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All you need to know about getting to Moraine Lake in 2024

Elopement, small wedding at moraine lake, banff

Moraine Lake is one of the most iconic lake in Canada - in the world?

You all have seen that photo of a sunrise over a deep blue lake surrounded by ten mountain peaks (The Valley of the Ten Peaks).

Moraine Lake used to be way less travelled than its neighbour Lake Louise. It took a turn for multiple reasons. One of them could be that Microsoft Vista (2010) had one of its wallpaper after Moraine Lake. Another one would be that Parks Canada offered a year of National Parks Pass in 2017 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the confederation and more people got to discover the beauty of Canada Parks. Another one could be COVID when there was nothing else to do than explore the outdoors. And last but not least, with the development of Instagram influencers (of course).


Moraine Lake is located in Alberta, Canada.

You access the lake by driving through Lake Louise Village and go up the road that goes to Lake Louise the lake (the start of the road is approximately in the middle between the village and the lake).

The road is closed to personal vehicles since 2023. You have to take a shuttle to get there now.

There is only one road (11km one way) that goes to Moraine Lake and it is not open all year round. The road to Moraine Lake is open between June and October (usually). During the winter, the road is accessible by cross-country ski or snowmobile or any winter transportation. That said, the road is in high avalanche risk so be careful if you decide to go.

What is the best time to go to Moraine Lake?

This is very personal to each people but for me, fall is the best time to visit Moraine Lake. Like right before they close the road (even to shuttles). Why? Because it is Larches season and Moraine Lake hikes are known to be some of the best ones to see the larches.

Otherwise, if your trip is already booked, Moraine Lake is beautiful anytime.

Sunrise is very popular because you can see the sun go down on the Valley of the Ten Peaks behind the lake. If you think sunrise is the less busy time, ohhhh no it is not! It is photographer’s (and influencer’s) favorite time to be there. So it will be busy as well.

Sunset would be the less busy because people already left with the shuttles and people usually have other things to do after visiting Moraine Lake. A good thing to know, if you want the sun to be a part of the session, it will have to be about two hours before the actual sun set time. Why? Because the sun sets behind the peaks and disappears about two hours before.

The middle of the day would be where the blue of Moraine Lake is the most vivid. Like Gatorade blue, in real life! No need for any filters there. It is also the time where there is more reflections on the water and most likely, more wind as well.

If you want the perfect mirror reflection, I would suggest going early morning for sunrise or at sunset (the photo to the left was taken at sunset)

Random facts

about Moraine Lake.

Did you know that before becoming ultra famous, Moraine Lake was put on a bill of twenty Canadian Dollars in 1969 and 1979?

Image from

Moraine Lake Bill of 20 dollars 1979

Moraine Lake was named after a Moraine. I didn’t know that word in French but a Moraine is formed after a glacier moved and then recede, leaving a pile of rocks (the Rock Pile walk to the viewpoint). When they first discovered Moraine Lake, the explorers thought it was what happened and that the lake was formed after the glacier receded.

In facts, it appears that Moraine Lake’s rock pile was formed because of a rock avalanche. So technically, Moraine Lake is not a Moraine but they didn’t want to change the name by then.

In 2014, when I first visited the rockies, you could park at any time by the lake (we arrived at 12pm on a random day during the first week of September).

We wanted to go hike Larches Valley (a very famous hike during the Larches Season – when alpine trees turn yellow) but we were refused the entrance because a ranger was posted at the beginning of the hike. He asked us if we were 4 people but we only were 2. We could not find two other people there and were not allowed to go because of the risk of encounters with Grizzlies.

How crazy was that?! We could not find 2 more people!! Not it is impossible to not find two people there ahah.

In 2023, because of the over crowded tourists, the huge line ups at all time to park and the non care tourists took when visiting Moraine Lake, Parks Canada decided to close the Moraine Lake road to personal vehicles.

The only way to access the parking of the lake now is to either take a shuttle (read below for options), a bike, have a handicap permit or stay at the Moraine Lake Lodge.



Moraine Lake Dog Friendly Shuttle Fairview Limo

Fairview Limousine

Website: (*)

Why is it my favourite?

They accept dogs!!! Yes they do! And not the small ones, the bigger ones too.

I took them with the “floof gang” (my dog and his dog friends) last year. They were so helpful through the process and they are located right in Lake Louise village.

They offer sunrise shuttles to Moraine Lake and combo shuttles to be able to go see both lakes.

