Moraine Lake is a stunning alpine lake located in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Known for its crystal-clear blue-green waters and breathtaking mountain views, it is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Moraine Lake is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, which is named for the ten mountain peaks that surround the lake. The lake was named by Samuel Allen, a Canadian Pacific Railway guide who discovered it in 1899. The name “Moraine” refers to the glacial moraine that forms the natural dam at the end of the valley, which created the lake.
Moraine Lake Location
Latitude: 51.3271° N Longitude: -116.1818° W
The lake is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and breathtaking scenery. It is approximately 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) southeast of the village of Lake Louise and about 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the town of Banff. It is known for its vivid turquoise-colored water and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and photographers visiting the area.
Moraine Lake Length
Moraine Lake has a length of approximately 1.2 kilometers (0.75 miles) from one end to the other. Despite its small size, Moraine Lake is renowned for its stunning turquoise-colored water, surrounded by towering mountains and a picturesque glacial landscape.
The lake’s compact size contributes to its intimate and tranquil atmosphere, making it a popular destination for visitors seeking natural beauty and outdoor activities in the Canadian Rockies.
How to Reach Moraine Lake
To reach the Lake in Banff National Park, you can follow these general directions:
Start from the town of Banff, Alberta, Canada. Banff is a popular tourist destination and serves as the gateway to Banff National Park.
From Banff, drive west on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) for about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles).
Continue on Lake Louise Drive for approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), then turn left onto Moraine Lake Road.
Follow Moraine Lake Road for about 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) until you reach the parking lot for Moraine Lake.
Please note that road conditions, closures, and parking availability may vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions. It’s a good idea to check the current road and parking conditions before your trip. During peak tourist seasons, such as summer, the parking lot at the Lake can fill up quickly, so arriving early in the day is recommended.
Hike to Moraine Lake
The easiest way to reach Moraine Lake is by car. The lake is located approximately 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) from the town of Lake Louise and can be accessed via the Moraine Lake Road. The road is closed to vehicles from mid-October to mid-June due to snow & ice but the same is open to cyclists and pedestrians during that time.
In the summer months, Moraine Lake can be very crowded, with limited parking available. To avoid the crowds, it is recommended to arrive early in the morning or late in the evening. During peak season, Parks Canada operates a shuttle bus service from the Lake Louise overflow parking lot to the Lake, which helps to alleviate some of the congestion.
Once at the Lake, there are a variety of hiking trails to explore. The most popular trail is the Rockpile Trail, a short but steep hike that leads to a viewpoint overlooking the lake. The viewpoint offers stunning panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, making it a popular spot for photography.
For more experienced hikers, there are also several longer trails that begin at the Lake. The Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass trails offer stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys and are a great way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
Depth of Moraine Lake
The exact depth of Moraine Lake can vary depending on factors such as water levels, sedimentation, and time of year. However, the average depth of the Lake is estimated to be around 14 meters (46 feet). It’s important to note that these measurements are approximate and can fluctuate due to natural variations.
Moraine Lake’s stunning turquoise color is primarily due to the presence of rock flour (fine-grained sediment) that is carried into the lake by glacier meltwater. The lake’s depth contributes to the clarity and intensity of its vibrant color, creating a truly captivating sight for visitors.
Moraine Lake and the surrounding area are part of Banff National Park, which is managed by Parks Canada. The park is committed to preserving the natural beauty of the region and protecting the wildlife that calls it home. Visitors to the Lake are asked to respect the park’s rules and regulations, including leaving no trace and staying on designated trails.
Moraine Lake is a truly stunning destination that offers visitors a chance to experience the beauty and majesty of The Canadian Rockies. Whether you are interested in hiking, picnicking, or simply admiring the view, Lake is a destination that you will never forget.