11 Important Tips for Visiting Moraine Lake in 2024

Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks

Moraine Lake is without doubt one of the most stunning places in the entire world. This coveted bucket list item tops “most beautiful place” lists year after year, and for very good reason.

Whether you’re dreaming of visiting Moraine Lake, have a trip already booked, or have been here already and can’t wait to go back, this list of “11 Important Tips for Visiting Moraine Lake in 2024” will help make sure you have the perfect visit!

1). Arrive early in the morning or late in the evening

Moraine Lake can get busy. I mean, BUSY. Very busy. So busy that the parking lot can fill up as early as 5:00 am!

If you’re visiting on a weekend (especially over a holiday), arriving late morning or mid-afternoon can be a recipe for disaster if you’re driving your own vehicle and looking for parking. There is a shuttle from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake that runs from 6 am to 4 pm that might save you a lot of headache! Also, the road up to Moraine Lake closes once all of the parking spaces fill up, so you may be forced into this option if you arrive during peak hours.

Tip: Try arriving prior to sunrise, or just before sunset if you’re hoping to snag a parking space on the weekends. Weekdays will be less busy, but the parking lot can still fill up during peak hours.

You will see the highest numbers of tourists on the following days:

  • Victoria Day long weekend 
  • Canada Day long weekend – weekend of July 1 
  • Heritage Day weekend – weekend of the first Monday in August
  • Labour Day Weekend – weekend of the first Monday in September
Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks
Sunrise at Moraine Lake

Note: These images were all taken in the summer or autumn. Moraine Lake is often frozen/covered in ice until the first week of June or later.

2. To ensure you arrive early, book a hotel close to Moraine Lake

This is SUCH a valuable tip – if you are dead set on spending time at this lake (and you should be!), make sure to book a hotel fairly close to the lake, even just for a night.

Since the road to Moraine can be closed and the parking lot full often as early as 5:00 am on weekends, arriving early is a lot easier when your accommodation is close to the lake to begin with!

Staying in a hotel nearby to the lake can make all the difference to seeing or not seeing Moraine Lake, as it’s crucial to arrive here early!

Here are a few hotel options I recommend that are close to Moraine Lake to check out:



Moraine Lake, Lake Louise Canada

3). Go for a wander around the Moraine Lake shore, hike up to the top of the rock pile, visit Consolation Lakes

By not lingering too long at the “main” viewpoints of Moraine Lake, you will be able to remove yourself from the crowds and likely find your own little slice of (almost) solitude – or, at the very least, find a lot more breathing room!

Moraine Lake has a lot more going for it than just the “classic” lakefront views that you see as soon as you take a few steps out of the parking lot.

Follow the path that leads up to the top of the rockpile for a gorgeous new perspective over the lake, and then take the side trail that veers off for the 2.9 km (one-way) hike to Consolation Lakes. Follow the path that leads around the lakeshore for stunning views without the swarms of people. You’ll thank me later!

Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks

4). Rent a canoe to paddle the beautiful blue water

Renting a canoe (or bringing your own, if you have one) is an awesome way to explore Moraine Lake!

Canoe rentals are somewhat pricey at Moraine Lake itself, so consider renting one from elsewhere if you have a vehicle to easily transport the canoe and plan on arriving at a time where you can snag a parking spot close to the lake. (If you’re coming from Calgary, SportsRent is a great option to look at – canoe rentals start at just $40/day).

Canoe rentals at Moraine Lake are available on a first-come first-serve, weather-dependent basis from mid-June to mid- September (9 am to 5pm) starting from $120.00 CAD + tax for a one-hour rental. (Told you it’s pricey!) Each canoe can accommodate two to three people; paddles, life jackets and basic instruction are provided.Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks

5). Pack your own picnic (or at least some snacks and water) for your day at Moraine Lake

The only option at Moraine Lake to purchase food or drinks is located at the Moraine Lake Lodge, which can be pricey ($$$) and also busy. Consider packing your own snacks and drinks for the day because once you’re here, you’re not going to want to leave! (Both because of the views, and also the tricky parking situation)

Enjoy your snacks outside in front of the world-class views – just watch out for the curious wildlife! Moraine Lake is full of confident little ground squirrels who have become accustomed to all of the visitors who (unfortunately) feed them human food. They’re known to come right up to humans looking for a snack. Do NOT feed the wildlife!

