Ultimate Guide To Pink Lake in Gatineau Park [2024]

  • Date: 23/03/2024
  • Time to read: 14 min.
View of Pink Lake in Gatineau Park

Are you planning a trip to Pink Lake in Gatineau Park? If so, then you have come to the right place. Here, we have provided a detailed guide to make your trip more memorable.

The Pink Lake of Gatineau Park is located in the Quebec Province of Canada, which is just a 20-minute drive from Ottawa. Visiting the park is really a fun day trip that you can take on your summer break.

It’s an extremely beautiful park on a circular lake trail that attracts thousands of tourists, hikers, and nature enthusiasts every year. Spring season is usually the best time to visit Pink Lake as all the things in the park get revived with new colors.

If you are making a plan to visit Pink Lake, then you are at the right place. This article covers everything that you must know before visiting Pink Lake in Gatineau Park. It has answers to all your questions like where to stay, what to do, and a lot more.

Where is Pink Lake in Canada?

Pink Lake, Canada

Pink Lake is located in Gatineau Park, Quebec Province, Canada.

It is situated in the Gatineau region which is to the north of the Ottawa River. Lac Pink is the name of the Pink Lake in the French Language, which is quite a popular language in the Quebec Province.

The trail and the signboard in the park are well-marked in both languages (English, and French) so that people can easily navigate and understand what’s written on them.

To make it easier for you, you just need to type “Pink Lake, Gatineau, QC, Canada” in Google Maps and it will give you the exact location of the park.

Pink Lake Gatineau Park Map

What makes the Pink Lake so Special?

What makes the Pink Lake so Special?

Pink Lake is a very beautiful Lake in the Gatineau Region. It is a meromictic lake which simply means that the top and the bottom layers (of water) never mix with each other. You will be surprised to know that it’s the only meromictic lake in the entire North American continent that’s what makes it so special.

People often get confused that Pink Lake means that the water is pink in color, but that’s not true, it is mostly largely blue in color because of its algae growth beneath it.

How the Lake got its name as ‘Pink Lake’?

The Lake gets its name from James Pink, an Irish immigrant, who came and settled down here in 1826. In his honor, the lake was named after his family. As the name suggests the lake’s water is pink but in reality it remains blue and green for most of the time. This happens due to the abundance of algae that grows beneath the lake during the summer months.

How long is the Pink Lake Hike?

The entire length of the Pink Lake trail is around 2.3 KM starting from the parking lot and coming back to it. It roughly takes around 40-60 minutes to cover the whole journey and it further depends upon your pace of walking.

The trail is well-maintained and remains open for all 3 seasons except in the winter. During the winter, as the snowfall begins the Pink Lake trail remains closed till the next summer, and the parkway becomes a place for cross-country skiing.

Is Hiking to the Pink Lake Hard?

Pink Lake trail is a fun and easy hike that is not as hard to hike as it seems to be.

The entire trail is well-marked and maintained which means if you want to explore some untouched section of the trail then there is no need to worry. There are a lot of stairs around so be ready for the workout with your feet.

So, is it hard to hike the trails in Pink Lake, it totally depends on your physic and varies from person to person. Some may find it as a piece of cake while for others it may be like hiking a mountain.

How to get to the Pink Lake in Gatineau Park?

How to get to the Pink Lake in Gatineau Park?

One of the best ways to get inside Pink Lake is through the Gatineau Highway. It’s a beautiful highway that is filled with tones of mesmerizing views and it connects Gatineau (Central urban area formally known as HULL) to Gatineau Park.

As you are about to reach Gatineau Park, you will begin to notice a lot of cyclists, hikers, and tourists which indicates you are on the right track.

Now you just need to look for the signboard of “Pink Lake” or “Lac Pink” (in the French language). Follow these signboards and you will reach the parking lot safely.

If you are heading to Pink Lake for the very first time then just set the Direction using Google Maps and you are all good for your day trip once you reach the destination.

Parking in Gatineau Park

There are two free parking in the Gatineau Park. The first one is at the Pink Lake Lookout and the second parking space is at Pink Lake Trail.

