If you are visiting Banff for the first time, a trip to Moraine Lake is a must! It’s only half the size of its more popular (read crowded) neighbor, Lake Louise. It’s a little less-known secret, and some would say that Moraine lake is even more scenic than Lake Louise. Because it’s a glacier-fed lake, the water is a gorgeous shade of turquoise blue. The best view, of course, is from the center of the lake, so we decided to rent a canoe!
Day Trip Summary:
We left Banff around 9am, and we decided to drive instead of taking public transportation to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Since it’s almost impossible to drive directly to Moraine Lake or Lake Louise, overflow parking if the way to go. It would have been best if we started earlier, as the overflow parking to Lake Louise was more than half full by the time we arrived. Here they have school bus shuttles running every 15 minutes to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. $15CAD to Moraine Lake and free to Lake Louise. We chose to start with Moraine Lake as the school bus line was much shorter, and I’m so glad we did. Moraine Lake is smaller, less people, and so spectacular even though not as iconic as Lake Louise. The staff at overflow parking said we had to return to the lot from Moraine Lake then take the other bus to Lake Louise. (Note: Moraine Lake is 14km from Lake Louise.)
When we got to the canoe rental, we decided to rent a canoe for one hour. (Rentals start at $105 CAD plus tax for one hour.) As you would expect, paddles, life jackets and basic instruction are provided free of charge! Unfortunately, you can’t reserve the canoes in advance, but if you get there around when they open at 9:30 am, you should be safe. I hope you get the chance to visit!