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Moraine Lake

The view of this turquoise lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks has been immortalized on countless postcards and on the back of 20-dollar bills in Canada.

Moraine Lake is one of the most photographed scenes in Canada. The “Twenty Dollar View” takes in the turquoise lake and ten surrounding mountains. The vista was once the picture on the back of 20-dollar notes in Canada, and the nickname stuck.

Most visitors spend several hours soaking up the views and snapping pictures. The scene of rugged snow-capped peaks and crystal-clear water surrounded by larch trees is postcard-perfect. There are hiking trails around the lake and canoes for rent. The lake is only accessible June through September, as the road is blocked by snow in winter.

The lake is 8.7 miles (14 kilometers) from Lake Louise and about 1 hour’s drive west of Banff. From the parking lot, it’s a short walk, roughly 980 feet (300 meters), up a rocky hill to a viewing platform, where you’ll get the best view.

The glacial lake gets its startling blue color from the minerals in the water that come down from the surrounding mountains. The Valley of Ten Peaks has the third-highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. The peak of Mount Temple is 11,500 feet (3,540 meters) high. Take all this in from the viewing platform.

The lake is brightest during the day when the sun is directly overhead. This is also when the lake is the most crowded, and it can be hard to find parking. Come before 10 a.m. and stay to watch the changing colors on the lake – the water’s surface reflects the ten peaks.

There are miles of hiking trails surrounding the lake. Hiking can be dangerous, because there are often bears roaming the area. Call Parks Canada for a safety update before you set out. Always walk in groups of four or more.

Popular Activities at Moraine Lake

How about making your stop at Moraine Lake even more special? Don't forget to try some of these activities:

Why not consider purchasing a Lake Louise & Moraine Lake Tour and a Full-Day Trip to Yoho National Park & Moraine Lake?

If you're seeking more activities, check out our Lake Louise things to do page.


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Lodging Near Moraine Lake

See all 95 Properties near Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake Lodge
Reviewed on Jul 25, 2014
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Moraine Lake Lodge

Moraine Lake Lodge

Moraine Lake Rd, Improvement District No. 9, Lake Louise, AB
     
    4.5 of 5
    3.5 out of 5.0

    I highly recommend Moraine Lake Lodge for its accommodations and proximity to the lake. My wife and I went here for our honeymoon and thoroughly enjoyed the lodge and its surroundings. Of the two lakes (Louise & Moraine), we were grateful we stayed at Moraine Lake Lodge as its lake and surrounding ...

    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise $395
    Reviewed on May 13, 2019
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    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

    111 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise, AB
       
      4.4 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Standard is lower than average for 5 star, only the view and location good

      Lake Louise Inn $164
      Reviewed on May 17, 2019
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      Lake Louise Inn

      Lake Louise Inn

      210 Village Road, Lake Louise, AB
         
        3.7 of 5
        3.0 out of 5.0

        The property was dated. The room was awkward and not clean enough. I would give it two stars out of 5. It was not horrible, it just did not live up to our expectations. Felt like we were camping.

        Baker Creek Mountain Resort $160
        Reviewed on May 18, 2019
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        Baker Creek Mountain Resort

        Baker Creek Mountain Resort

        Bow Valley Parkway, Lake Louise, AB
           
          4.5 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Beautiful cabin in a serene setting. So nice to just connect with the family.

          Mountaineer Lodge $118
          Reviewed on May 13, 2019
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          Mountaineer Lodge

          Mountaineer Lodge

          101 Village Road, Lake Louise, AB
             
            3.6 of 5
            2.0 out of 5.0

            We stayed in one of the renovated rooms in the lodge. The renos appear to be more along the lines of new carpet, new shower rod and curtain, and new beds. The room was a bit rough (doors, sink, tub), but this was one of the absolutely CLEANEST hotels I have stayed in! I travel quite a bit for work ...

            Deer Lodge $148
            Reviewed on May 13, 2019
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            Deer Lodge

            Deer Lodge

            109 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise, AB
               
              3.4 of 5
              3.0 out of 5.0

              The room was small, which is ok, I didn't mind that there was no TV, but it would have been better if there was a comfortable chair to sit on in the room, and a small fridge would have been nice in order to keep water cold, and left overs from spoiling. Other then that the Lodge was great. Location ...

              Paradise Lodge & Bungalows $219
              Reviewed on Oct 9, 2018
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              Paradise Lodge & Bungalows

              Paradise Lodge & Bungalows

              105 Lake Louise Drive, Box 7, Lake Louise, AB
                 
                4.6 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0

                Great location, very close to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Cozy cabin and very helpful staff that answered all of our questions.

                Great Divide Lodge
                Reviewed on Feb 11, 2017
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                Great Divide Lodge

                Great Divide Lodge

                1 Trans Canadian HWY, Field, BC
                   
                  3.3 of 5
                  3.0 out of 5.0

                  Not much accomodation in this area, so you can't be picky and choosey. This served the purpose, twin room, comfortable, warm, albeit a little aged! Nice bar/pool area, with selection of beers. Stayed here to visit Yoho NP, walk the Emerald Lake loop and visit Takakkaw Falls. Overall did the ...