One of the most stunning settings in the Canadian Rockies is Lake Moraine, a well-liked spot for hiking, kayaking, and photography.
Lake Moraine is a glacier-fed lake, found in Canada’s Alberta province’s Banff National Park. It is renowned for both the beautiful vista of the surrounding mountains and its magnificent turquoise-blue waters.
At a height of 6,183 feet above sea level, the lake is encircled by the Valley of the Ten Peaks.
Canoeing around the lake’s coastline for a closer look at the surrounding peaks is an option for visitors, as is simply taking in the scenery from the lookout point close by.
1. About Lake Moraine
Moraine Lake is one of the biggest attractions for tourists visiting Lake Louise because it is only 14 kilometres from the village. When it is possible in the summer, you can travel there by car along Moraine Lake Road, or you could trek or bike there instead.
Though visiting such a well-known location doesn’t come without its difficulties, it’s crucial that you carefully plan and get ready before you arrive.
You must first establish a strategy for reaching the lake. Parking is a headache, and finding a site later than 6 am is unlikely. In addition, the entrance road is really not always accessible.
2. Best Time to Visit Lake Moraine
Because you won’t be able to view the vivid blue water colour while the lake is frozen as well as encased in snow, the greatest time of year to see Lake Moraine is when it starts melting.
In light of this, you should not plan to go before the middle of June. The lake often begins to have frozen areas around October. This fluctuates every year and is totally reliant on the weather.
The sunrise is undoubtedly the most picturesque time of the day to explore Moraine Lake. Additionally, your chances of having clear skies are most early in the morning. The impact of clouds on your view of the mountains can be significant.
3. Amazing Things to Do at Lake Moraine
A number of the best walks Banff National Park has to offer leave from Lake Moraine. The most cost-effective activity in the Canadian Rockies is hiking, which is available for free in the Lake Moraine region.
3.1.1 Rockpile Trail
Because Moraine Lake has depicted on the opposite side of 1969 as well as 1979 editions of the Canadian 20 dollar bill, that vista of the mountains in Valley of the Ten Peaks is renowned as the Twenty Dollar View.
One of the most frequently captured scenes in the entire of Canada is the panorama of lake moraine from the summit of the rock pile.
The Rockpile Trail, which runs along lake moraine, is the route that tourists take the most frequently. The trail is roughly 300 meters long and gains 24 meters in elevation.
The Rockpile is, as its name implies, a sizable collection of rocks. However, this mass of rocks has indeed been transformed into the best vantage point for seeing Moraine Lake, thus every visitor should climb to the summit to take in the sight.
Take the route next to the restrooms in the parking area to get to the Rockpile. Take this path and cross the little wooden bridge.
After crossing the bridge, continue climbing the route and bear right, this trail will take you to the Rockpile, where there are numerous little vantage spots for viewing the lake.
You should not be concerned about getting stuck because the trail is well-marked. Because of the high degree of visitors, the area frequently encounters jams.
3.1.2 Consolation Lakes Trail
The Consolation Lakes trail, which begins at the same rockpile trailhead and is about three kilometres long with a 90-meter elevation change, begins nearby.
The 2.9-km one-way walk leads to two stunning alpine lakes with breathtaking mountain views, distant from the throng of Moraine Lake. The whole family can enjoy the reasonably level, simple trail.
Hikers can continue on to the upper lake after arriving at Consolation Lakes, which isn’t viewable from the edge of the bottom lake. However, there isn’t a definite track, and traversing significant rocky portions frequently requires scrambling.
The Lake Moraine parking lot’s restrooms are where the trailhead is located. Simply continue on the route until you reach the little wooden bridge, then turn left when you see a bear caution sign.
3.1.3 Larch Valley Trail
The Larch Valley Trail in Banff National Park is among the most breathtaking walks you can take in the fall. With the legendary Ten Peaks serving as an epic background, the complete valley transforms into a sea of yellow Larch trees.
The Larch Valley Trail, meanwhile, is also a beautiful trail close to Lake Louise in the summer, which several people are unaware of. During this season, the valley’s wildflowers bloom.
The Larch Valley Trail begins at the Moraine Lake parking area and continues the Lakeshore Trail until it comes to a sign directing you to turn left for the track.
When you reach this path, the trail rapidly starts to ascend through a series of switchbacks, rising well above the valley.
The first ascent, which adds elevation by about 450 meters, is not easy. However, the trail compresses out till the end allowing you to eventually take in the scenery as you arrive at the valley. The track gains 535 meters of elevation in total.
The 8.6-kilometre out and return trip are completed in approximately 4 hours. You can even go on to Sentinel Pass if you are ready for it.
You can see Paradise Valley on the opposite side as well as the Larch Valley from the pass, which may be reached by hiking. The additional 1.5 km (0.93 mi) round trip climb to Sentinel pass requires approximately 1.5 hours.
3.1.4 Sentinel Pass
Sentinel Pass, which offers even more breathtaking panoramas of the Valley of the Ten Peaks, is an option if you still possess the stamina after reaching Larch Valley.
You must bring your hiking sticks because the Sentinel Pass trail is 5.8 km and gains 725 meters of height in one direction.