Keep this thing in mind, that both parking lots have Limited Space. So, make sure you reach the Park a bit early otherwise, it will be hard for you to find a parking place for your vehicle.

If you are already too late then don’t forget to check both places, if you are lucky enough you may find a parking spot in the other Parking lot.

How Deep is Pink Lake?

Pink Lake Gatineau Opening Hours

The recorded maximum depth of the pink lake is 20m, which is quite scary. If you don’t know how to swim then you should worry, (just kidding) it is totally safe to be around it.

It is approximately 162m above sea level which is a lot deep for its small size of just 9 hectares.

What is Pink Lake Lookout?

Pink Lake Lookout

It’s the highest point in the entire Pink Lake Trail. It offers a beautiful panoramic view of the pink lake that you can’t take your eyes off.

If you don’t want to go with the trail then there is a ramp that you can take to reach the Pink Lake Lookout. Don’t forget to take a couple of snaps along the way as a memory of this remarkable trip.

Things that You Can Do in Pink Lake

There are a couple of things that you can do while being at the Pink Lake. It may be relaxing in nature, hiking, and cycling. So let’s learn more about the things to do in Pink Lake, Gatineau Park.

Hiking the Pink Lake Trail

One of the fun activities that you can do is Hiking the trail at the Pink Lake. It’s a long stretch of 2.3 km (1.4 Miles) that starts from the parking lot. In general, it takes around 40 minutes to complete the hike but it also depends upon how fast you are walking (pace).

As you hike you will come across many informational panels that help you know more about the history and the ecosystem of the Place. The entire trail is well-maintained and marked so there is nothing to worry about.

If you are going with the kids then this hiking trip is a must for you because it’s truly an adventurous experience along with the beautiful views of Pink Lake.

Keep in mind that from the Parking lot you need to take the staircase at your right-hand side which will lead to the Pink Lake. If you have somehow gone to the left-hand side trail then you will end up being in the woods. So avoid taking the Left side trail.

Hiking Trails in Pink Lake, Canada

The hiking at Pink Lake is not that hard and is considered to be between easy to moderate. The trail is made up of ramps, dirt & pebbles and that’s the reason why some people consider it to be a difficult hike.

To let you know, there are also a few stairs on the trail during the hiking which means if you have some sort of leg injury or problem then it’s going to be a hell lot difficult for you. I would say if you have any such issue then avoid this hiking experience.

Instead of taking the trails, just go for the ramp from the parking lot. Using it you can reach the Pink Lake Lookout Point and enjoy the amazing and beautiful view of the entire Pink Lake from there.

Mica Mines Exploration (Mining Caves)

Mica Mines in Pink Lake, Canada

As you begin, your hike, around 1.5 Km (1 Mile) you will come across the famous Mica Mines. It’s located around the northern side of the trail.

In the 1800s, these Mica Mines were quite popular, people from all over Canada used to come here in search of rare valuable minerals. Now the mines are totally abandoned and have become a perfect place to give you the spooky vibe of being in the dark and lost in time.

Reaching Pink Lake’s Highest Point

Pink Lake Lookout Point

If you don’t want to go for the hike then consider going to the Pink Lake Lookout point. It offers the best panoramic view that you can ever imagine. The most important thing about the Pink Lake Lookout Point is that it can be easily accessible from the parking lot.

Gaze the Wildlife

Close shot of a Squirrel

Pink Lake has more than 260 species of animals and birds making it an ideal choice for any nature lover to visit and explore.

You may find many bird gazers with large cameras and binoculars in the open field looking to have some amazing shots(images) of rare animals within the park.

Besides that, the park also has more than 2,550 varieties of trees and plants which is quite astonishing. I prefer to visit the park in the Autumn season (spring) as everything in the park gets revived and almost every plant sheds its old leaves and new leaves take their places.

Facilities that you can Avail at Pink Lake

Handicap Accessibility

Sorry to say the Pink Lake Trial is not handicap friendly, but still some parts of the park are easily accessible for anyone.

You can take the ramp to reach the Pink Lake Lookout Point which offers the best view of the Lake. There are also a few parking spaces that are reserved for the handicapped person in every parking lot.


