When we went to Canada a few weeks ago for The Golden Ultra, I had a long list of places that I wanted to visit and hike in addition to the race. I know, sounds crazy on top of an ultra, but this area of the world is so pretty that I couldn’t imagine doing any other adventuring on the side while we were there.
At the top of our list was Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Originally, we were going to wait until Sunday to check this out and do it post race, but we did it it on our drive to Golden instead, and I’m so glad that we did.
We got there around 5:30 p.m., so a lot of the tourists were gone for the day, which was great. We had stopped at a brewery on our way and the guy was telling us that unless you get there by 10 a.m., you won’t find parking and should probably take a shuttle. I guess I underestimated how popular it was!
Even the drive up to the lake, once we got off the main road, didn’t disappoint:
Yes, that’s snow and it was snowing a little bit on our way up!
Once we got to Moraine Lake, we basically parked and BAM, it was right there.
Absolutely gorgeous! Apparently the color of the lake comes from the fact that it’s glacially fed, and honestly, most of the lakes in this area are a beautiful bright blue color. We hiked around the lake (which ended up being a few miles total) and didn’t venture off to the other trails because we were headed to Lake Louise right after.
The one thing I read about Moraine Lake was that sometimes you aren’t allowed to walk around unless you are in groups of four because of bears:
I guess bear activity was low when we were there, because that wasn’t the mandate, just a suggestion. Honestly, this lake is SO busy, I don’t quite know how bears would even come around because of all the people traffic.
So, overall thoughts on Moraine Lake?
Definitely worth the visit –> I would say go early or late so you can avoid a lot of the tourists and make it a stop on your itinerary versus an extended stay. There were some other hikes that we did that were absolutely amazing (and others on my list that I wish we could’ve fit in), but it’s amazing to see Moraine Lake in person (because I really don’t think pictures do it justice).
Have you ever been to Moraine Lake? What did you think?
Share your favorite Moraine Lake hiking trails (if you have any)!
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