two day-use areas, Barrier Dam and Barrier Lake, are maintained by Alberta Parks. The Jewell Bay Backcountry Campground is established 4km from the dam. Water-skiing is permitted on the lake, but is rarely done due to the low temperatures of the water.Barrier Lake was used in the 2003 film X2: X-Men United as the stand in for Alkali Lake and in Heartland (CBC) as Eagle Lake (2011).
Choose to start, finish, or center your holiday on a trip to Barrier Lake by using our Kananaskis Country trip planning site .
Create an itinerary including Barrier Lake
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Barrier Lake Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
13 reviews
  • This lovely man-made lake in Kananaskis Country is just of the Trans-Canada highway. Thre are lots of things to do in the area. There are trails you can go for a stroll on, or others that you can take...  more »
  • With the sun shining just right, Barrier Lake had a true emerald look to it on our most recent visit. That said, the wind was up and there were whitecaps, but it was an amazing colour. It is a great s...  more »
  • Barrier Lake is actually reservoir so it's not the prettiest or nicest lake but there are lots of great little hikes that start there or that go around it's shores. Water levels can vary significantly throughout the year but most of the time it's low enough that the shore is just a lot of mud and gravel. It's easy to get there and a decent location to paddle a canoe.
  • Nice sand in some parts, on the far side. Muddy on the near side. Not overly busy. I don't think there are facilities. Water is cold. Very pretty, very scenic!
Places to stay near Barrier Lake

Plan your trip to Exshaw

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Exshaw

Duration: 2​h

Side trips from Exshaw

Duration: 3​h 30​min
Duration: 2​h 30​min