Moraine Lake
About
Known for its views of the Ten Peaks, this glacial lake is a stunning sight within Banff National Park. The hiking trails around the lake offer varying levels of difficulty, but the Rockpile Trail offers some of the best views. If you want to fully immerse yourself in the area, stay at the lakeside hotel and take an early morning canoe ride. The infrastructure here is basic, but that only adds to the natural beauty. Plan your visit from mid to late June to catch the incredible reflection of the mountains in the lake. – Tripadvisor
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • BackPacker569434
    Newry, United Kingdom45 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Opening on 1 June 23
    If you get a chance pay a visit to this beautiful lake. The road was closed but we could cycle in. It is 14km in but well worth the cycle . Get an e-bike for this cycle if you have not been on a bike in years. We hired it from Wilson’s in lake louise excellent service. The aqua blue water with snow in the background makes it so magical.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written May 31, 2023
  • G Mckay
    Sydney, Australia37 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful
    Morraine lake is only accessible via shuttles or buses. We visited in the afternoon and yes it is very stunning. The color of the water is just beautiful and the views amazing. However it is very crowded with tourists which kind of takes away the beauty of it somewhat, but still worth the visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 16, 2023
  • John S
    Altoona, Pennsylvania273 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The true gem
    This lake is the true gem of the lakes of Banff. Get there early, the crowds are smaller and the lake is beautiful. We climbed the rock pile and were able to get amazing pictures. We took the shuttle system to get there and had no problems. Advise: go early.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 16, 2023
  • coolmammaa
    1,496 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    You need a bus reservation!
    You need a bus reservation to go!! You don’t need to spend a lot of money, make sure you use the government website! Only $11CAD It’s going to be tough to beat lake Moraine and Lake Louise. What an amazing place! Surreal I have no words to describe this experience! The trails were amazing
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 4, 2023
  • cypins
    Louisiana265 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazingly Beautiful!
    I thought that Lake Louise was beautiful but Moraine Lake has it beat in the beauty department. This was the most blue clear water I have ever seen. We rented a canoe and paddled across the lake and the feeling as surreal. WOW! This is a bucket list vision that needs to be seen. DO IT!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 11, 2023
  • nodrama1
    Darien, Connecticut384 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great views from the Rockpile and get ready for some steep hikes if desired.
    A great day trip from Lake Louise. Impressive scenery but get ready for some steep hiking. We did the Eiffel hike and the uphill is a slog. 3.5 miles and 1,200 ft elevation gain going up. The views of Lake Moraine from the Rockpile are impressive. The Rockpile is just 0.5 miles from the Moraine lodge. Don't miss the Rockpile for some great photos with incredible background scenery.
    Visited June 2023
    Written July 11, 2023
  • Paul J
    Bishops Stortford, United Kingdom327 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wow
    This is such a beautiful place. It was a bit crowed but so much less than Louise. We took a boat out onto the water for an hour and it was so serene, it’s a lot of money but I’d highly recommend it. The views from the rock pile are beautiful and it’s well worth going up the small number of steps to take it all in.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 11, 2023
  • James G
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Most Beautiful Lake in the World
    It’s hard to explain the first thoughts that come to mind when you see this amazing view. The water is mesmerizing. We took the tour bus with Pursuit to Moraine and have a new goal of coming back to stay at the lodge….someday. The road is closed to private vehicles, so do your research on tours, shuttles, and transportation.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 11, 2023
  • TennisStar602
    New Jersey659 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Moraine Lake is definitely the cover photo of Banff National Park.
    I was so hyped to see Moraine Lake. The color of the lake, the snowy mountains in the distance, and the huge trees surrounding the lake were breathtaking. I had to make a reservation well in advance to take a bus to this attraction. I could not just drive to this area due to its congestion. There was a hotel on the premises. I probably walked about one (1) mile into the woods from one (1) side of the lake to the other side of the lake, and then I turned around to reach the long queue for the bus to Lake Louise. It was a ride of about thirty (30) minutes to get to Moraine Lake from the Park & Ride. The pictures that I took at this lake were phenomenal. Some people were even paddling canoes within the lake. I would just warn people that while this lake was beautiful, the water temperature was freezing. I would encourage individuals to wear sturdy shoes and warm clothing.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 13, 2023
  • Trip P
    Kamloops, Canada18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jaw Dropping!
    Jaw dropping scenery! You will be in awe no matter which direction you turn your eyes! Incredible! We wanted to rent a canoe but at $140/hour it was too steep. It seems like our National Park’s sales team does not want it accessible to all. But that’s the ONLY negative. Easily 5 stars! One of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen! Must go. Must do. Must see!
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 14, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles6,009 reviews
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775
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Deborah W
Edmonton, Canada95 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
How is it that I’ve been to Lake Louise countless times in the last few years and have never gone to visit Moraine Lake? I should’ve done it long ago.

