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The Real Banff / Published: Mon, 06/20/2022 - 15:59

Moraine Lake Travel Guide Banff National Park

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Moraine Lake's reputation as a world-class natural wonder makes sense when you're standing at the lakeshore, gazing out at brilliant blue waters and reflections of surrounding peaks. What makes this place even more special is that it can only be accessed for a short time each year (June to early October)—so make the most of every moment here by planning your day in advance.

Before you decide how to spend the day exploring Moraine Lake, it's essential to work out how you'll be getting there first. Parking at the lakeshore is limited; it typically fills up before sunrise and empties around sunset. If you are arriving in your vehicle, weekday mornings or evenings present a better chance of securing a parking spot.

For a smooth alternative, reserve your seat on a shuttle bus. Parks Canada shuttles, as well as the WowBanff Sightseeing shuttle, depart regularly from the Lake Louise Summer Gondola parking lot, while Mountain Park Transportation offers a variety of pick-up locations (including the town of Banff). Book online, and you'll be guaranteed access to jaw-dropping views.

If you're keen to include more of Banff's sights in your day, consider joining a sightseeing tour. You'll be spoiled for choice of tour operators who offer unique routes to Moraine Lake with stops such as Johnston Canyon and Lake Louise. Plus, you'll discover fascinating local knowledge from a friendly tour guide along the way!

Remember to pack essentials like bear spray and snacks before heading to the lake since stores are limited when you arrive. Banff is home to various stores and cafes, while the Samson Mall in Lake Louise is the perfect place to pick up ready-made lunches and grocery items closer to the lakeshore.

It's hard to believe that the scenery gets better than standing at the lakeshore or top of the Rockpile viewpoint, but the real magic happens when you venture to the back of the lake and beyond. 

A photo of a clear lake reflecting the trees, snow-capped mountains, and rock formations surrounding it
Consolation Lakes

Consolation Lakes is the perfect trail to immerse yourself in awe-striking scenery without putting in too much effort. Be aware of potential trail restrictions due to bear activity - at certain times of the year, you will be required to hike in groups of 4 or more to see this beautiful lake. If you're up for a challenge, enjoy a full day of hiking with a variety of trails that continue from Larch Valley. You can admire mountain reflections on Minnestimma Lakes, peer into Paradise Valley from the top of Sentinel Pass, and more.

Mountains are reflected in a clear blue lake along a stunning hiking trail
Jake Dyson

Tip: Visit during fall for a unique chance to see larch trees decorate the trails in stunning golden hues. Roam Transit's exclusive fall service is a great way to access Moraine Lake during this popular hiking season. 

A guided hike could be the perfect addition to your itinerary for those just beginning their love for hiking or simply looking to get the most out of the trails. White Mountain Adventures and Great Divide Nature Interpretation offer daily private hikes for all levels of adventurers. 

However you choose to hike in this spectacular area, do your part to preserve its precious landscape by keeping on marked pathways.

A family explores next to a lakeshore as they look through stationary binoculars
Damian Blunt

There are countless ways to make the most of your mountain summer at Moraine Lake. Plan your day ahead of time to enjoy a seamless experience and soak up every moment discovering its breathtaking beauty.

Ready to make the most of your visit to Moraine Lake? Use our Trip Planner to help you create the perfect itinerary for your getaway!

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