A hiker looks over Moraine Lake and the surrounding mountains
Regarded by many as the most beautiful lake in Canada, Moraine Lake is a must-visit for anyone visiting Alberta or the Canadian Rockies. The deep blue surface of the lake is fed by glacier melt, and it is encircled by towering mountains, an area known as the Valley of the Ten Peaks, that only Mother Nature could shape.
No matter what time of the year you have booked your flights to Canada, there is always something to see at Moraine Lake. In the summer, the glassy water perfectly reflects the surrounding peaks, whilst in the colder months of the year, the lake freezes, and some spectacular photographs can be taken of the scenery.
A common question that people ask before visiting is about the best way to explore Moraine Lake; in this guide, we go through the different ways you can experience this natural phenomenon, but first, we look at where Moraine Lake is located.
Where is Moraine Lake located?
Moraine Lake is located in Banff National Park in Alberta. It is just over eight miles from Lake Louise and is situated in an area known as the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of more than 1,800 metres.
What are the best ways to explore Moraine Lake?
•Book a motorhome
•Plan a tailor-made fly-drive holiday
•Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter
•Shuttle bus from Lake Louise
Book a motorhome
A motorhome gives you the freedom to roam anywhere you want, and Canada is geared up for it, with its choice of campsites, wide roads, and stunning scenery that can be seen from your vehicle.
That’s why one of the best ways to explore Moraine Lake is via a motorhome. You have to stay at a designated campsite, but thankfully, there are plenty of campsites that are within driving distance of Moraine Lake. With our Canada motorhome holidays, our experts will be able to plan your trip and share their knowledge about the best campsites to stay at if you want to visit the lake.
On a motorhome holiday, you can not only explore everything Moraine Lake has to offer, but as it is located within the Canadian Rockies, you can also drive and discover the snow-capped peaks, epic walking trails, and glacial waters that this area is famed for.
ALSO READ: Exploring the Canadian Rockies by Motorhome
Visiting Moraine Lake is often an experience that you will not forget in a while, and one of the best ways to experience the famous turquoise lake and its beautiful mountains is to go hiking.
There are so many different Moraine Lake walks on offer, and these range from flat routes to trails that summit mountains.
Drew and Brittany, the writers behind Mr and Mrs Adventure, hiked from Moraine Lake to the summit of Temple Mountain:
“Starting at the mesmerizingly turquoise Moraine Lake, which was somehow even more vibrant than Lake Louise, we took the 3.6-mile trail heading up to Sentinel Pass.
“It was about 1.5 hours before we reached Larch Valley and the switchbacks that would take us up to the breathtaking view atop Sentinel Pass.”
Drew and Brittany said the rest of the trail to the summit of Temple Mountain was hard work, but the accomplishment of getting to the top outweighed the hard work to get there.
“We both agreed, the views and feelings of accomplishment and relief were beyond words.”
Other popular hiking routes in Moraine Lake:
•Moraine Lake Shore Trail – This is an easy trail to follow, which is just under three kilometres long. The trail starts at the canoe docks and takes you along the shore of the lake, so expect some stunning water-level views of Moraine.
•Eiffel Lake Trail – Along this trail, which normally takes around three to four hours, you will witness amazing views of the Valley of Ten Peaks as you climb to two mesmerising glacial lakes on the Continental Divide. The trail from Moraine Lake is easy to follow up to the fork for Eiffel Lake or Sentinel Pass.
•Consolation Lakes Trail – This hiking trail is another popular one that you can enjoy from Moraine Lake. This hike passes through old-growth forests, alpine fields, and wetlands, and you can enjoy some amazing views of Moraine Lake and the Consolation Lakes.
ALSO READ: 15 most picturesque lakes in Canada
Plan a tailor-made fly-drive holiday
A fly-drive holiday in Canada is a popular choice of holiday, and we’d recommend considering it if you want to explore Moraine Lake and the surrounding area. With a tailor-made fly-drive holiday, you get return flights from the UK, a hire car for the length of your trip, and hotels will be booked each night of your stay.
By tailor-making your fly-drive holiday, you get the flexibility of choosing exactly where you want to stay, and our experts can help plan your itinerary to take in the sights you’re desperate to see.
On a fly-drive holiday, you could fly into Vancouver and then plan to travel to the Canadian Rockies and see all the attractions you have been desperate to see, such as Moraine Lake, Banff, and Lake Louise.
The great thing about a fly-drive Canada holiday is that you can stay a little longer in the places that steal your heart, with the option to enjoy fantastic excursions. Ask our Canadas experts to see what excursions are available.
Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the winter
Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Banff National Park are hugely popular activities. These easy-to-learn sports are great for all ages, fitness levels, and skill sets.
One of the reasons why snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular activities is down to all the great trails you can follow and the incredible views that are on offer.
It is possible to snowshoe or cross-country ski to Moraine Lake from Lake Louise, but it is a long haul, over 10km one way. You should only visit the lake as part of a tour or with an experienced guide, as some sections can be difficult to navigate.
Moraine Lake Road, which is close to Moraine Lake, is an accessible cross-country ski trail, and it is regarded for boasting the best conditions in Banff National Park. There are some spectacular views that you can enjoy from the route, including Mount Temple.
Renting a canoe and paddling around the beautiful blue water of Moraine Lake is another great way to explore Moraine Lake.
The canoe rentals at Moraine Lake are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so if you arrive late in the day, you may not be able to rent one as it is a very popular activity.
Cameron and Natasha, who run the travel blog The Banff Blog, have been before and highly recommend hiring a Moraine Lake canoe:
“A quintessential experience in the Rockies is to enjoy a Moraine Lake canoe. A paddle across Moraine Lake is an experience that we cannot recommend enough. Only a few are fortunate enough to make it to this lake in the Canadian Rockies, and even less dip a paddle in its waters.
“There is likely no lake in the world more beautiful to canoe on than Moraine Lake.”
You can hire a canoe from June to September (9 am to 5 pm), and the prices generally start from $120 CAD plus tax. Each canoe can accommodate two to three people, and you will also get paddles, life jackets and basic instructions.
ALSO READ: The most picturesque locations in Canada
Shuttle bus from Lake Louise
Another way you can explore Moraine Lake and the surrounding area is via a shuttle bus, and there are plenty of different services on offer.
The shuttle bus service from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake is closed in the winter and opens in the spring, but it has been announced that Moraine Lake Road is going to be closed to personal vehicles year-round. This means that Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and commercial buses are only permitted to use the road from June to mid-October. There are exceptions for visitors with valid parking placards and for people with disabilities.
Hopefully, this guide will give you some ideas about the best ways to explore Moraine Lake. If you want to visit Moraine Lake, speak to one of our Canada experts, and they will be able to help create a tailor-made holiday of all the different places and attractions that you want to visit.
For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our blog.