Photograph Moraine Lake

Canada Moraine Lake

Added by Julian Brezden

Distance: a short 5 minute walk from a large parking areaElevation: 6,181 ft. (at the surface)A one hour drive from Banff, Alberta, CanadaStunning views at any angleVery accessible to anyone

Showing up at Moraine Lake before dawn is a must as to avoid the multitude of tours busses. The morning sun is subtle and magical. The lake, being glacially fed, does not reach its crest until mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinct shade of blue. The color is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis.

If you want to stay overnight, the Moraine Lake Lodge is located at the bottom of the lake. Canoe rentals are also available to explore the lake, which is certainly a must do activity.

Pack List

  • Tripod
  • Hiking boots
  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Water
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

about 2 months ago

Beat The Crowds, Go in the Fall

Go in the fall (late September, first week of October) to truly enjoy Moraine Lake at its finest and to avoid most of the crowds. If you're lucky, you'll get to see the larches in their full yellow beauty during about a week in late September. In early October, Moraine usually gets its first snow. Do bear in mind that they usually close the road to Moraine for cars on or around Canadian Thanksgiving or so, and does not open until spring. Some daring cross-country skiers might want to make the 20-mile round trip trek from Lake Louise in the winter.

about 2 months ago

6 months ago

Do it early morning

I made a point of showing up early on a summer morning, at around 6am. This gives you incredible light and the parking lot is not too busy.

6 months ago

7 months ago

Rock Pile

The most magnificent lake in all if Banff. Author doesn't really state, but hike up to the rock pile for your shots!

7 months ago

7 months ago

Best Lake in the Rockies

Do not miss this gem if you are in the area. We stopped here for an extended period and just marveled at its beauty. Nothing can compare to its blues with the peaks behind it. The water level was high, mind you there is a path that leads to the top of the rocks for a good view point, we followed the tourists that were crossing the logs and scaling the rocks... there is a much easier way. The path that leads along the lake shore is also great. I will definitely be returning to this area for future hikes.

7 months ago

7 months ago


This lake as an amazing, breathtaking color and I would highly recommend it to anyone

7 months ago

9 months ago


This is my fav lake in Banff !! Go early on in the day though as the area is popular with tourists. Make sure you rent the canoes it's amazing !

9 months ago

10 months ago

The Most Photographed for a Reason

It is Beautiful. I got here at 6am and was all alone for about 10 minutes. Well worth getting up and making the early morning drive from Calgary. Those 10 minutes alone gave me the best chance for an uninterrupted shot.

10 months ago

11 months ago

Great Opportunity To Be Present

Moraine Lake is as beautiful as it is photographed! My choice of activity here is to find a spot to sit down and just take it all in. A lot of people try to get the best shot, but it serves as an excellent backdrop for a conversation with a good friend.

11 months ago

about 1 year ago

This is the location that first made me want to visit the Canadian Rockies. Yes the crowds are crazy, but there are usually very few people at sunrise.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

It's a must see in Canada ! Come early or after 6 PM is the best option for parking and getting a nice shot of the lake from the Rock Pile (trail starts on the parking lot next to the lodge). Keep in mind that the road to Moraine Lake is closed from early October until the end of May.

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Despite the fact that this is one of the most photographed spots - its is really incredible and worth seeing for yourself. If you are looking to beat the crowds try going in off-season, like early spring. I went the first week in June when the road opened for access and spent a night - sundown to sunrise out on the rocks and was one of the only people out there.

over 1 year ago

almost 2 years ago

Much like Lake Louise, this is a great view with zero effort, but the crowds are ridiculous. Sunrise is probably your best bet.

almost 2 years ago

More Adventures Nearby

Photograph Sunrise at Pinnacles Provincial Park

Canada / Pinnacles Provincial Park

Located just west of Quesnel, Pinnacles Provincial Park is a great place to go for a short walk to a beautiful viewpoint. Park at the entrance of the park and follow the path towards the view points.

Kaila Walton
4 Saves

Hike the Helmcken Falls Rim Trail

Canada / Helmcken Falls Rim Trail

Wells Grey Provincial Park is home to an abundance of trail networks, towering mountains and rushing waterfalls. The immense Helmcken Falls is arguably the most popular and sought out of these falls.

Jordon Conway
1 Saves

Snowshoe Dog Mountain

Canada / Mt. Seymour Trailhead

A perfect way to get outside before or after work. Dog mountain is an easily accessible snowshoe trail that takes you up to the short peak from the Mt. Seymour parking lot.

Tara Stamnes
1 Saves