Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake, Lake Louise: Address, Phone Number, Moraine Lake Reviews: 5/5

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This beautiful lake nestled in the mountains is best known for its appearance on the back of the Canadian dollar bill.
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1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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5.0
5,899 reviews
Excellent
4,903
Very good
760
Average
149
Poor
35
Terrible
53

Jake K
Columbia, SC426 contributions
While the lake is absolutely gorgeous, it is an absolute cluster to get here if you don't take the shuttle. We were lucky enough to get in one evening at 9pm via self drive(sunsets at 9:30 so it was still very blue) and then the next morning when it was drizzling at 9am the gate was open so we drove in again. Upon arrival both times there was plenty of parking, so unsure why they weren't letting more people in.

There are so many tourists here it is incredible. It seems like the best way to do this attraction is by booking a shuttle. We were staying at the Deer Lodge in Lake Louise, so we didn't want to go to park and ride from there so we ended up chancing it with self drive and it worked out.

We had purchased tickets for the shuttle, but ended up not using them because of this. Because of our proximity, we were hoping to just use the interlake shuttle without boarding our initial one, but this did not work out.

The constellation lake hike is easy and fun if you are already in the park/through the gates.
Written 6 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ONTARIO1981
CANADA251 contributions
Family
A popular place, yet a beautiful place to visit! We visited in July, our first family vacation outside of our home province of Ontario in over 2 years. Although busy, we were fortunate enough to have enjoyed the beauty of both Moraine Lake & Lake Louise with some careful planning. My parents had honeymooned here and vacationed here again on their 25th wedding anniversary, and the increase in popularity and tourism had grown exponentially between their visits alone, let alone by the time we got in our visit with my own family this year, 15 years since my parents were last in Lake Louise. We took the ROAM bus from where we were staying in Canmore to Banff, then booked a reservation through ROAM for another bus that left from Banff High School to Lake Louise/Moraine Lake to avoid the headache in worrying about parking. We enjoyed the day at our leisure taking in the beauty of the glacial lakes & mountains surrounding us. The Consolation Trail from Moraine Lake led us to a gorgeous valley at the end. What a beautiful sight!
Written 6 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

C D
Chicago, IL20 contributions
I have never seen or experienced a place so beautiful, yet so poorly and incompetently managed. This summer, most of the world's destinations, sights and attractions are feeling the crush of resentful travelers who've been locked up at home for two years and carry a sense of angry entitlement in their backpacks, but surely no destination has been more ill-prepared to handle the influx than Banff National Park -- Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in particular.

Do NOT come here without all permits and reservations in hand. Research EVERY activity far advance and book every ticket, permit, pass, shuttle, and tour FAR IN ADVANCE.

Want to see the incredible sunrise at Moraine? Prepare to arrive no later than 3am to secure one of the precious few parking spots in the laughably small parking lot, or book a park shuttle MONTHS ahead of time. There will be no shuttles available when you get there. None. There is one private shuttle company in town that will also be fully booked (at exorbitant rates). There is no Uber, no Lyft and NO other options. There is also no cell service in the area, so don't expect to conduct any last minute searches on your phone.

Looking to have dinner at Lake Louise at the picturesque Fairmont Chateau, the only hotel on the lake? Think again. If you aren't a hotel guest, they won't even let you on property to enjoy the view, let alone dine in their restaurants. (Spend $1000+ per night for a room and you might be able to get a dinner reservation.)

Both lakes are among the most breathtaking wonders of nature on this fragile planet of ours, but the experience of visiting them is currently tainted by the choking throngs of photo-hungry Instagrammers (eager to throw an elbow if anyone interferes with that perfect shot), the greedy, opportunistic hotels, restaurants, tour and transport companies preying on them, and the ignorance of local park and civic authorities who think more road closures and traffic cones are the solution.

If you actually get to to see one or both lakes, it's impossible to not feel utter awe, humility and inspiration. At the same time, we took home with us an equally profound sense of sadness and disgust at our fellow travelers and the ineptness with which park and local management is handling the crowds.
Written 5 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Barbara
New York City, NY267 contributions
Went in early June and the lake was mostly still frozen so we could walk on it. Arrived at 5am for the 5:30 sunrise. It was spectacular. The mountain tops were drenched in golden light. Because the lake was frozen we did not get to see the beautiful blue water but the visit was so worth it,
Written 1 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stentdoctor
Evansville, IN86 contributions
Visited the lake for a sunrise photo shoot. We arrived at 4:30 AM and the parking lot was 90% full. Once the lot is full, it appears closed for the rest of the day and the only way to get there is by shuttle. There is an 4:30 shuttle from the Fairmont Lake Louise that will pick you up at 7-7:30 AM. It is a must see at sunrise!
Written 31 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LM F
Rockville, MD37 contributions
Exquisite. No matter what anyone tells you, unless you get to the lake by 3:30-4 am you will not get parking (at least in the summer). Your best bet is to buy online tickets on the shuttle from park and ride. From Banff, it takes about 30 minutes to drive there. Follow the signs on Iwest to Lake Louise and then you'll see park and ride signs. Best time is in the morning. We went at the 8-9 time slot. When you get to the park and ride lot, park, and go to the lodge- it is the last real bathroom you may have all day. Then check in at the booth outside the lodge with your receipt for the park and ride. The shuttle will take you to the lake. It is a very short drive- like 7 minutes. I recommend going up the rocks trail (it is short) first to get the amazing views/photos. We rented a canoe ($130 for an hour) which was pricey but worth every penny. It is 3 to a canoe so bring a small towel if you have a 3rd person because it will be a little wet and hard where they sit. There is a short trail around part of the lake which is an easy hike. There are more advanced trails that take half a day and one full day trail. Everyone said Moraine lake was the best thing to see in Banff. Glad we took that advice- it really was.
Written 31 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Scott G
Los Angeles, CA424 contributions
Lake Moraine lived up to all its hype, it's as beautiful as all the pictures of it. To get the iconic shot take the Rockpile hike which starts right from the parking lot, and goes uphill a bit both on a path and stairs. It takes ten minutes or so to get to the viewpoint, which is a bit undefined, it's just a wide open area facing the lake on top of the rock pile.

