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Moraine Lake

Banff National Park

July 26th, 2009

0.4 miles
130 vertical feet
Total Time: 0:32

Starting elevation
6120 feet
Max elevation
6230 feet

Rating: 8/10

Directions: From Lake Louise village, take Highway 1A toward Lake Louise. Before reaching Lake Louise, turn left onto Moraine Lake Road. Follow the road to the end.   View Driving Map



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GPX File

Despite rain for most of the day, the skies were clear as we pulled into the vast parking lot at Moraine Lake in the late afternoon. I can imagine that if you arrive here in late morning on a sunny day, you'll have no chance of finding a parking space, even with the size of the lot.

We found a trail sign that pointed us toward Consolation Lakes. This also heads toward the Moraine Lake viewpoint. The entire trail is paved. We followed it up some steps. Despite the relatively late hour, there were still lots of people on the trail, most of them coming down.

A large talus field blocks views to the right of the trail. There are large signs telling people not to climb onto the rocks there. At the top of the stairs is a left fork -- the trail going to Consolation Lakes. If you plan on doing that or any other hike in the Moraine Lake area other than the viewpoint trail or walking along the lake shore, you'll probably need to stay in a tight group of 4 or more hikers. These restrictions are put into place because grizzly bears frequent this area.

Warning sign at the Consolation Lakes trail

Clouds around top of mountain to north of trail

View looking north from the trail

We were only doing the viewpoint trail today, so we kept to the right. We reached the top and were met with our first view of Moraine Lake. Beautiful. Our first thought was: How does it have the beautiful greenish blue color? We enjoyed the view of the colorful lake with several majestic jagged peaks behind it. People in a canoe rowed peacefully in the lake below.

Canoe in Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

As we headed back, I saw the completely unexpected sight of a microwave oven sitting on a rock. It took me a few seconds to realize that they're doing construction here, and the workers had hooked up a microwave to cook their lunch. So by the time you do this trail, it may be a bit different than when we did it. But I'm sure it'll still be paved, short, and have great views of the lake.

Microwave oven next to the trail

Looking east from the top

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