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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.
Give yourself plenty of time at Moraine Lake. Below are some of the top things to do:
Check out our Lake Louise things to do page to discover many more activities in the area.
Situated on a lake, this romantic lodge is steps from Banff National Park and Moraine Lake. Icefields Parkway and Panorama Peak are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Situated on a lake, this spa resort is steps away from Banff National Park and Icefields Parkway. Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Lake Louise Gondola are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated in a national park, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Lake Louise Mountain Resort. Moraine Lake and Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse are also within 9 miles (15 km). Lake Louise Station is 14 minutes by foot.
This family-friendly Lake Louise hotel is located on the riverfront, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Banff National Park, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Lake Louise Gondola and Icefields Parkway. Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse are also within 12 miles (20 km).
Situated in a national park, this hotel is steps away from Banff National Park and Icefields Parkway. Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Lake Louise Gondola are also within 3 miles (5 km). Lake Louise Station is 11 minutes by foot.
Situated in a national park, this lodge is 3.5 mi (5.6 km) from Lake Louise Gondola and 7.9 mi (12.7 km) from Moraine Lake.
Located in a national park, this family-friendly hotel is 4.1 mi (6.7 km) from Lake Louise Mountain Resort and 4.2 mi (6.8 km) from Lake Louise Gondola.
Situated in Castle Junction, this cabin is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Banff National Park and within 9 miles (15 km) of Johnston Canyon and Paint Pots Trailhead. Numa Falls is 11.9 mi (19.2 km) away.