Picture-postcard perfect – “The Valley of the Ten Peaks” is home to this startlingly blue lake framed by white-topped mountains.
The area around Moraine Lake is so picturesque, it demands to be photographed! Allow plenty of time to absorb the majesty of the place, and make sure to take plenty of pictures. With rugged snowy pinnacles in the distance and pure mountain water surrounded by local larch trees, this is an excellent place for hiking, and there are also canoes available for rent. However, its situation high in the Rocky Mountains means that Moraine Lake is only accessible from June to September, as the road is blocked by snow for the rest of the year.
Made famous by its portrayal on a former banknote, the “Twenty Dollar View” is one of the most photographed in Canada. The aquamarine lake is encircled by ten mountains and gets its lush colour from the minerals washed down from these mountains. Among those is Mount Temple – at 3,540 metres, it is the third highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
When you reach the car park, climb 300 metres up a stony hill to avail of a wonderful panorama from the vantage point at the top. The incredible colours are most vivid in the middle of the day – but this is also when the area is busiest and parking most difficult to find. A mid-morning arrival is recommended, along with a stay of a few hours, allowing you to appreciate the changing colours of the lake and the reflection of its surroundings on the surface of the water.
Tramping is an excellent option here, but it is important to be very careful as bears live in the area and it can be dangerous. Contact Parks Canada for an update before you leave on your walk, and always hike in groups of four or more people.
Moraine Lake is 14 kilometres from Lake Louise, and one hour west of Banff.