Your Guide to Moraine Lake Parking

A photo of two men standing by a bus talking. They are both smiling.
Moraine Lake Bus Company

Moraine Lake is one of — if not the most — beautiful locations in the Canadian Rockies, which puts it in the running for one of the most beautiful locations in Canada. The many photos you’ll see online don’t do the spot justice; it’s a place you’ve got to see in-person.

While getting there takes a little bit of planning, it’s well worth the effort; after all, being prepared means avoiding disappointment!

In that spirit, we’re here to give you the rundown on the Moraine Lake parking lot — the gateway to Moraine Lake — and how our shuttle to Moraine Lake can get you to this must-see natural wonder. It’s what we do best!

You Can’t Drive to Moraine Lake Yourself

Near the end of 2022, Parks Canada closed the Moraine Lake parking lot and the road leading to the lake to private vehicles — except for commercial vehicles and vehicles displaying blue handicap tags.

This decision was made in response to the massive traffic jams occurring every day. For context, the parking lot at Moraine Lake only has room for 96 vehicles last summer, which meant 5,000 cars were turned away each day — parking in Moraine Lake was at absolute capacity. It stayed this way 24 hours a day, seven days a week during peak seasons (summer months, weekends, and larch season in early fall), forcing flagging staff to remain on-site around the clock to manage traffic.

Removing the option for private vehicles to park at Moraine Lake was met with mixed reviews, but most locals are pleased by the decision. The road closure not only improves public safety and helps prevent congestion on Lake Louise Drive, but it also:

  • Helps restore and retain wildlife patterns for the native wildlife using the Fairview wildlife corridor, which Moraine Lake Road crosses. It also helps to reduce the stress experienced by wildlife in the area from the crush of traffic.
  • Reduces emissions. It’s estimated that by removing the 900 personal vehicles a day that visited Moraine Lake and their collective 20,000 kilometres of driving, we’ve removed approximately four tonnes of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere.
  • It gives visitors a better experience of getting to see Moraine Lake. Knowing in advance that the road is closed allows travellers to prepare and book their shuttles. This goes a long way towards reducing disappointment and improving the visitor experience for the potential 5,000 vehicles-worth of people who would have been turned away this summer alone.

Our Service to the Moraine Lake Parking Lot

Even though the road is closed to private vehicles, you still have a few options for getting to Moraine Lake.

For one, you can bike there. Bikes and e-bikes are available for rent in nearby Lake Louise Village. Though this is at your own risk: there’s no sidewalk and the shoulder is very narrow.

You can also hike from Lake Louise Village. As above though, this is at your own risk due to the lack of sidewalks and the incredibly narrow shoulder. If you’re not an avid hiker, you might also feel a little drained when you arrive — the journey is a 28-kilometre round trip.

Last, but certainly not least, there are shuttle services operating in the area — like us! We’re biased, of course, but getting to and from Moraine Lake via a comfortable and reliable shuttle is the very best way to visit. Through our easy-to-navigate website, all you need to do is pick the date and time you’d like to visit Moraine Lake, and you’re ready to go. It’s that simple. We don’t even ask you to create an account!

Keep reading for more information on our shuttles.

Two white Moraine Lake Bus Company shuttle buses waiting for passengers. It's rainy and dark; they have their lights on.

Information About Our Schedule and Rates

Our shuttles run from June 2 to Thanksgiving weekend. If you’re catching a ride with us, we have two convenient pick-up zones where you can leave your vehicle for free.

Our pick-up zones — and the car park where you can leave your vehicle — will vary based on the time of day you want to catch your shuttle. Our pick-up locations are as follows (keep an eye on our schedule and rates page for up-to-date information and to be aware of any necessary changes).

  • For our 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. sunrise departures: Parking is at Samson Mall. Our bus will pick you up from the taxi stand outside of Wilson Mountain Sports.
  • For shuttles after 6 a.m.: Parking is at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Here, our buses pick you up from outside of the Lodge of the Ten Peaks.

As above, our shuttle services start in the very(!) early morning. For those of you keen to see the Moraine Lake sunrise  — something that we highly recommend! — you can reserve a seat on one of our two sunrise shuttles from as early as 4 a.m. We’re the only shuttle service in the area that can get you there in time for sunrise! Our shuttles to Moraine Lake will drop you off and pick you up at the Moraine Lake parking lot.

We ask that you’re ready and waiting at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before your shuttle departure time. Running on time — and at the precise time we list on our website — is important to our team. By arriving a little before your departure, it means that we can set off as advertised, and that you and your fellow riders don’t miss even a single precious moment of vacation time.

The great thing about riding with us is that we also let you book your return time, unlike most other operators. This means no waiting in line at the end of a long day on the trails, and there’s no risk of you missing your dinner reservations in town.

The Takeaway on Moraine Lake Parking

The main takeaway here? If you want to see Moraine Lake, the road that will take you there is closed to private vehicles, so you need to find another way there. We heartily recommend taking our convenient, punctual, and fuss-free shuttles!

At Moraine Lake Bus Company, getting you to Moraine Lake is our specialty. We’re happy to help you if you’d like more information on our pick-up times and locations — reach out today and let us help get you there. We promise you that Moraine Lake will be a lasting memory and the standout highlight of your vacation!

Book your Moraine Lake shuttle today