Moraine Lake road, a scenic drive in Banff

Moraine Lake Canada
Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is a popular tourist destination in Canada’s Banff National Park. The road leading to the lake is as beautiful as the destination itself, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Where is Moraine Lake?

Moraine Lake is a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. It is nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Lake Louise and at an elevation of about 1885 meters (6180 feet) above sea level. The lake is famous for its stunning blue color and is surrounded by the Valley of the Ten Peaks, making for a breathtaking sight.

You can locate the road to Moraine Lake on the map below:

Enlarge the map

Facts about the road to Moraine Lake :

The road is a two lanes paved road that is 15 kilometers (9 miles). It starts in Lake Louise Village and goes to a parking lot just in front of the lake at 1885 meters (6180 feet) above sea level.

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 journey there is breathtaking, and the drive there is particularly beautiful. In fact, Moraine Lake, known for its breathtaking beauty, is one of the most photographed places in Canada.

Moraine Lake reaches its highest water level and is completely filled with glacial melt in the latter half of June. The light refraction on the rock flour suspended in the water is what gives the lake a stunning, distinctive shade of blue. Tourists frequently travel at this time to see the lake’s stunning blue shade.

Also, the lake used to be 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 which is about 200 kilometers (125 miles). Also, the nearest town is Lake Louise Village which is 15 kilometers (9 miles). You should first drive there, by taking the Trans Canadian Highway, officially named Highway 1 (one of the ten longest roads 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:

What to do near Moraine Lake?

Moraine Lake is located in 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.

If you enjoy hiking, there is a variety of hiking trails to choose from. 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 protective bear zones.

Other activities besides hiking are possible, including swimming, canyoning, and even fishing in the lake. Each of these activities offers a unique and scenic experience.

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 Moraine Lake Road open?

The road connecting Lake Louise Village to the lake closes during the winter months due to weather conditions. The road typically opens towards the end of May or the beginning of June and closes by mid-October. It’s important to plan your trip accordingly and check the road conditions before heading out.

We suggest you come early in the morning to enjoy the sunrise at Moraine Lake 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.

Another incredible road to explore in Canada is the Sea to Sky Highway or the Icefields Parkway.

If you want to see the famous turquoise glacial water, you should wait until June to come. Indeed, the lake begins to have its iconic color 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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