The Spirit of Minnewanka

For more than 100 centuries, people have hunted and camped along these shores.  The Stoney people called it “Minn-waki” or “Lake of the Spirits.”   They respected and feared this lake for its resident spirits.  Early Europeans called it Devil’s Lake.

Minnewanka Landing ~ In 1886 the “Beach House”, a log hotel, was built along the original shore of Lake Minnewanka.  By 1912, a summer village called Minnewanka Landing was established.  The townsite consisted of four avenues and three streets.  There were hotel, wharves, restaurants and sailing tours aboard two cruise boats - “Lady of the Lake” and “Daughter of the Peaks”.

Rising Water Levels ~ Scuba divers are the only ones to visit Minnewanka Landing now as it is all under water.  The lake was first dammed in 1895 to improve the boddy shoreline for boating.  It was dammed again in 1912; this time to store water for a downstream hydro-electric plant on the Cascade River.

Construction of the final dam occurred in 1941 after a twenty-year struggle between advocates of power development and those pressing for protection of park resources. It was approved in 1940 by the Canada government under the War Measures Act,, which temporarily suspended the 1930 National Parks Act that excluded industrial development from national parks.

The dam raised the lake level a total of 25 metres and increased the lake area by fifty percent, creating the largest lake in Banff National Park.


Minnewanka Today ~ National Parks today protect landscapes of national and cultural significance.  Although this area has seen many changes over the last century, people continue to seek out its wild nature and hidden mysteries.  The spirit of Minnewanka lives on.








Pretty sure he has the run of the place!!! :)


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