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8 Warmest Lakes in Alberta for Swimming (no leeches or swimmer’s itch)

8 Warmest Lakes in Alberta for Swimming (no leeches or swimmer’s itch)

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Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, there are most definitely warm lakes in Alberta that are perfect for swimming!

While the majority of lakes in Alberta are fed by mountain streams and glaciers, which can make the water quite chilly (even in the summer months), you do have options.

Here are the warmest lakes in Alberta that are pleasant and clean enough to swim in (meaning no leeches, no swimmer’s itch and no blue-green algae)!

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Lake Newell

Location: 15 minutes from Brooks

Image credit: Travel Alberta

Lake Newell is one of southern Alberta’s hidden gems, often regarded as one of the province’s best-kept secrets.

This man-made lake stands out as one of the largest and warmest lakes in the province.

One of the main highlights of Lake Newell is its clear and warm waters, making it an ideal destination for various recreational activities.

Not only is there a great big sandy beach for swimming, you can also go canoeing, paddle boarding, sailing, and fishing.

Lake Newell is also one of the most popular lakes for motorized water sports, like water skiing, wakeboarding and wake surfing. 

Allan Beach at Hubbles Lake

Location: 40 minutes west of Edmonton

Image credit: Allan Beach Resort

Allan Beach at Hubbles Lake is not only warm, but still have relatively clear water, making this one of the best lakes to swim near Edmonton.

It’s a deep, spring-fed lake and was once used for scuba-diving training because of its warmer and clear water! 

It’s privately run, so the cost to use the beach day use area is $12 for adults and $6 per child.

Even though you have to pay, the beach is beautiful, clean

Don’t forget beach gear must-haves!

Lesser Slave Lake at Devonshire Beach

Location: 2.5 hours northwest of Edmonton

Image credit: Travel Alberta

Lesser Slave Lake is the largest lake that’s entirely in Alberta.

Visit Devonshire beach, which is 1.5 kilometers of softly groomed sandy beach.

Some people even compare this beach to something you would find in Greece or the Caribbean.

Because the lake is so large, when you’re at the beach, it almost feels like on the ocean!

As an added bonus, the waters at Devonshire Beach are famously warm for swimming. 

Island Lake

Location: 20 minutes from Athabasca

Island Lake is one of the cleanest lakes in Alberta.

While it’s not clear, it’s one of the few lakes that’s never had a problem with blue-green algae or swimmer’s itch.

By early July and through the rest of the summer the water stays very warm for swimming.

Many people use the lake for non-motorized water sports, but there are also a couple of boat launches for motorized-boats. 

The Island Lake campground off of Township Road 680 has the best public access. 

Inside tip: grab yourself a towel poncho for easy drying off and changing at the beach!

woman in an outdoor setting wearing a towel poncho

Ebeling Beach at Gull Lake

Location: 15 minutes west of Lacombe

The sandy beach at Gull Lake is long and wide, allowing plenty of room for visitors even on a hot weekend.

I also love the fact that there’s a large grassy bench before the sand, so if you love the beach but don’t like laying in sand, this is the ideal lake!

The water at Gull Lake is the cleanest in central Alberta and it’s nice and shallow so it’s easy and safe for kids.

There’s also a playground, clean washrooms and concession stand with an extensive menu. 

Make a Gull Lake Weekend Getaway

Hawk Tail brewery is one of my favorite breweries in all of Alberta

Book a stay at this cottage on Meridian Beach, that comes with a private dock for direct lake access and a hot tub!

  • 20 minutes from Rimbey & Lacombe, which each have adorable main streets with great restaurants and boutique shopping

Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort at Buffalo Lake

Location: 1 hour east of Red Deer

Image credit: Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort

The Ol’ MacDonald’s Resort is primarily a family campground and RV resort, but they do allow day use visitors to enjoy the beach for a small fee.

Located on the south shore of Buffalo Lake, there’s a large, well-maintained sandy beach that has lots of room even on busy weekends.

The water is also very shallow, where you can wade out for several minutes and you’ll still only be waist-deep.

There’s also a great café and snack shop onsite, as well as additional paid activities such as a small petting zoo, swings, an arcade, mini golf and mini karts. 

Sylvan Lake

Location: 20 minutes west of Red Deer

One of the main attractions of Sylvan Lake is its beautiful sandy beach, stretching along the shores of the lake.

During the summer months, the beach becomes a hub of activity, with visitors enjoying sunbathing, swimming, beach volleyball, and building sandcastles.

The lake’s clear waters are relatively shallow near the shore, making it a family-friendly spot for swimming. 

What I love most about Sylvan Lake is that on one half of the shore there’s a classic sandy beach and on the other side you’ve got paved trails and boardwalks along a grassy area.

There are also plenty of shade trees here. 

The town of Sylvan Lake features a lovely lakeside promenade that runs along the shoreline.

The promenade is perfect for leisurely strolls, offering scenic views of the lake and surrounding landscapes.

It’s also dotted with various shops, restaurants, and cafes, creating a lively atmosphere and the perfect destination for a Alberta weekend getaway

Make it a weekend getaway

Extend your stay to Sylvan Lake:

  • visit local breweries (my favorite is Snake Lake Brewing)
  • tour the Sylvan Star Cheese Farm
  • try out the floating water park 
  • Water-tubing at Discovery Canyon (Red Deer)
  • Canyon Ski Resort Canyon Alpine Coaster (Red Deer)
  • Visit the Wine Spa at Solorzano Spa (Red Deer)

Stay at: this Sylvan Lake Cottage

  • 4 bedroom, 3 bath
  • 1/2 block to the beach!

Hardisty Lake

Location: Hardisty, Alberta

Image credit: Go East of Edmonton

Probably the best hidden gem swimming lake in Alberta is found in the small town of Hardisty. A beautifully maintained sandy beach lines relatively clear water.

This has been one of the cleanest lakes in Alberta for years.

There’s also a campground, washrooms and playground on site.

What is the Clearest Lake in Alberta for Swimming?

Lake Annette in Jasper National Park is the clearest in Alberta for swimming.

It’s a glacier-fed lake so it’s crystal clear and perfectly clean, but that does mean it’s still chilly.

While it’s not considered the warmest lake, it’s warmer than all other lakes in the area. 

There are two public areas for lounging and swimming, including one with a dock for jumping off!

Read more things to do in Jasper here.

Best Swimming Lakes Near Edmonton

Looking for a place to swim near Edmonton with nice water that doesn’t have leeches, swimmer’s itch or algae? Try these lakes:

  • Allan Beach at Hubbles Lake
  • Garner Lake
  • Buffalo Lake
  • Long Island Lake
  • Gull Lake
  • Pembina River
  • Mons Lake
  • Garner Lake

Read next: 14 Day Trips From Edmonton That You Didn’t Know Existed + themed itineraries

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