The short answer here is yes, Moraine Lake is absolutely worth visiting, especially if you’re already planning on a Lake Louise tour. Tucked away among the mountains of Banff National Park in Alberta, Moraine Lake is one of the most beautiful locations in North America and well worth your time. During the summer, as the glaciers melt and fill the lake, they leave fine rock flour in the water that refracts light, giving Moraine Lake a unique light blue color that has to be seen to be believed.
The same blue color can be seen in nearby Lake Louise, although it’s not quite as vibrant. If you can manage it, the best time to visit the lake is the very early morning, when the rising sun paints the Rocky Mountains in vibrant colors, providing the perfect backdrop to the lake’s natural beauty.
Unfortunately, while Moraine Lake is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in North America, it’s also one of the more difficult ones to reach. There’s only one road that leads to Moraine Lake, and park authorities closed it to private vehicles as part of an effort to reduce crowding at the lake.
As of 2024, the only way to access Moraine Lake is by taking the shuttle from Lake Louise. The shuttle will run from June 1st through October 14th, 2024, and reservations are sure to fill up quickly, so we recommend making yours as soon as the slots are opened up in the spring. Unfortunately, taking a Moraine Lake tour during the winter is impossible since the road is closed and a dangerous avalanche zone makes hiking to the lake extremely dangerous.
Moraine Lake freezes over during the winter months anyway, so there’s really no reason to risk your life to see it. If you’re planning a trip to Banff National Park during the winter, we recommend focusing your trip around Lake Louise instead, which is accessible year-round and features plenty of cold-weather activities like dogsledding and skiing.
To make the most of your next trip to Banff National Park, check out our Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Self-Guided Driving Tour, or you can sign up for Action+ and gain unlimited access to over 100 tours for a single yearly price.