Moraine Lakeshore - Banff NP - Hiking Alberta

 

Infamous Moraine Lake is nestled in the glaciated Valley of the Ten Peaks.

Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The Moraine Lakeshore trail is a short, flat, easy and spectacular hike from Moraine Lake Lodge along the east shore of Moraine Lake near Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.  Official length is 1.9 KM (1¼ miles) one-way if parking close to the lodge is possible.  Fortunately, this day, parking near the lodge is secured from the earlier hike to Consolation Lakes.  More than a hundred cars are lined up along the side of Moraine Lake Road, having given up hope of finding a spot on this August weekend afternoon.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Moraine Lake Lodge at Moraine Lake south of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The log jam outlet beside the Rockpile, at the north end of Moraine Lake, provides a classic view of the Valley of the Ten Peaks towering over the emerald, glacier-fed lake.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada View of Valley of the Ten Peaks past the log jam at the Rockpile over Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada View of Valley of the Ten Peaks past the log jam at the Rockpile over Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Immediately past Moraine Lake Lodge is a very busy canoe and kayak rental facility across from the group regulated trail entrance for Larch Valley / Sentinel Pass and Eiffel Lakes / Wenkchemna Pass.  Both are spectacular day hikes with breathtaking scenery and links to more aggressive options. 

The Moraine Lakeshore trail is on excellent quality path with braided options created by the tens of thousands who hike the trail annually.  The easy world-class hike is being done again today as a blog entry for international visitors or new hikers to consider.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The canoe and kayak rental store provides visitors with a different view and experience on Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The trail-head for Larch Valley and Eiffel Lakes at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Moraine Lakeshore trail in close proximity to the shoreline with spectacular views to mountains on the far side of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The hike begins through forest with frequent access to the shoreline of emerald Moraine Lake.  Clear water displays lake bottom detail.  Several plank footbridges cross pristine streams with luminescent green, moss borders.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Wooden plank bridges over inflow streams feeding Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Ever changing views along the Moraine Lakeshore trail in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Wooden bridge over a stream featuring a tiny waterfall at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada A tiny, pristine waterfall along the Moraine Lakeshore trail in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Partway down the east shoreline, views of the blue glacier ice, collaring mountain summits above open up with giant waterfalls tumbling down rock faces as melt increases in the warmer weather of summer months.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Mountains above Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks south of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Crystal-clear emerald water at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Giant waterfalls tumble down huge cliffs from glacier melt at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The final section of official trail crosses the longest wooden bridge and culminates at a large wooden platform near the south end of the lake at a broad inflow set of white water rapids from sources including Eiffel Lakes beneath Wenkchemna Pass.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Proceeding on the final approach to the south end of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The longest wooden bridge on the Moraine Lakeshore trail in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Lush green mossy borders on the Moraine Lakeshore trail in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Arriving at the observation platform at the south end of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The view from the south end of Moraine Lake is breathtaking.  The roar of white water is enhanced by echoes from towering stone walls capped with blue glacial ice.  The beauty of this location is surreal.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada White water rapids pouring into the south end of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Blue ice glaciers in Valley of the Ten Peaks at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Canoeists are playing with fast water entering the south end of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The view north from the south end of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

On the return hike, the views are uniquely different with greater opportunity to photograph the beauty of the shoreline.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Moraine Lakeshore trail along the east shoreline of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The clear, emerald water of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada A new Victoria Glacier view at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The Victoria Glacier above Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The Victoria Glacier above Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The photographic opportunities along trail side are virtually unlimited and includes a combination of broad scope combined with minute detail creating unique and special opportunities.  Perhaps the biggest challenge is the patience required to capture images without including the throngs of people any more than is absolutely unavoidable.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada A long lens view back to the white water rapids at the south end of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Sculptures in the moss created by tiny streams at Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Virtually endless artistic photo opportunities along the shoreline of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The images of Moraine Lake looking back to the south are difficult to resist on the return hike over trail braids which stay close to water's edge.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The approach to the trail-head at the north end of Moraine Lake bring the Tower of Babel into view and soon, the Rockpile, which plugs the north end of the emerald gem.

 

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada    
 
The biggest challenge on this short, easy hike is finding photographic opportunities which make the place look relatively empty.  Summer is not the best time to visit, particularly on a weekend day.  Midweek in the shoulder seasons provides a better experience. 
 


Photographs for this Moraine Lakeshore hike were captured on August 17, 2014 east of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.


 

 

 

 

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Comments

Thanks, Bill. The next time you are in Calgary we can take the canoe trip on Moraine Lake and perhaps hike to Eiffel Lakes again.

Very nice pictures. I would not have known it was so crowded if you didn't mention it. Next time we are there, I would like to do the canoe trip.

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