Cascade Ponds Beach in Banff

Banff, Alberta

Cascade Ponds Beach and Swimming Area is like jumping into a painting. The scenery and setting is mountain meadow at it's best and is easy to access from the Banff townsite on the way to Lake Minnewanka. Like any mountain pond and lake, choose a hot day for swimming in the crystal clear waters because it can be chilly. The pond has a small beach area, picnic area, public washrooms and easy access from the parking lot.

There is no marked swimming area or supervision but the waters have a more gradual slope in the beach area. Photo credit to Pam Loewen from Flickr.

To get to the Cascade Ponds area, take the Minnewanka loop road from the interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway a few kilometres northeast of Banff.

Contact: Town of Banff, 403.762.1200

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • No data available

  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 7th, 2016. North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 7th, 2016 at 2:41 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
9°C
Cloudy
Monitoring Frequency

Cascade Ponds Beach in Banff is sampled from May 1st to September 1st.

Source Information

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories.

Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media.
An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

Cascade Ponds Beach in Banff

Banff, Alberta

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • No data available
  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on September 7th, 2016. North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 7th, 2016 at 2:41 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
9°C
Cloudy

Cascade Ponds Beach and Swimming Area is like jumping into a painting. The scenery and setting is mountain meadow at it's best and is easy to access from the Banff townsite on the way to Lake Minnewanka. Like any mountain pond and lake, choose a hot day for swimming in the crystal clear waters because it can be chilly. The pond has a small beach area, picnic area, public washrooms and easy access from the parking lot.

There is no marked swimming area or supervision but the waters have a more gradual slope in the beach area. Photo credit to Pam Loewen from Flickr.

To get to the Cascade Ponds area, take the Minnewanka loop road from the interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway a few kilometres northeast of Banff.

Contact: Town of Banff, 403.762.1200

Monitoring Frequency

Cascade Ponds Beach in Banff is sampled from May 1st to September 1st.

Source Information

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories.

Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media.
An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

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