My son and I are late risers so we decided NOT to get up at 4AM! Instead I was able to book the Lake Moraine shuttle (the Canada parks system runs the shuttle) which leaves from the Lake Louise Ski Resort parking lot. I was able to book us for a 1:30PM shuttle straight to Lake Moraine only on a Saturday mid July, and I booked it that same day at about 9AM. Unlike Lake Louise, I didn't want to try and get parking for Moraine, since the lot is way smaller. I did get parking at Lake Louise the day before but didn't want to waste any time at Moraine, so I booked the shuttle. Before we got on the shuttle we saw a mama grizzly and her baby in the distance on the grassy ski slopes of Lake Louise Ski Resort, so be sure to scan the slopes before you get on the bus, that was an awesome bonus! The shuttle takes about 25 minutes to get to Lake Moraine.

The lake itself? Beautiful. We did the short Rockpile Hike and then the Lake Shore trail which goes around the edge of the lake to the other side, probably took twenty minutes or so one way. The Lake Shore trail ends at a wooden viewing platform on the other side of the lake, then you walk back the same way you came. Beautiful views abound.

We saw Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and Peyto Lake on our trip, and I can honestly say they are all different and it's really worth it to see them all. Louise is huge and glowing milky blue and has the most activities, and it's fun walking to the end of it where the glacial silt goes into the water. Moraine seemed a bit smaller to me and is equally bright and beautiful, but more green. And Peyto seemed a bit smaller than the other two from above, but amazingly bright in both sun or shade and somewhere between the color of Louise and Moraine I thought. The view you get of it is perfectly composed, like a painting, with amazing mountains all around which fade into the distance in the background. Peyto is also a lot less crowded and an easy hike to the one main observation point.

Glacial lakes rule, the world sure can be a beautiful place!
Written 29 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paytons
Oconomowoc, WI494 contributions
What a fantastic sight. If you are in the area do not miss some photo ops of this gorgeous lake. Never knew Canada had lakes that look like the Caribbean.
Written 26 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravellerOxford
Oxfordshire, UK702 contributions
Ok -getting there requires some pre-planning - especially in the Summer months. Whatever you do, don’t just think you can rock up at the turn-off to the Lake at anytime during the day - you can’t; it’s often closed due to the parking being ‘allegedly’ full - but you still can’t drive to the lake regardless.

As said by Belinda in her excellent review, July 22 - there are 2-ways to view this magnificent lake:

- by SHUTTLE BUS which operates between Lake Moraine and Lake Louise. I’m still not sure where you park the car - perhaps Lake Louise Village. So research this throughly on Google as I’m not sure the bus starts early enough for sunrise,

- by CAR for sunrise which was 5:59am BUT you need to be at the turn off junction no later than 4:30am as it Will suddenly be closed - despite lots of free parking place down at the lake - especially the coach spaces as they don’t rock up until after 9am’ish.

We travelled out there on 25th July - sunrise posted as 5:59am. We arrived at the turn off junction by 4am - drove down the 15mins road and parked easily - got out of the car - with torches - at around 4:30am and made our way up ‘Rock Pile’.
There are 3 viewing points - the lower and middle one are the best but stay on the trail. It was really irritating that people went off the trail and sat on top rocks near the lake - ruining everyone else’s photos - selfish and destroying wildlife.

The light and best photos started at 5:50am and over by 6:50am but so stunning and worth that early rise 😃 See Pics.

We then when drove to Lake Louise at around 7:15am - had to park in the top car park (but so much better than the other day being waved through and out the other side in the afternoon) - spent 30mins there taking amazing photos and spotting the ‘residential’ Grizzly with her cub. You could spend a lot longer there I’m sure!
Written 25 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Belinda
9 contributions
Couples
Beautiful lake and surrounding mountains, looks exactly like every desktop wallpaper background of it that you’ve ever seen before.

There are 2 ways to get here- drive yourself or use the Park and Ride shuttle. If you plan on driving in the busy summer months, you should aim to arrive there by 6 am at the absolute latest before the parking lot fills up. The drive to the lake from the main road is around 20 minutes. Another option is to go later in the day once people start leaving, which is around 7 pm.

The shuttle costs $8 per person. There is a kiosk that sells tickets for the day of, but they sell out very quickly. Your best bet is to go online to their website and book tickets at least a few days in advance. There are shuttles to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise that you can buy. No need to buy one for each- there are connecting shuttles between the two lakes that run every 20 minutes until 6 pm daily. If you do take the shuttle there, the last one that returns is at 7:30 pm. I wish I had known all of that in advance!

When you do get to the lake, make sure to go up the rock piles- that is where you will get the best views.

There’s also a gift shop but their merchandise is honestly very bland and overpriced. I was disappointed and did not buy anything.
Written 23 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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