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One of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Moraine Lake has appeared in countless photographs and postcards and has even graced the Canadian 20-dollar bill. Hence the nickname "Twenty Dollar View", when in reality, this vista of snow-topped mountains, lush larch forest and startlingly blue lake is simply priceless.
Come to Moraine Lake in summer, as heavy snow makes it inaccessible from October to May. It's 14 kilometres from Lake Louise, or, if you're coming from Banff, one hour's drive west. There is a car park, but finding a space can be a struggle, especially in the middle of the day.
The observation platform, from which you'll get those famous views, is just 300 metres up a rocky hill from the car park. Once you're here, take your time and enjoy this singular view. Get some snaps of Mount Temple, which, at 3,540 metres high, is the third-highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Admire the impossibly turquoise water as it reflects the mountains above.
The blue colour, caused by minerals in glacial melt water, intensifies as the sun rises, reaching its zenith at noon. If you arrive at this time you may have a hard time getting past the crowds. Your best bet is to get in position before 10 a.m. and simply watch as the lake brightens. Or rent a canoe and view the water up close.
The lake is surrounded by hiking trails, but, as Moraine Lake is known to be home to bears, walking in the area can be dangerous. Hike in groups of at least four and call Parks Canada for a safety update before you head off.
Make the most of your time spent at Moraine Lake. Below is a list of some of the top things to do:
Your next epic adventure is right here! You might want to try a Lake Louise & Moraine Lake Tour or a Full-Day Trip to Yoho National Park & Moraine Lake.
Take a look at our Lake Louise things to do page to find many more activities while you're in the area.
Surrounded by the peaks of the Canadian Rockies, this mountain resort in Banff National Park on the shores of Lake Louise is a popular destination for hiking, canoeing, and skiing.
Situated in the Village of Lake Louise, this inn is within 4 km (less than 3 mi) from Lake Louise, skiing, hiking, and Samson Mall.
Situated on a river, this hotel is within 32 mi (52 km) of Paint Pots Trailhead, Lake Louise Mountain Resort, and Icefields Parkway. Sunshine Village and Upper Hot Springs are also within 32 mi (52 km).
Conveniently near skiing facilities, this Lake Louise hotel is located in the mountains within 3 mi (5 km) of Icefields Parkway, Lake Louise Mountain Resort, and Lake Louise Gondola. Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse and Lower Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint are also within 12 mi (20 km). Lake Louise Station is 12 minutes by foot.
In the heart of the Canadian Rockies, this scenic Alberta lodge is a 7-minute walk from Lake Louise, 12 miles from Yoho National Park, and 65 km (40 mi.) from Mount Norquay Ski Resort.
Situated in a national park, this lodge is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and within 6 mi (10 km) of Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Lake Louise Gondola. Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) away.
Located near the slopes, this Field lodge is in the mountains, within 6 mi (10 km) of Lower Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint and Upper Spiral Tunnel Viewpoint, and close to winter sports such as cross-country skiing and skiing lessons.