Moraine Lake, Lake Louise

4.8
#1 of 1,813 in Things to do in Alberta
Part of a critical habitat for Canada's grizzlies, Moraine Lake offers several hiking trails with inspiring views of the snow-capped Valley of the Ten Peaks. If the area around the glacier-fed lake looks familiar, that's probably because you've seen it on the back of the country's 20 dollar bill. In June the lake reaches its highest level and reflects a distinct blue shade, caused by deposits of fine-grained rock particles. To stay safe in this "bear country," hike in a group and carry plenty of bear spray. Take the guesswork out of planning a Banff National Park vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.
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Moraine Lake Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
5,170 reviews
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4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Everything you say of Moraine falls short. You have to see it. Photos or videos do not reflect the true beauty of the landscape
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  • I was here in Labor Day weekend, so I had to get there an hour earlier to see sunrise It’s so beautiful. The blue turquoise water, the reflections, and the golden peaks of the mountain at golden hour,...  more »
  • Of all the lakes i visited this is by far the best and stunning. if you’re not scared of height there’s a place where you can climb up at your own risk and get the best view of this lake. i tried thou...  more »
Google
  • Moraine Lake is a glacial lake in the Banff area, about 8-miles outside Lake Louise. It is located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at approximately 6,183 feet. These are the pointed mountains across the water. It's smaller than Lake Louise, and the water is clearer; an amazing color of turquoise. We actually liked it better than Lake Louise, mostly because it is less crowded and the shoreline is not dominated by the huge hotel. There was no trouble finding a parking place and we were able to get right down to the water and walk on some fairly easy trails, for a short distance to get some really great views. More advanced hiking is easy to find, based on how much time you wish to spend there. Canoe rentals are available in the summer, and in the winter, there is an opportunity for cross country skiing. The road back to the lake is closed from early fall to late spring. More information on these restrictions is at the Lake Louise Visitor Center. The Moraine Lake Lodge offers both cabins and rooms. I checked on these things, but in the end, but we did not use this facility. Check with the lodge for more information on rentals, hikes, and skiing.
  • We visited on a fairly sunny day. The views were absolutely amazing. The car park is limited and could not visit when we planned due to closure of the road leading to the car park when full. Had to return the following day early in the morning. But it was absolutely worth it. Short rock climb provided even better views of the lake.
  • Didn’t do our research and went in full peak to discover that the access road closes when the car park is full. You can take private shuttles for a price from various places including an overflow car park off the highway but even the overflow car park was full! So we gave up thinking we’d get there early the next day. At 7.15 next morning we arrived ready to get going, the sky was clear, the sun had just risen between the mountains and ... the car park was already full and closed. So on we went to Lake Louise and parking was easy. A shuttle leaves from the Fairmont on the hour, but we decided to go back to the over flow car park as the shuttle there leaves every 15 minutes from 8.00 am. On the way, we discovered the access road to Moraine was open for a few cars. Lucky! Arrived at Moraine and the initial outlook, perhaps given our trials, was completely underwhelming. But we persevered. The walk along the side of the lake was lovely. I took the chance to take my shoes off and walk in and only lasted a few minutes. As the sun’s position changed , so did the appearance of the lake. A spectacular place, with the best vantage point for full effect being from the climb to the viewpoints just south east of the car park.
  • The lake itself is simply beautiful, and you can definitely see why it was featured on 20 CAD bills in the 1960's. Hiked up Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass. Extremely easy hikes with a beautiful view at the bottom and at the top. Went with a party of 30 and all 30 made it to the top with relative ease. Great alternative to the more popular Lake Louise hiking trails, because of the similar difficulty. In my opinion, these trails have a lot more spectacular angles for pictures compared to Lake Louise hiking trails. Would definitely recommend for both beginner and intermediate hikers.
  • Beautiful turquoise color water with many mountains around. Nothing beats this view. Short Rock Pile trail to a beautiful view point. Take 15 min with a bit of climbing. Also 1.5 km trail along the lake. there's a nice coffee shop and gift shot
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