Although getting up to the lake has become a little more complicated due to the high volumes of visitors (ie you need to book a bus shuttle through Parks Canada and park along Hwy 1), riding up in a coach bus allows previous drivers to enjoy the majestic views.

To celebrate my 50th birthday my husband and I made a quick decision to hike from Moraine Lake to Larch Valley (a 1 1/2 hour hike up). After admiring the larch trees in their full fall glory as well as the meadow at the foot of the Sentinel Pass hike, we headed half way back down (enjoying a hidden gentle waterfall that we heard along the trail) to the trail head for the Eiffel lake hike. This was our favourite part of the day as we hiked on a root and rocky trail but within minutes saw the famous Valley of the 10 Peaks. Another hour found us overlooking Eiffel Lake created from a rock slide years earlier. Cool rock ledges and shale trails make this hike unique and grand.

After roughly 5 1/2 hours in total we came back where we had started beside Moraine Lake, unbelievably, naturally, turquoise blue! It almost looks like it’s photoshopped especially from above.

Highly recommend these hikes but take some poles along if you have them and make sure to dress for the mountains. You never know what might come…we saw the odd snowflake and the wind can pick up pretty quick.
Written October 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John B
Edmonton, Canada180 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
The negative is Parking:Either go very early ( 5-5:30 a.m) . to get a parking spot or alternatively go later in the evening just before dusk when you can get a parking spot.If not , you will have to get a shuttle which run frequently. The positives. The lake and surrounding mountains are easily the top1-2 place to visit in the Rockies. If you are fortunate to be here when no international tourists are in Canada, you can truly appreciate the beauty of this lake without being run over by hordes of tourists. Go up to the rock pile for best views. If at lakeside, consider renting a canoe and going out on there lake for a different, but special, perspective. This is a lake/place that you will remember forever.
Written July 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Moscato-Mama
Airdrie, Canada3,494 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
We must have got lucky, arrived on the Friday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend 2020 and had no trouble finding parking. It was an overcast day and lightly raining off and on and that probably was a factor in it not being overly busy. They did have the road that you need to turn on to blocked off so that you couldn't turn left, you had to go up the road to Fairmont Château Lake Louise and then turn around. Same with coming out, you couldn't turn left if you wanted to, you had to go down the hill and turn around if you wanted to get to the hotel. It is approx. a 20 minute drive from the time you make the turn off and the road is quite windy.

It is a small hike up stairs made of rock to get to the higher up viewing points which gives you the best advantage point to take photo's and see the stunning color of blue. Even on a gloomy day there were popular spots where people lined up to take photo's congesting the area, I can only imagine how it would be on a nice sunny day.

We also went down along side the lake but didn't go too far. Lots of nice driftwood there.

There is a lodge and restaurant here but we didn't go near either of them. Apparently you can rent canoe's but I am not sure if it was already closed for the year.

There are outhouses in the parking lot. I had no service on my cell phone, my daughter said hers was coming in and out but very weak so maybe depends on type of phone but I think it is safe to say don't rely on it working here.