Although the hike to Sentinel Pass can be challenging, it is well worth it. The vistas are really that impressive from the summit.
Sentinel Pass, one of the most picturesque climbs in Banff National Park, is a well-liked destination for both day hikes and overnight backpacking excursions.
3.1.5 Eiffel Lake Trail
Near the Larch Valley is an isolated alpine lake called Eiffel Lake. The Larch Valley Trek really serves as the starting point of the path to the Eiffel, but after 10 switchbacks, you come to a crossroads where one path leads to Eiffel Lake.
The Valley of the Ten Peaks, where the Eiffel Lake Trail extends, is surrounded by a breathtaking landscape.
In some places, especially on sunny days, you really can look down at Lake Moraine as well as watch her glow bright. Even though Eiffel Lake is a modest lake, the surrounding scenery is what makes a trip there so worthwhile.
It takes approximately 4 hours to hike the 12-kilometre out-and-back route to Eiffel Lake from Lake Moraine.
Despite the moderate difficulty of the trek, hikers with previous hiking expertise could combine Eiffel Lake as well as Larch Valley into one extended hike. It could take about 7 hours to complete.
3.1.6 Tower of Babel
It is famous to see people climbing the Tower of Babel. The track is well-known for its expansive mountain views and is a must-do for any novice scrambler.
The track is just 2.9 kilometres long, but it climbs 518 meters over quite a difficult terrain. The vistas of Moraine Lake as well as the Valley of the Ten Peaks are breathtaking once you’ve ascended to the top.
You’ll comprehend why so many individuals trek to the Tower of Babel rapidly.
3.1.7 Moraine Lake Shoreline Trail
Even if you’re pressed for time, you must take a stroll along the edge of Lake Moraine. You are not required to walk all the way to the finish, but when you are at a special place, we believe you should walk at least a few hundred meters.
The trail is simple to find and navigate. Starting at Moraine Lake Lodge, the walk travels for roughly 1.5 kilometres along the shore of Lake Moraine.
When you get to the end, you have to go back to the way you came. The trail and the scenic vistas can be walked in about an hour.
Families, those who do not identify themselves as trekkers, and even people using strong strollers can all benefit from using the Lakeshore Trail. The path is very straightforward because it is flat and quite well-kept.
A wooden platform beside the brook that nourishes the lake as well as contributes to its distinctive colour marks the trail’s conclusion.
Canoeing is among the most famous activities available at Lake Moraine, and it’s famous throughout Canada as well. Therefore, Lake Moraine is the ideal location to canoe if you’ve ever wished to do so.
You will undoubtedly be able to enjoy the magnificence of the Canadian wilderness much better when kayaking on Moraine Lake and mountain ranges on every side. To Lake Moraine, you are allowed to carry your personal kayak or canoe.
Also, the Moraine Lake Lodge offers canoe rentals. The canoes are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you’re travelling in a team, the canoes can accommodate a maximum of three people, making this an affordable adventure in Banff National Park.
Given the stability of the canoes, even individuals with little or no expertise can try them out since rentals come with life jackets.
3.3 Enjoy at Moraine Lake Lodge
The lone hotel near Lake Moraine is Moraine Lake Lodge. Even though the exterior of the hotel’s rooms may seem a touch old, inside you will discover newly restored, luxurious accommodations. Although pricey, rent is totally worth it.
In addition to being so near to the breathtaking scenery, resting at the hotel eliminates the need to fight for parking while visiting Lake Moraine by shuttle or bus. Right from your room, you can watch the sunrise at Lake Moraine.
4. Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Moraine Lake
i) Even in the summer, the region around Moraine Lake can get extremely cold, so even if you just intend to walk a few hundred meters to reach the observation deck, you must dress appropriately.
ii) The region around Lake Moraine can get chilly, so bring a raincoat and think about donning hiking pants. A quality winter coat will also keep you cozy in the mornings.
Although if you do not even wish to hike, it is always a good idea to carry a folding umbrella and raincoat with you. Having gloves as well as a cap will help you stay cozy during the cooler months.
For the short stroll along the lake, hiking boots are not necessary, but if you plan to go on longer adventures, we highly advise wearing boots.
iii) It is also advisable to bring bear spray despite the fact that trails around Moraine Lake are extensively visited.
The two most common paths, Moraine Lake Shoreline Trail and Rockpile Trail, do not frequently have bear sightings, but after you enter the forest, bear sightings are more frequent, therefore you need to be extra vigilant.
Look for the latest information at all times since most of the paths may even be blocked around berry season.
It is advised to journey in groups, with the exception of having bear spray.
iii) Lake Moraine does not charge an admission fee, but you must still buy a season or annual permit to visit the Banff National Park.
Anyone visiting Banff National Park should be sure to stop at Moraine Lake. It is one of the most attractive locations in the Canadian Rockies thanks to its azure waters and breathtaking mountain views.
Moraine Lake has something to offer everyone, regardless of whether you’re an experienced hiker or just want to take in the natural beauty of the region.
Hikers can explore the nearby trails, canoe on the lake, or just enjoy the view from the viewing point. Moraine Lake is a stunning sight that shouldn’t be missed because of the wide variety of leisure options it offers.