If you’re planning a trip to Banff National Park, you probably have Moraine Lake on your list of top places to see. And rightfully so — Moraine Lake is everything you’d want from a day out in the Canadian Rockies. The landscape is extraordinarily beautiful, and there’s an abundance of things to do for all ages.
If you’re gearing up for your trip and finalizing plans, you might be trying to decide what time of day you should head to the lake. In our humble opinion, that’s at sunrise! So get an early night and set your alarm a little earlier one morning of your vacation to see Moraine Lake at dawn.
About Moraine Lake
While Moraine Lake isn’t the largest lake in the Canadian Rockies, it more than makes up for its size with its vivid colors and picturesque scenery. Its online reviews attest to its legendary beauty, with almost 3,000 Google users leaving the lake an impressive 4.8 stars!
The lake is located just 14 kilometres from Lake Louise Village. To get there, you need to hop on a Moraine Lake shuttle as the road and parking lot to Moraine Lake are closed to private vehicles.
Moraine Lake is lovely on any day and at any time. However, there’s something incredibly special about seeing the lake during the sunrise.
The Lake Is at Its Most Striking
Watching the sun’s light wash over the Valley of the Ten Peaks that frame the lake, inching down the mountainside, and over the tranquil water is sure to be a peaceful and radiant memory that will stay with you forever.
It’s the Most Peaceful Time of the Day
Like all popular visitor attractions, Moraine Lake sees many, many tourists throughout the day. This is a great thing! Seeing so many people embracing and enjoying our natural environment is wonderful. However, if you’d like a moment of serenity away from the crowds at Moraine Lake, sunrise is the time to go!
It’s the Best Time for Photos
The combination of less foot traffic — you won’t need to keep readjusting your tripod to get the best shot — and the peace that an early morning in nature offers creates the perfect combination for getting fantastic, frame-worthy photos.
You’re Making the Most of Your Vacation
You can likely enjoy long sleep-ins on weekend mornings at home. When you’re on a memory-making vacation, waking up early and feeling a little bleary-eyed isn’t what you’ll remember. What you’ll remember is seeing a once-in-a-lifetime sunrise and making the most of your vacation.
Some shuttle bus companies can get you there for the Moraine Lake sunrise on time. Just make sure that you monitor the exact hour that sunrise falls on (and, of course, this changes throughout the year).
The best view of the Moraine Lake sunrise is from the viewpoint at the end of the Rockpile Trail — a very short hike from the car park. Bring cozy layers, and if you function best after a cup of coffee, a thermos with your favourite brew.
Once you’ve seen the sunrise at Moraine Lake, the choice of what to do next is yours! You can head back into Lake Louise Village for a delicious breakfast or spend a day at the lake exploring one, two or three of its many hiking trails.
The Bottom Line on the Moraine Lake Sunrise
If you’re visiting Banff this year, make sure to book your ticket on a Moraine Lake shuttle bus that gets you there in time for sunrise. Then, all that’s left to do is set your alarm, pack your thermos, and prepare yourself for a standout vacation moment that will delight both children and adults.