What to Do at Moraine Lake

A group of people in jackets at sunrise. They’re standing on a large rocky area overlooking a blue lake
Moraine Lake Bus Company

We’re thrilled to know you’re planning a trip to Moraine Lake. We promise it’s a visit you won’t forget — or regret! If you’re trying to decide how to plan your day at the lake, how long you should spend there, and what you should prioritize, you’ve come to the right place.

Here, we will share some of our favourite Moraine Lake activities for travellers of all ages, interests and abilities.

Enjoy the Moraine Lake Sunrise

We highly recommend taking the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise at Moraine Lake. Yes — it does mean an earlier-than-average wake-up, but the view and experience are worth it. Watching the stars slowly disappear, and the first light hitting the tops of the mountains as the lake slowly comes into view is something you will never forget.

If that sounds appealing, you should know we’re the only Moraine Lake shuttle that can get you there in time for sunrise. Our first shuttle leaves the Lake Louise Village at 4 a.m., and our second shuttle leaves at 5 a.m. Our top tip? Arrive one hour before sunrise to settle in at the Rockpile and enjoy the full experience. A note here is that the 5 a.m. shuttle is only an ‘early-bird’ shuttle in June and July, as you won’t arrive there in time for sunrise.

You can learn more about our Moraine Lake schedule here.

Once you’ve seen the sunrise, there are many other things to take in and explore!

Hit One of the Hiking Trails

One of the most popular things to do at Moraine Lake is to explore the many trails that begin right at the lake. A hike in the great outdoors is a great way to see the area from a different perspective and immerse yourself in the landscape Banff National Park is renowned for.

Here’s a quick guide to just a few of the Moraine Lake hikes.

  • The Rockpile Trail is a very short hike up the Rockpile and a great place to begin if you’re not an avid hiker. This one takes about 20 minutes, there and back.
  • The Lakeshore Trail — This is another easy walk with zero incline! This trail is roughly four kilometres long, there and back, and will take around two hours to complete. It winds along an easy pathway that follows the lake through the forested shoreline.
  • The Larch Valley Trail — Here’s a more challenging hike that takes roughly four hours. Larch Valley Trail is approximately nine kilometres, there and back, and climbs 600 metres. The turnaround point is at Minnestimma Lake in an area known as Larch Valley. We especially recommend this trail come mid-September when the larch trees have turned a striking gold.
  • The Consolation Lakes Trail — Passing by the Rockpile and through a lovely pine forest, you’ll eventually hit the shores of the Consolation Lakes. This trail takes hikers approximately two hours to complete; altogether it’s a six-kilometre round trip.
  • Eiffel Lake — This is a moderately challenging hike described by many locals as the most beautiful in the area. It takes around four hours to complete for most hikers, climbs 600 metres and stretches for 12 kilometres, there and back.

As you can see, there are plenty of trails for all abilities!

A person crouching down on a wooden log on a lake. They’re holding a large camera, about to take a photo

Rent a Canoe or Bring Your SUP

One of the most quintessentially Canadian things to do at Moraine Lake is to explore the area from the water. You can rent canoes, paddles, and life jackets on a first come, first served basis at the canoe dock run by Moraine Lake Lodge — the only accommodation on the water. Canoes fit a maximum of three people, and the rental period lasts one hour (which is really all the time you need).

Bonus tip: If you have an inflatable paddleboard, you’re more than welcome to bring it aboard our shuttles!

Paddling across the tranquil waters, either by canoe or SUP, is an excellent way to see Moraine Lake from a completely different viewpoint and to take a quiet moment to yourself to enjoy your surroundings.

Take Some Time For Lunch

If your vacation has felt like a flurry of activity, and you’d like to embrace one of the slower-paced things to do at Moraine Lake, why not bring a picnic? There are shops, bakeries and delis in the Lake Louise Village where you can pick up a complete breakfast or lunch to go before you catch your shuttle. In some cases, your accommodations can even pack you a picnic before you set off for the day.

If you bring food, here’s a friendly reminder to bring all your garbage back with you — including fruit peels and cores.

If you don’t have time to pick up food supplies, Moraine Lake Lodge has you covered. At the Moraine Lake Café (located conveniently close to the Moraine Lake parking area), you can sit and enjoy pastries, snacks, deli items and ice cream on their deck, or you can take it to go.

Questions? Just Ask!

These are just a few Moraine Lake activities for you to keep in mind. Ultimately, simply visiting Moraine Lake, finding a quiet spot to sit, and enjoying the stunning surroundings is enough. It’s rightfully considered one of the most beautiful locations in Banff and in Canada. If this wasn’t enough, you can view 20 handy tips for viewing Moraine Lake here!

In case you weren’t aware, private vehicles aren’t able to access the road to Moraine Lake. But don’t worry; we can get you there! If you’d like to learn more about our convenient and easy-to-book shuttles, our pick-up zones, or anything else — explore more of our website, shoot us an email, or give us a call. We’re always happy to chat about Moraine Lake!

Book your Moraine Lake shuttle today