Most of Alberta's lakes were formed during the last glaciation, about 12,000 years ago. There are many different types of lakes in Alberta, from glacial lakes in the Canadian Rockies to small shallow lakes in the prairies, brown water lakes in the northern boreal forest and muskeg, kettle holes and large lakes with sandy beaches and clear water in the central plains.
Distribution of the lakes throughout the province of Alberta is irregular, with many water bodies in the wet regions in the northeast and Lakeland Region, and very few in the dry southeast.
The area of Lake Athabasca that falls inside Alberta's boundaries is 2,295 km2 (886 sq mi) and is the largest water surface in the province. The largest lake completely in Alberta is Lake Claire, which is often overseen as such, due to its remoteness and the lack of human development in the Peace-Athabasca Delta.
This is a list of lakes of Alberta with an area larger than 100 km2 (39 sq mi).