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Moraine Lake: A Guide's Perspective

I have been visiting Moraine Lake in one capacity or another for almost 25 years.

This includes working as an educator with Parks Canada and as a driver/guide, so I thought

I would take my shot at telling you about my relationship with that lake!


Capturing the perfect image of Moraine Lake:

Can you imagine that after all this time relating the same stories to visitors over and repeatedly, I still pull out my camera and I still take pictures of the same place?

Somehow, I have this feeling that I want to capture the stunning beauty of that lake and take it home with me. Maybe, just maybe, if I get the right image, I could make it a part of me. And even though I cannot seem to capture that perfect image, I keep trying. Einstein said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results." So, I guess the beauty of that place has done exactly that to me and made me a little insane!

Laugh Out Loud!!!! And I don't feel so ridiculous, and I feel justified about the strong emotions I carry for Moraine Lake because when I bring the visitors to my favourite vista, they have that same visceral response that I do every time I get there: WOW! There are variances; some are slow and drawn out, and some are sharp and quick, and everything in between. One thing is the same, though, the surprise factor.


The Surprise Factor of Moraine Lake:

Each and every time. Surprise in what? In its beauty and how stunning this place is.

The colour is absolutely captivating. Not much compares to it!

I'm sad when Thanksgiving arrives in mid-October, and I can no longer drive there because the road is closed to motor traffic, although I can get there on my cross-country skis during the winter thanks to Parks Canada track setting the road. More energetic folks will snowshoe up the 13 km (8 miles). During the winter months, one has to work hard to get to the lake, but the payoff is sensational. Moraine Lake stands at almost 1,900 meters elevation (about 6,000 feet), so it freezes over and is blanketed in soft, white, fluffy snow. Stunning as it is during those magical months, I confess to being happy when it's easily accessible again in the spring. At that point, it's only just beginning to melt. And it looks quite different

again to how we see it in mid-summer, fall and then, winter. It, like many places in the Rockies, has a rhythm, or a heartbeat, if you will. I am one of the very fortunate people who have the privilege of experiencing all of that.


The colour of Moraine Lake:

During Covid, I took a break from my many years of guiding in the Rockies. The first time back, of course, I pulled out the camera, and my fetish started again. From my favourite vantage point (which means going up 150 steps onto the Rock Pile that overlooks the lake), the water during summer looks like turquoise ink. It doesn't look like regular glacial water if there is such a thing. The canoes floating on the lake below appear surreal as they reflect their own colours into the blue-green water. I could go on and on about the colour of the lake, but it is best for you to look at the pictures splattered all over the internet or just come and see for yourselves.


Canmore Travel Moraine Lake Shuttle:

This last summer, to feed my obsession with this place, I was doing something a bit different. I worked for Canmore Travel, driving a shuttle up to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. I got to spend a whole hour at each lake, more time than any other tour I used to offer (unless it was a hiking tour). This gave me more time than ever before to go for a wander and really soak in the ethereal beauty before me. Sometimes, guests came with me, and sometimes, they wanted to gaze and explore on their own. Either way, I really, really like being there. Yes, Lake Louise is also beautiful. It also has its own seasonal rhythm and beauty, and it's generally more accessible to the many different fitness levels of the public, but for me, Moraine Lake takes the cake.


Moraine Lake Road is closed to personal vehicles:

You are no longer permitted to drive up there on your own. Everyone must take the shuttle service now because of how busy it has become and how narrow the access road is.

The positive is that Moraine Lake has been protected by this new system, and it is less overcrowded with visitors, which makes it a GREAT experience. If you are coming to the Rockies, don't miss seeing this amazing place; it's worth the hassle of the shuttles.


Don't just take my word for it. Experience the magic of Moraine Lake yourself. Don't miss out on Canmore Travel's exclusive offerings, including the Moraine Lake Sunrise Experience and Two Lakes in One Trip. Book your adventure now and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of this iconic destination. Reserve your spot today with Canmore Travel and create memories that will last a lifetime!


Moraine Lake Shuttle
Moraine Lake

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