About Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Situated in the Valley of Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake, at an elevation of 1885m. The deep blue shade is due to rock silt deposited into the Lake due to melting glaciers.
What to do at Moraine Lake ?
Things to do at the Lake
Enjoy the extraordinary beautiful scenery & hike the rockpile trail for a wholesome view.
Walk around the Lake shore trail around the Lake’s edge to the canoe launch and appreciate the rugged grandeur of Mount Fay and the Fay Glacier.
Canoe or Hike in summer and cross country ski in winter .If you are here during early morning or evening, do not forget to hike the rock pile trail to see the breathtaking scenery of mountain peaks reflected in the blue green waters of the lake as the sunlight kisses the mountains.
See the Lake decked in autumn colours in early fall (September).
Fish at the lake from June 29 -to- October 31. National park fishing license required. For regulations, see Alberta fishing guide.
Revel in the spectacular larch valley during Fall.
Moraine Lake Hiking trails
1. Moraine Lakeshore
An easy 1.5 km trail with no elevation gain follows the Lake shore. Trail Head is near Moraine Lake Lodge.
This easy hike of 2.9 km(one way) takes you to the subalpine lake named Consolation Lakes. Enjoy the panoramic view of Mount Temple, Mounts Bident and Quandra Glacier across the valley.Trail head is near the Moraine Lake parking lot.
3. Eiffel Lake
A moderate hike which goes to the Lake with a the Valley of the Ten Peaks as the back ground, is about 5.6km long with an elevation gain 370 m. Trail Head is near Moraine Lake Lodge.
4. Larch Valley
A must do hike, which takes around 4 hours, during the Autumn season to see the breathtaking golden hue of Larch trees in the valley is about 4.3 km with 535m elevation gain.Trail Head is near Moraine Lake Lodge.
5. Sentinel Pass
Rated difficult, this 5.8 km (one way) hike takes one to the stunning view point of Larch and Paradise Valley and climbing an elevation of 725 m.Trail Head is near Moraine Lake Lodge.
6. Wenkchemna Pass
With an elevation gain of 720 m and distance of 9.7km (one way), this trail takes one to Wenkchemma Pass on the Continental Divide.Trail Head is near Moraine Lake Lodge
Moraine Lake trails have group access restriction during bear activity months. So check Parks Canada regulations before hiking.
Moraine Lake in winter
The Lake is mostly frozen till May (depends on weather) . The Lake road is closed to traffic.
Cross country ski in winter along the Moraine Lake roadto the Lake at this popular destination.
Who all can go to the Lake ? – Everybody.
When to go to Moraine Lake ?
From late spring to early fall.
Moraine Lake Closure – Is Moraine Lake Open?
From early fall to late spring the Moraine Lake road is closed due to snow (exact date is weather dependent, usually from mid of October to late week of May/first week of June ) ; during winter, the road is used for cross country skiing.
2020 -21 Closure: Mid-October (October 12, 2020) to Late May/Mid – June (May 25, 2021).
Canoe dock : 10:00AM to 6:00PM , daily, during the tourist season
How long will it take to see the Lake?
Depending on interest, one hour to four hour (not counting difficult hikes)
Canoeing : one to one and a half hours.
How to get to Moraine Lake ?
Moraine Lake Location/directions
Lake Louise to Moraine Lake
From the parking lot, go to Lake LouiseDrive, turn right onto Moraine Lake Rd, the Moraine Lake is about 12.2 km from the start of the Lake road.
Turn the exit towards onto Bow Valley Pkwy from Trans Canada Highway /AB1 W. Turning left to Bow Valley Parkwayand merge on to Lake Louise drive. Turn left onto Moraine Lake drive.
Travel south on Ice fields Parkway, take the AB1 east exit and travel on Trans Canada Highway towards Calgary. Take the exit towards onto Bow Valley Pkwy. Turn right to Lake Louise drive. Turn left onto Moraine Lake drive.
During the height of the tourist season, the lot is always full. Hence you will have to park at the Lake Louise Park and Ride, which is located 6 km east of Lake Louise Village. Proof of reservation for the shuttle service is required to enter the Park and Ride. From there, Parks Canada Shuttle is available. Reservations are required in 2020.
To get to Moraine Lake during 2020 and beyond – Shuttle Service to Moraine Lake:
Special During COVID-19:Parks Canada and Roam Public Transit has partnered to offer shuttles from the Lake Louise Park and Ride (6 km east of Lake Louise village) to Moraine Lake, every Friday – Sunday (and Thanksgiving Monday) between September 18 – October 12, 2020, departing the Park and Ride every 20 minutes from 8 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. The final return bus from Moraine Lake to the Park and Ride is at 4:40 p.m.
Parks Canadais introducing a new reservation system from April 1, 2020 (reservations open April 1, 2020.). Reservations for seats on the Parks Canada shuttles (Lake Louise Park and Ride and Moraine Lake) will be required for the entire operating season of mid-May to mid-October. (This is not happening in 2020 during COVID-19)
- May 22 to October 12, 2020: departs 8 am to 5pm, every 15 minutes from Park and Ride. Return shuttles from Moraine Lake to the Lake Louise Park and Ride will be available from 9 am to 5:40 pm daily.
- Early morning (sunrise visits)June 22 to September 20, every 30 minutes from 6 am to 8 am.
Once you reach Moraine Lake, and want to visit Lake Louise, you can do so by taking Lake Connector Shuttle from the Moraine Lake, provided you have a reservation from the park and ride lot (the shuttle you took to reach Moraine Lake. There is no extra cost for the connector shuttle as it is included in the Park and ride shuttle cost.). Lake Connector shuttle travels between Lake Louise Lakeshore and Moraine Lake from May 22 to October 12, 2020, from 9 am to 6 pm, every 30 minutes.
Cost – Shuttle seat price:
Adult (18 to 64): $10
Senior (65+): $5
Youth (6 to 17): $5
Child (under 6 years) – free
+ There is a $6.00 reservation fee if booking online, and $8.50 if booking by telephone.
Visiting during Fall using Public Transit:
Take Roam Transit’s daily direct service, from mid-September to mid-October from Banff to Moraine Lake.
How much do the Moraine Lake visit cost?
Free with Banff National Park Admission .
Canoe rental from Moraine Lake Lodge: Starting from $120.00 CAD plus tax per canoe for a one-hour rental. (Open daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm mid-June to mid-September)
Paddle, life jackets and basic instruction are provided.
What about Amenities, accessibility & parking?
Gift shops & Snack bar at the Moraine Lake Lodge.
Stroller/Wheelchair accessible, but there might be small rocks on the way.
No campsite in the immediate vicinity. But, the Moraine Lake Lodge is situated right on the Lake edge.