Moraine Lake, a glacially-fed lake in Banff National Park, is one of the world’s premiere destinations, which gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the majestic mountain scenery. Every year, millions of visitors come to Banff to enjoy its stunning views and vividly blue Moraine Lake.
Moraine Lake is located in Alberta, Canada, in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6,183 feet (1,885 m), and a surface area of 0.5 square kilometers (0.19 sq miles).
The lake is specific for its amazing turquoise water, which reaches its full beauty when the lake is full. In the late June, when the glacier water starts running into the lake, brings with it rock flour or silt, and because of that the light reflects off to give the lake its stunning deep blue color.
The fact that the image of Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks was used on the back of the 1969 and 1979 Canadian twenty dollar bill, testifies about this truly natural beauty..
Banff National Park-Canada
Established in 1885, Banff National Park is part of UNESCO’s Canadian Rocky Mountain World Heritage site, and it is marked as some of the finest unspoiled ecosystems in the world.
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park includes the highest town in Canada (4,540 feet high), Lake Louise (5,052 feet), the highest permanent settlement in Canada, and glacier-fed lakes such as Moraine, Bow and Peyto Lakes.
Also, within the park there is a Castleguard Caves, the largest cave system in Canada, as well as more than a thousand glaciers, hundreds of hotels, restaurants, and retail shops.
Things to do in Moraine Lake
Depending on the season, there is a wide range of Rocky Mountain activities. Summer is popular for hiking, climbing, helicopters, fishing, canoes and river rafts, mountain biking, cycling, paddling and photography, of course.
The area around the lake has several hiking trails, but the Rockpile Trail is the one most commonly taken by tourists. The Rockpile is a short trail, approximately 300 meters long, with a minimal Elevation gain of 24 meters (79 ft).
One of the most popular activities in Moraine Lake is canoeing. If you want enough time to visit and experience everything the lake has to offer, be sure to allow at least 1.5 hours for your trip.
If you would prefer to see Moraine Lake from the air, there is no better way to explore the Canadian Rockies and pristine alpine meadows, streams and glaciers than by helicopter.
For those who do not want to fly in a helicopter, there is the gondola approximately 20 minutes from Moraine Lake Lodge, which takes visitors up to an elevation of 6850 feet. A gondola ride provides, in addition to fantastic mountain landscape, to view grizzlies, especially during the June 1-20 period as they feed on wild flowers, and in August, when they feed on wild berries.
In winter, the lake is partly frozen, and the lake road is close to traffic, but the mountain landscape is ideal for skiing. From November to May, runs the ski season, which is one of the longest in North America. There are three major downhill ski resorts in the Park: Lake Louise Ski Area, Sunshine Village and Mount Norquay combine to offer a large skiable terrain. For those who want to try something else, they can also enjoy ice walks, wildlife tours, snowshoeing, sleigh rides and horse riding.
Another interesting activity in winter is Ice Fishing. Here, the common species caught are largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch and northern pike. Ice fishing is permitted in the Game Propagation Area from January 1 to March 15.
How to Get There
To Banff National Park you can get from Calgary’s international airport, which is only 80 miles away from the Park. From the airport, you can rent a car and take the Trans-Canada 1 west from Calgary straight into the park, through Banff and Lake Louise. If you wish to travel by bus, there is a direct bus service from the airport or downtown Calgary to Banff and Lake Louise, as are shuttle services through tour operators.