Would love to come back at a warmer time of year and kayak on the lake and see it when the sun is shining.
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lori015
London, Canada11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Couples
On Sept 8 we arrived at the Moraine Lake parking lot at 0635 and it was already full. Apparently the people who turn on the road signs indicating this don’t start til 0800, so us and a long line of cars had to turn around and go back to the shuttle area. We immediately book the shuttle on our phone. The 06-07 and 07-08 time slots were full so we booked for 08-09 however the bus at 07 was virtually empty so we were able to get on . The shuttle is actually a really good option because you can also then take it over to Lake Louise and not worry about parking.
And the portable tool I lets at Moraine Lake were out of toilet paper at 0730 and again at 1230 so bring your own!
Written September 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DutchMachine
Calgary, Canada535 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
This review is in regards to the parking situation as clearly the lake is nice.

For starters, the parking attendants that are near the entrance of the road are beyond rude.

The whole system of parking is a massive gongshow. They say to come there before sunrise or the lot is full. What a joke, unless the people filling the spots are day hikers that aren't near the lake this lot shouldn't be full the entire day.

However, they want you to take a shuttle @ $8 per adult to go to the top which needs to be booked well in advance. When you pay for parkpass to enjoy the mountains to have this cash grab is a joke.

The worst thing was there was 4 vehicles leaving the road, and the attendants wouldn't let anyone go up when clearly people were leaving.

It appears Moraine Lake has become so popular they've decided to make it a cash grab for tourists.

Spend your money else where and skip Lake Louise/Moraine Lake until they improve this absolute ridiculous system that's on the go there right now.
Written August 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Belinda
10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Couples
Beautiful lake and surrounding mountains, looks exactly like every desktop wallpaper background of it that you’ve ever seen before.

There are 2 ways to get here- drive yourself or use the Park and Ride shuttle. If you plan on driving in the busy summer months, you should aim to arrive there by 6 am at the absolute latest before the parking lot fills up. The drive to the lake from the main road is around 20 minutes. Another option is to go later in the day once people start leaving, which is around 7 pm.

The shuttle costs $8 per person. There is a kiosk that sells tickets for the day of, but they sell out very quickly. Your best bet is to go online to their website and book tickets at least a few days in advance. There are shuttles to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise that you can buy. No need to buy one for each- there are connecting shuttles between the two lakes that run every 20 minutes until 6 pm daily. If you do take the shuttle there, the last one that returns is at 7:30 pm. I wish I had known all of that in advance!

When you do get to the lake, make sure to go up the rock piles- that is where you will get the best views.

There’s also a gift shop but their merchandise is honestly very bland and overpriced. I was disappointed and did not buy anything.
Written July 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nyc3kids123
New York City, NY136 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023
This lodge is in a stunning location on Lake Moraine, which we found to be the prettiest lake we visited during our trip to the Canadian Rockies. We stayed in cabins, which had fireplaces stocked with everything we needed to make fires. The cabins are lovely and very comfortable, and have small balconies and seating areas. They also have partial views of the lake and mountains. If you are in the front row of cabins, the day visitors (there are many), can see into your cabin but you may have a better view since there is no cabin in front of you.
If you don't stay at the lodge, the only way to get to Lake Moraine is by reserved shuttle or bus. Private cars are not allowed on the road to the lake (unless you are staying at the lodge).
We went on a group hike with an excellent guide (Elliot), and paddled canoes on the lake, both of which were complimentary to guests. Breakfast and a very simple lunch (sandwiches) are also included.
This is an expensive lodge but we loved the location on the lake, the lovely hikes from the lodge and the great accommodations. It's very convenient to be able to see the sunrise over the lake and mountains without having to wake up earlier to take a shuttle or bus.
We were only able to stay two nights, but if you book early enough, you can stay longer and visit lake Louise while staying at Lake Moraine -- you would have to reserve a shuttle to get to Lake Louise unless you have a car and can get to the Lake Louise Parking before it fills up. (parking opens at 7 am and is full by 8 or so during the high season.) There are numerous day visitors but early in the morning and later in the day, it is more quiet. Also, if you take a longer hike such as the Larch hike, there are fewer people. Many day visitors just walk around the lake. Fewer tourists visit Lake Moraine than Lake Louise.
The lodge has a cafe for snacks and drinks, but the lines are quite long throughout the day due to the influx of day visitors, and it closes at 4.
Written August 24, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott G
Los Angeles, CA525 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Lake Moraine lived up to all its hype, it's as beautiful as all the pictures of it. To get the iconic shot take the Rockpile hike which starts right from the parking lot, and goes uphill a bit both on a path and stairs. It takes ten minutes or so to get to the viewpoint, which is a bit undefined, it's just a wide open area facing the lake on top of the rock pile.