Washrooms are easily available and are pretty much good in terms of sanitation. It does have toilet paper and everything inside (not every time) so it is advised to carry your own toilet paper and a hand sanitizer in case it is not available.

Parking Facility

Pink Lake has two parking lots. The first one is at Outlook Point and the other one is at the Pink Lake Trail. Visitors can easily access any of the parking lots via Gatineau Highway.

Make sure you come early in the morning otherwise parking lot will be fully packed with cars and you have to park your vehicle somewhere else.

Let me remind you that there are absolutely no picnic tables in the entire Pink Lake. If you are planning to have a family launch then you have to visit the nearby park on Gatineau Parkway.

If you still want to eat in the park then make sure you don’t make any mess and clean the place before you leave.

Is Pink Lake a Meromictic Lake?

Distant View of Pink Lake, Canada

The most popular Gatineau Pink Lake is the only Lake in the entire North America that is Meromictic. What does that mean? It simply means that the surface and bottom layer of water don’t mix and the deep greenish/Blue color makes it so soothing to watch.

The Pink Lake is not Pink, it is blue in color. Most people think that its water is Pink in color that is not true. The reason why it is named Pink Lake is because of the Irish family who migrated to Canada and settled down beside the Pink Lake. They were the real owners of the property so that’s the reason why authorities named the lake after their family name.

The water of the Lake is Blue in color because of the Refraction of the light and also being a meromictic Lake. If you are walking close to the water, pay close attention to the water you will notice a lot of 3 spined Sticklebacks swimming in the Lake.

Are you Planning a Trip to Pink Lake, Gatineau?

If you are then you should know what’s the best time to visit Pink Lake. Summer is quite sunny and winters are too snowy, So, yeah you got it right.

Autumn season (spring) is the best time for a trip to Pink Lake. Believe me, you won’t regret your decision. I have been to Pink Lake during the Autumn season and the view was so astonishing and mesmerizing that I still can’t forget it.

After the first snow shower, the Gatineau Park shuts down (remains closed) till the next summer.

No offense ***Summer is also a good time to visit the Pink Lake in Gatineau Park.*****

Best Hotels to Stay in Near Pink Lake, Quebec, Canada

Hilton Lac-Leamy

View of a Room in Hilton Lac-Leamy

The Hilton Lac-Leamy is one the best hotels to stay near the Pink Lake in Gatineau Park. The hotel has everything you are looking for, indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a casino, comfy rooms, and free WiFi.

Plus, the staff of the hotel is very friendly and helpful. They also provide a buffet option with a variety of delicious food along with many options for all ages.

Watching the sun setting down right by the side of the lake is the best thing that you can experience while staying there.

Address: 3 Bd du Casino, Gatineau, QC J8Y 6X4, Canada.

Wakefield Mill Hotel and Spa

Wakefield Mill Hotel and Spa

Looking for a hotel to stay in that is right across the river, then head straight to the Wakefield Mill Hotel and Spa. The hotel is quite popular for its beautiful location (along the river), comfortable rooms, and excellent service.

It also has a spa (which offers a variety of treatments) a wine bar & restaurant where you can enjoy a delicious meal with your favorite wine.

Address: 11 Mill Street, Wakefield, QC J0X 3P0, Canada.

Château Cartier Hotel & Resort Gatineau – Ottawa

The Château Cartier Hotel & Resort Gatineau Ottawa is a luxurious hotel that has everything that you need from an indoor pool, a spa, an 18-hole golf course, and also a restaurant. It is situated on the banks of the Ottawa River that’s just a 10-minute drive from downtown Ottawa.

People really like to stay in the Château Hotel because of its spacious and spectacular location. Plus, the staff working there are so welcoming and friendly.

Address: 115 Rue Jean-Perrin, Gatineau, QC J8X 3W4, Canada

Fairmont Château Laurier

Fairmont Château Laurier

The Fairmont Château Laurier is an ultra-luxurious hotel on the grand limestone property with a ton of amenities like a bar, an indoor pool, a gym, and a lot more.

Not to mention, it has won many awards including the 2023 AAA/CAA Four Diamond Award and the 2022 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award making it an ideal choice for any international traveler. A special shout out to the people working(staff) there as they are so friendly and welcoming in nature.