Note: As per Parks Canada: It is illegal to feed, entice or disturb any wildlife in a national park. Violators will be charged, be required to appear in court, and could pay fines up to $25,000.

Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks
This photo was taken end of May, when the lake is partially thawed and there is still a bit of snow on the ground and on the peaks.

6). Prepare for no cell reception during your time at Moraine Lake

Due to its remote location, there is no cell reception at Moraine Lake. Once you travel about 3km down the road towards Lake Louise, you will start to gain limited cellular reception again.

If you’re planning on meeting friends at Moraine Lake, make sure to handle all communication before you arrive!

The Lodge does have limited WiFi service available, as well as a computer and a landline telephone for guest usage.

Enjoy the time away from your smartphone 🙂

Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks



7). Explore the many dayhike options that begin at Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake area is also the trailhead start to many stunning nearby hikes!

Since you’ll be in this area anyways, consider taking a hike to acquire another perspective of the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

Here are a few to check out (depending on your skill level and ability):

Of course, Consolation Lakes – 5.8 km (as previously mentioned) is a great option for an easy and short hike.

Due to bear activity, some of the trails may enforce seasonal restrictions to maximize safety. If so, it will be made mandatory that hikers travel in a tight group of four or more. Occasionally, trails may be closed off completely. Learn more and check current statuses here: Bear Management Moraine Lake Group Access Restrictions

8). Bring bear spray with you to Moraine Lake

Speaking of bears…..bring a can of bear spray!

Yes, even in busy, touristy, noisy places such as Moraine Lake, you can come across bear activity. Especially around the hours of dusk and dawn!

Trust me on this. Myself and my partner have seen bears just a handful of meters from the parking lot when arriving early in the morning to photograph the sunrise. You are in bear country, so always be prepared!

Learn more about staying safe while in bear country.

Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks

9). Consider visiting Moraine Lake in September to view the larches

Remember the Larch Valley hike I mentioned in tip #7? It’s called that for good reason!

The peak season for autumn colours is from mid to late September when the larch trees turn a vibrant shade of yellow-orange. It is truly spectacular!

Many tourists make a special pilgrimage here to witness the fall larch season. As you can imagine, the most popular fall hiking trail – aptly called Larch Valley – sees a huge influx of hikers. Learn more on my blog post about hiking Larch Valley

10). Stay at Moraine Lake until the stars come out

Are you interested in photography? Nowadays with our incredible technology, most cameras (and even smartphones!) are capable of taking decent, low-light night photography! And what better place to practice than Moraine Lake?

Consider hanging out at Moraine Lake until the stars come out; the wide-open scene here looks incredible at night as well when seen through a long exposure photograph!

Stay tuned into my blog as I will be doing posts in the future on how to take night photographs

Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks

11). Enjoy a post-sunrise breakfast of your dreams

If you opt for a sunrise mission to Moraine Lake, you MUST drive to the Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise immediately following your visit and enjoy their incredible breakfast buffet! Buffet Breakfast is served from 6:30 AM to 11:00 AM.

Try the orange marscapone crepes – they are to die for!




Since you’re already in the area, here are some of my other blog posts that feature other beautiful nearby spots and activities you may want to check out!

Johnston Canyon Winter Hike: Exploring frozen waterfalls in Banff National Park


Floe Lake Hike in Kootenay National Park – Backpacking & Camping Guide

The Cutest Cabin Rentals in Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta

The Best Time to Visit Banff

Things to Do in Banff – 13 Winter Activities for an Unforgettable Trip!


Best Places to Go Ice Skating Outdoors in Banff

Save Big on Hotels in Banff and Lake Louise:


Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake Tips and Tricks

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Questions or questions about Moraine Lake or the entire Lake Louise area? I’d love to hear from you – just leave me a comment below!


11 Important Tips for Visiting Moraine Lake in 2024

I’m Jenn, a photographer, travel writer, and content creator based out of the beautiful Canadian Rockies. I’m glad you’re here – now let’s explore!

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