The Comprehensive Traveler's Guide to Moraine Lake: Canada's Gem

Moraine Lake is a blue-green water mountain lake at an elevation of 1.885m (6,183ft) above the sea level, located in Alberta, near the British Columbia border, in Canada. It's one of the highest roads of the country.

Moraine Lake

Can you drive to Moraine Lake?

Located in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies and ringed by high peaks, the road to the lake is totally paved. It’s called Lake Louise Drive. As of 2023, personal vehicle access to Moraine Lake is no longer permitted. The only way to access the lake is via shuttles, public transit and commercial operators allowed. Visitors can also bike the road.

Is Moraine Lake worth it?

Situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, the views are stunning and the drive is extremely scenic. The lake is one of the most photographed spots in Canada. It’s a key area for grizzly bears in Banff National Park: Prepare - carry bear spray and know how to handle an encounter; Be aware - slow down, look ahead and watch for tracks, droppings, and diggings; Let bears know you’re there - travel in a group and make noise. The lake is only half the size of its nearby neighbour Lake Louise, but perhaps even more scenic. Due its beauty, the lake has been featured within all manner of backgrounds and adverts for Canada.

How long is the road to Moraine Lake?

The road ends on a parking lot near the lake. Starting at Lake Louise, the winding road is 14.3 km (8.88 miles) long. The road can be very busy during the summer and in late September.

Is the road to Moraine Lake open?

The road to the lake is closed during the winter (open mid-June through mid-October) due to heavy snowfall and high avalanche risk. When the road first opens in late May or early June don’t expect to see the turquoise glacier water that Moraine Lake is famous for. The lake does not start to thaw until June, the water level usually crests by late June.