Address: 1 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 5Y5, Canada.

ByWard Blue Inn

ByWard Blue Inn

ByWard Blue Inn is a modest hotel that is known to provide cozy rooms at affordable rates. It is located right by the side of ByWard Market, which is located just a 10-minute walk from the National Gallery of Canada.

It is the best place to stay in Ottawa if you want to explore Pink Lake in Gatineau Park.

Address: 157 Clarence St., Ottawa, ON K1N 5P7, Canada

Accessories that you should have for Hiking at the Pink Lake

Here, I have put together some of the basic things that you require if you want to hike the Pink Lake Trails. So, make sure you have them before you start your journey.

  • Hiking shoes
  • Sun hat
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray (if you want)
  • Hiking backpack
  • Portable charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses
  • Paper map of the trail
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Trash Bag
  • Toilet paper
  • Journal (If you want)
  • ID/wallet

Tips for Visiting Pink Lake, Quebec, Canada

  • Don’t plan your trip during Peak Time: If you are looking to enjoy the best view of Pink Lake then avoid going to it, during the peak time. Most of the people like to visit the Pink Lake on the weekends. Instead of that, you can visit Pink Lake during the Weekdays as it remains less crowded on the weekdays(If possible for You).
  • Arrive Early: If you don’t want to park your vehicle somewhere else then try to arrive at the Pink Lake as early as you can. It is advised to drive early in the morning so that you don’t miss out on the serenity of the lake before it gets crowded.
  • Stay on the Marked Trail: Try to stick to the marked trail as they are safe and you no longer harm any natural beauty of the Pink Lake. Avoid going to any unmarked trail if you are just a beginner at hiking.
  • Put on Comfortable Clothes: Make sure you have put on comfortable clothes and footwear before going for the Hiking. If you are going during the rainy season then you need to carry some waterproof clothing so that you can easily hike the trail.
  • Check Weather Conditions: Before you head out to Gatineau Park, don’t forget to check the weather forecast for the upcoming days. Otherwise, there is a slight possibility that your entire experience will be ruined if it begins to rain/drizzle on that particular day.
  • Have a Water Bottle: Having a water bottle is a must for this 2.3 km-long trail hike. Otherwise, you will be dehydrated during the Hiking.

FAQs about Pink Lake, Canada

Can you Swim in Pink Lake Gatineau?

No, you are not allowed to swim in the Pink Lake, Gatineau. It is a legal offense as you are trying to destroy the fragile ecosystem of the Lake. Being a meromictic Lake, it has a sensitive ecosystem that can be destroyed if water activities like boating, and swimming (a lot of other water fun activities) are allowed in the Pink Lake. That’s the main reason why every single water activity in the Pink Lake is Prohibited.

What time of year does the Lake water become Pink?

Never, because it’s just the name of Lake. It never turns pink in any of the seasons throughout the year, it always remains blue. The lake got its name from the Irish family that used to own the place back in the 1800s.

What makes the Pink Lake so Special?

Being a Meromictic Lake is one of the main reasons why Pink Lake, Gatineau Park is so special. The lake attracts thousands of locals and tourists throughout the year. Its 1-hour trail hike offers panoramic views of the Lake that you can never Imagine. If you visit the Pink Lake in the Autumn season, it will give you a feeling of as if you are walking in a Heaven.

What is the best time to Visit the Pink Lake, Gatineau?

Autumn (Spring) Season is the best time to visit the Pink Lake, Gatineau. During it, all the plants and trees shed their old leaves so that new ones can take their place.

Final Thoughts: Pink Lake in Gatineau Park

If you are looking for a place that is close to nature and a perfect spot for weekends then you should head out straight to the Pink Lake in Gatineau Park. Being the only meromictic lake in the entire North America, it’s totally worth visiting.

It’s just a 20-minute drive from the capital city downtown Ottawa. If you are somehow a nature lover then this place should be your first choice. Don’t forget to include this Popular tourist destination in your Bucket list, if you are planning to visit Ottawa in the coming months.

Have a Happy and Safe Journey!

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