Lake Louise Vacations: Lake Moraine
If you’ve come to the Canadian Rockies to visit Lake Louise on your vacation, it’s a pretty sure bet you’re going to spend some time exploring Lake Louise itself. But once you’ve had your fill of this amazing place in the Rockies, you should be sure to check out other areas, including Lake Moraine, adjacent to Lake Louise.
In a lot of ways, it’s just as fun and beautiful as Lake Louise.
Less known, of course, doesn’t always mean unknown, and in the case of Lake Moraine, that’s certainly the case. There are times when the lake draws a lively crowd of fellow hiking enthusiasts. Notably, as the morning progresses, more and more people tend to come to the area.
Still, it’s worth seeing, and is easily one of the best places to get some classic Canadian Rockies photos.
When you get there, you’ll want to jump on the Rockpike interpretive trail to get going. It’s an easy climb, not very high at all – it is only a pile of rocks, after all – but the view you get of the lake and of the Valley of the Ten Peaks is breathtaking.
If you came in hopes of seeing wildlife, keep an eye out for golden-mantled ground squirrel, chipmunk, pika (a rabbit relative found only in the high mountains) and marmot (a brawnier version of a squirrel, basically).
You’ll also find the Moraine Lake Lodge which has food to fill you up after the long hike, and a little gift shop where you can grab any keepsakes from the area that might interest you. Above the lodge, you’ll see Mt. Temple, the third-highest peak in Banff National Park, at 3,549 meters (11,636 feet).
There are actually a few other hiking trails all around Moraine Lake. One follows the right bank of the lake; another takes you along a short distance to Consolation Lakes. Both of these short hikes are well worth your time.
Other, longer trails also begin at the lake, such as the trail that leads to Eiffel Lake and another that leads to the scenic Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass. We can’t promise they’ll be open, however, and even if they are, they may have a warning on them.
Why? Well, in the past few years, a young male grizzly bear has made his home in the Moraine Lake area.
Don’t worry; bear sightings are quite rare at the lake itself. But if you’re curious about him, or about bears in general, be sure to catch the Parks Canada interpretive show at the Lake Louise Campground Theatre. There are also many books available for sale.