Anyone travelling to Banff National Park should factor in a paddle across the tranquil waters of Moraine Lake: an absolute must for your vacation bucket list!
In case you didn’t know, Moraine Lake is just outside of Lake Louise Village. This famous lake welcomes thousands of visitors from across the globe every year. While there are plenty of Moraine Lake hikes that take you to some great vantage points, Moraine Lake canoeing gives you the opportunity to view the Valley of the Ten Peaks from a different perspective and to get an up-close look at the raw and rugged beauty of the area. We’re confident that it’s an experience you won’t forget — whether you’re an experienced paddler or a total novice.
If we haven’t convinced you yet, read on to learn more about Moraine Lake canoeing, and to find out some additional information on how we can get you there.
How Do I Find the Moraine Lake Canoe Rental?
This answer is very simple! There’s just one place to rent a canoe at Moraine Lake, and that’s at the Moraine Lake Lodge. The lodge is the only accommodation and the only structure on the water, so it’s really easy to find. It’s also a short walk from the Moraine Lake parking lot, where our shuttles drop you off and pick you up (don’t worry: there’s more info on our drop off and pickup locations to come!).
When Can I Rent a Canoe?
Canoe rentals are available between mid-June to mid-September. This isn’t an arbitrary decision. Moraine Lake usually thaws by the end of May or the beginning of June, making the water levels ideal for canoeing mid-month.
The canoe docks open at 9 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m., with the last boat rental starting at 4 p.m.
What Is the Moraine Lake Canoe Rental Price?
As we type, the posted price for Moraine Lake canoe rentals starts at $140.00 (Canadian dollars) plus tax (5% GST). Canoes can accommodate a maximum of three people.
This cost includes:
- a canoe (of course!) for one-hour,
- life jackets,
- paddles, and
- some instructions to get you started — though we’re confident you’ll find your groove pretty quickly!
The information here on canoe rental times and costs is dynamic information, meaning it’s subject to change. We recommend checking these specifics on the lodge website before your plan your day. Feel free to check in with us, too!
Some General Housekeeping About Moraine Lake Canoe Rentals
There are a few variables when it comes to the Moraine Lake canoe rental experience that you should be aware of ahead of time.
For one, canoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis. So you might need to wait in line, especially come mid-afternoon. But don’t dismay — even if you don’t secure a canoe, there are still many things to do in the area.
On occasion, for visitor safety and to protect the overall visitor experience, the Lodge will close their Moraine Lake canoe rentals due to inclement weather — like high winds, heavy rain, and snow.
What Can You Expect?
When you jet off from the Moraine Lake canoe dock, you’ll first be blown away by the scale of the surrounding peaks, the vibrant shade of the lake, and the peaceful and tranquil quiet. While you won’t be the only boat out there, it’s easy to keep your distance from other visitors — this is especially true if you go the distance and take advantage of the 120 surface acres of water and don’t just stick to the shoreline.
We recommend paddling up one side, then returning down the other — that way you’ll get to experience multiple viewpoints. The right side of the lake follows alongside the Lakeshore hiking trail, which is treelined in sections. On the left side of the lake, you’ll paddle by a rugged scree field at the base of one of the several mountains.
That said, if you don’t want to risk spaghetti arms the next day and you’d simply like to gently paddle around the dock and the centre of the lake, taking photos as you go, you’ll still have a fantastic time.
For many, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Canoeing across Moraine Lake will be a permanent memory and a standout experience of your Rockies vacation.
What Should You Bring When You Canoe Moraine Lake?
This depends on how you’d like your day to look. If you’re going to spend an entire day at Moraine Lake to canoe, hike and sit and enjoy the scenery, bring some snacks or a full-blown picnic — the choice is yours! And if you forget, don’t worry. There’s a café at the lodge where you can grab lunch.
For your trip on the water, we recommend sunscreen, appropriate clothing for the weather and temperature, and a bottle of water. Don’t forget your camera!
A Special Note for SUP and Kayak Enthusiasts
If you own an inflatable paddleboard or an inflatable kayak and you’ve brought it with you on vacation, you’re very welcome to bring it (deflated) on our shuttle buses. Moraine Lake is ideal for paddleboards as it’s a sheltered body of water, making things relatively calm.
You can launch your SUP or kayak from one of the open spaces by the water on the Lakeshore Trail (and our knowledgeable drivers will be able to point you in the right direction).
One unusual thing to keep in mind here: Banff National Park requires visitors who plan to use a watercraft like a SUP to fill in a super straightforward, self-certified permit before setting off onto any body of water in the park. This is to help control the spread of invasive species. You can learn more about this process here.
We Can Get You There!
If you’d like to canoe Moraine Lake, hike one of the many trails in the area, see the Moraine Lake sunrise, enjoy lunch on the deck of the lodge café, or do it all — you can count on us!
As of the end of 2022, private vehicles can no longer access the road that leads to Moraine Lake. That’s where we come in. We’re a fuss-free shuttle service that allows you to book your ticket to the lake and back again. You can make Moraine Lake shuttle reservations very easily on this website — we promise. You don’t even need to create an account or come up with an elaborate password; just pick your dates and times, and we’ll be waiting for you when we say we will — it’s that simple.
If you have any questions about the area or about the Moraine Lake canoe rental process, contact us. We know the area like the back of our hands and will be more than happy to help you plan your Moraine Lake adventure.