My son and I are late risers so we decided NOT to get up at 4AM! Instead I was able to book the Lake Moraine shuttle (the Canada parks system runs the shuttle) which leaves from the Lake Louise Ski Resort parking lot. I was able to book us for a 1:30PM shuttle straight to Lake Moraine only on a Saturday mid July, and I booked it that same day at about 9AM. Unlike Lake Louise, I didn't want to try and get parking for Moraine, since the lot is way smaller. I did get parking at Lake Louise the day before but didn't want to waste any time at Moraine, so I booked the shuttle. Before we got on the shuttle we saw a mama grizzly and her baby in the distance on the grassy ski slopes of Lake Louise Ski Resort, so be sure to scan the slopes before you get on the bus, that was an awesome bonus! The shuttle takes about 25 minutes to get to Lake Moraine.

The lake itself? Beautiful. We did the short Rockpile Hike and then the Lake Shore trail which goes around the edge of the lake to the other side, probably took twenty minutes or so one way. The Lake Shore trail ends at a wooden viewing platform on the other side of the lake, then you walk back the same way you came. Beautiful views abound.

We saw Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and Peyto Lake on our trip, and I can honestly say they are all different and it's really worth it to see them all. Louise is huge and glowing milky blue and has the most activities, and it's fun walking to the end of it where the glacial silt goes into the water. Moraine seemed a bit smaller to me and is equally bright and beautiful, but more green. And Peyto seemed a bit smaller than the other two from above, but amazingly bright in both sun or shade and somewhere between the color of Louise and Moraine I thought. The view you get of it is perfectly composed, like a painting, with amazing mountains all around which fade into the distance in the background. Peyto is also a lot less crowded and an easy hike to the one main observation point.

Glacial lakes rule, the world sure can be a beautiful place!
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brent B
Magrath, Canada36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
I absolutely love Moraine Lake, whenever we go up to Banff we make sure we go here as it is one of our all time favourite places to see. The color of the lake is breath taking and with the mountain back drop a photographer paradise. For sure if you have never been here and are in the area take the time to go. Only hard thing is getting in to it as can be difficult place to get into as they limit how many vehicles are up there at the same time.
Written August 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

buttercup1211
Winnipeg, Canada1,758 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020 • Couples
We came here three times in our last visit to the Rockies and had no problems parking each time. First time was around 4pm and most of the crowd are gone. The second time we were there by 6am and there were still enough spots but by the time we left at 8am it was full (considering it was a weekday middle of September)! Our third and final time was at around 9pm to stargaze (it was pitch dark, and if you are brave enough, it’s totally worth the drive!)

The lake at sunrise is still and the perfect blue colour. Seeing the sun rise over the lake and the mountains was worth getting up super early for. Just make sure you bundle up and bring flashlights if you’re clambering up the Rockpile in the dark. For stargazing, we got there too late and didn’t have enough time to get to the Rockpiles but the view of the stars beside the lake was gorgeous.

The drive up Moraine Lake Road was also very scenic. We even saw a black bear on our early morning ride! Super happy we got a hotel nearby and stayed a few days in this area.
Written October 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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