Just out of sight.
The Prairies are home to tons of hidden treasures, some of which are hiding right under our noses. Even though this lake is super popular and is located in a huge national park, few could ever guess an enormous ghost town lies just beneath the waters. The sunken city under Lake Minnewanka is a hidden treasure that few have seen and it’s waiting to be discovered.
Deep below the surface of the lake’s pristine waters is the sunken resort town of Minnewanka Landing. While it used to bustle with tourism and life, according to Parks Canada, its only residents are now trout and the occasional scuba diver.
The village was built way back in 1888 when the water levels were much lower. Soon, cottages sprung up, restaurants and hotels were built, and even a boat tour started ferrying travellers around the scenic lake. For a little while, life was great at Minnewanka Landing.
But everything good must come to an end. After a series of dams were built over the years for water storage, shoreline improvements and to generate power, the town sunk beneath the water around 1941.
Today, the lake makes a great day trip even if you stay above the waterline. For licensed scuba divers, it’s fun to explore.
However, Parks Canada warns that because the town has so much cultural significance, it’s an absolute no-no to take or leave anything at the site, to vandalize the buildings, or to damage any part of it.
Picture this place as the setting in a Tomb Raider or Uncharted game, where you have to explore the (probably cursed) city and return stolen artifacts to appease the ghosts that are giving nearby villagers nightmares.
So if you ever go to stop by this gorgeous lake, keep in mind that there’s more than meets the eye beneath its waves.
Lake Minnewanka Sunken City
Address: Banff National Park, AB
Why You Need To Go: Check out this enormous sunken city that’s straight out of Tomb Raider.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.