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Moraine Lake in Canada, a scenic drive in Banff.

Moraine Lake Canada
Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is a well-known scenic touristic place in the Banff National Park in Canada. That’s why the road that leads there is just as beautiful as the place itself.

Where is Moraine Lake?

Moraine Lake is a glacially-fed lake located in Banff National Park in the province of Alberta in Canada. It is situated in the Ten Peaks Valley, almost 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the village of Lake Louise, and is at an elevation of approximately 1885 meters (6180 feet) above sea level.

You can situated the road to Moraine Lake on the map bellow:


Enlarge the map

Facts about the spot:

The road is a two lines paved route that is 15 kilometers (9 miles). It starts in Lake Louise Village and goes to a parking lot just in front of Moraine Lake at 1885 meters (6180 feet).

The name of the lake comes from the moraines of the Wenkchemna Glacier. Moraines are debris (for example rocks) deposited during the melting of glaciers.

The landscapes are amazing there and the drive to the lake is very picturesque. In fact, Moraine Lake is one of the most shot spots in Canada.

The lake, filled with ice, reaches its maximum level only in the second half of June. When filled, it reflects a distinct shade of blue. This color comes from the refraction of light on rock dust suspended in water. During that time many tourists come to Moraine Lake in Canada to observe this clear blue water.

Also, Moraine Lake was on the reverse side of the Canadian 20 dollar bills from 1969 to 1979.

How to get to Moraine Lake?

The nearest city is Calgary that is about 200 kilometers (125 miles). Also, the nearest town is Lake Louise Village that is 15 kilometers (9 miles). You should first drive there, by taking the Trans Canadian Highway, officialy named Highway 1 (one the ten longest road in the world) from Vancouver or Calgary to Lake Louise. Then, take Moraine Lake Road until you arrive at a parking lot.

You can situate the itinerary on this map:

Things do to near Moraine Lake:

Moraine Lake is located in the Banff National Park, so you will definitely have many things to do in the area!

The lake is a very famous photography spot because of the deep blue color of the water. There are also many hikes nearby.

There are many hikes if you love hiking. However, before going on a hike, check that there are no restrictions. For example, as you know in Banff National Park you can meet bears, and there can be some protecting bear zones.

Some other activities you can do there: swimming, canyoning or even fishing in the Moraine Lake will be so scenic.

Moraine Lake in winter is also very beautiful, you can access there by cross-country skiing and for example ice skating on the lake!

Moraine Lake in Canada
Moraine Lake in Canada

In order to fully enjoy the Lake, you can find many accommodations near Moraine Lake, for example in Lake Louise. There are plenty of possibilities from a luxury lodge to a classic hotel or a camping.

A video of the journey:

You can have a preview of this 15 kilometers (9 miles) drive by watching this Youtube video:

Is the Moraine Lake road open?

The road from Lake Louise Village to Moraine Lake is closed during the winter. Indeed, there are heavy snowfall and high avalanche risk.

Generally, the road opens at the end of May or early June and closes mid-October.

We suggest you come early in the morning to enjoy sunrise at Moraine Lake that you will surely not forget! Also, the road can be quite busy during the high season and if you want to avoid the crowd you should come as we said early in the morning or avoid the weekends.

If you want to see the famous turquoise glacial water, you should wait until June to come. Indeed, the lake begins to colorate only when the water level is high. Generally, the level peaks in mid or late June as the snow melts.

If you come to Banff National Park, you will definitely come to visit Lake Louise Village and Lake maybe for your accommodation. You should take the time to drive to Moraine Lake as many people report that it is, even more, an amazing spot than Lake Louise!

Picture credit: Terry Ott on Flickr


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