The prices vary depending on the dates (week days, week ends, holidays) but here is what you can expect:

Sunrise: CAD 70+tx/person

Two Lakes: CAD 60+tx/person

One lake: CAD 20+tx/person

Dogs: Small dogs can travel for free if on your laps, for larger dogs (like Silas – Samoyed) that require more space, last year was 25$CAD

(*) Affiliate Link


Parks Canada Shuttle

Parks Canada have the cheapest option to get to the lakes.

Last year, they didn’t do sunrise shuttles but it seems that this year they will have one from Lake Louise Shore going to Moraine Lake (You will “just” need to get to Lake Louise shore for the start). You can find all the details and reservations links on the official website:

The reservations open on April 18th!! Be aware that you might have to be in a queue to get your tickets for the date you want and might not be able to buy them. It is a tough challenge of patience.

There is another option to get those tickets though if you didn’t get your date but it is a bit of a lucky game. They release other tickets for the shuttles 48h prior to the day of departure. Those tickets will be released at 8am (two days prior) on their site.

Fees (prices don’t vary):

Adult: CAD 8

Senior: CAD 4

Under 17: Free

All the fees for Parks Canada Shuttles are on this link:

Dogs: Small dogs that are small enough to fit in a carrying case on your lap.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

Moraine Lake Bus Company

Website: (*)

Pick up either in Samson Mall (Lake Louise Village) or the Lake Louise Summer Gondola (Lake Louise Ski Station)

The prices vary depending on the dates (week days, week ends, holidays) but here is what you can expect:

Sunrise: CA$129tx/person

Two Lakes: CA$90tx/person

Moraine Lake Day Time: CA$70 tx/person

Lake Louise Day Time: CA$40 tx/person

Dogs: Small dogs that are small enough to fit in a carrying case on your lap.

(*) Affiliate Link

Wow Banff


Pick up either in Lake Louise Ski Station or in Lake Louise shore.

They don’t have sunrise hours (at this time).

They do have a double open deck.

No prices announced yet for this year

Lake Louise Gondola & Lake Shuttles


Gondola + Lake Louise: CA$94 tx/person

Gondola + Moraine Lake: CA$104 tx/person

No sunrise shuttles

There are other options for getting there (like getting a guided tour or stay at the Lake Moraine Lodge) but I won’t talk about them here because these are just the shuttle options.

Larch Valley Moraine Lake Photographer
Wedding photographer moraine lake
Moraine Lake Midday
Moraine Lake Canoe Adventure Photographer

Get a professional photo session at Moraine Lake

Amazing! Now you know how to get to Moraine Lake. But what if you want to get a professional photo session over there?

Moraine Lake is one of photographer’s favourite place. This lake is just the perfect representation of all we have here in the Canadian Rockies: Alpine trees, high summits, and a turquoise lake.

If you want to get a photographer up there with you, don’t hesitate to reach out!

I offer different packages for your needs, whether you are a couple looking to get photos together, or someone who wants to do a surprise proposal and capture the moment, or a family wanting everlasting memories or a group of friends!

Photography packages

Rock Pile Pack.

By the Rock pile & the beginning of the lake shore trail - 80 to 100 edited photos - Online gallery
CAD$ 550Book now

Canoe Pack.

By the Rock pile, all around the lake shore (option canoe) - 120 to 140 edited photos - Online gallery
CAD$ 1000Book now

Larch Valley Pack.

By the Rock pile, all around the lake shore (option canoe) & Hiking the Larch Valley - 120 to 140 edited photos - Online gallery
CAD$ 1550Book now

Sentinel Pass Pack.

By the Rock pile, all around the lake shore (option canoe) & Hiking the Sentinel Pass (which includes Larch Valley) - 120 to 140 edited photos - online gallery
CAD$ 2050Book now

Options available:

> All packages: I can book the shuttle for us (*fees apply depending on the date and the time)

> Canoe, Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass packages: You can rent a canoe at Moraine Lake (last year it was 140$/h) and I’ll take some shots of you in the canoe on the lake


Get married or elope at Moraine Lake?


Hi! I am an adventure weddings and elopement photographer. I am located in Alberta, Canada, near the Banff National Park but I will travel to take pictures of your memories! If you need have any questions about what is an elopement, how to elope, where to elope or anything related to the matter, don't hesitate to reach out and it will be my pleasure to help you out in your big adventure!

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