March 24th, 2019

Your Travels: Marvelous Moraine Lake

By Medicine Hat News on December 8, 2018.

Leslie Maltin

This past September I headed for a visit to Moraine Lake. If you’re not familiar with Moraine Lake, it’s a glacially fed lake in Banff National Park, 14 kilometres outside the Village of Lake Louise. It is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6,183 feet (1,885 m). The lake has a surface area of 50 hectares (120 acres).

Moraine Lake, being glacially fed, does not reach its crest until mid- to late-June. When it is full, it reflects a distinctive shade of blue. The colour is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis. Moraine Lake is only half the size of its nearby neighbour Lake Louise, but perhaps even more scenic. This glacier-fed lake becomes the most intense and vivid shade of turquoise blue. The setting of the surrounding majestic mountain peaks makes the scene almost surreal.

Moraine Lake’s brilliant blue-green waters are sheltered in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Take a forested stroll along the shore or climb atop the Rockpile for breathtaking vantage points. Rent a canoe or try one of the trails in the area that range from casual walks to more strenuous hikes. Or just sit and take in the beauty of the lake. Moraine Lake Road is open mid-June through mid-October. Arrive before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. in July, August and September.

A most unique feature of Moraine Lake, some people may recall that the back of Canada’s $20 bills printed between 1969 and 1979 featured the iconic images of Moraine Lake and the Valley Of The Ten Peaks. The beautiful deep blue water with a backdrop of towering snow-capped mountains is one of the most photographed spots in the Canadian Rockies or just maybe in all of Canada!

There is no winter access to this marvel, so you will have to wait until the road reopens in May.

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