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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.


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Best Lodging Options Near Moraine Lake

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Moraine Lake Lodge
Moraine Lake Lodge

Moraine Lake Lodge

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

    Situated on a lake, this romantic lodge is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Moraine Lake and within 9 miles (15 km) of Icefields Parkway and Panorama Peak. Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Lake Louise Gondola are also within 12 miles (20 km).

    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise CA $322
    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

    111 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise, AB
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on a lake, this spa resort is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and within 6 miles (10 km) of Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. Moraine Lake and Banff National Park are also within 9 miles (15 km).

      Lake Louise Inn CA $143
      Lake Louise Inn

      Lake Louise Inn

      210 Village Road, Lake Louise, AB
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in a national park, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Lake Louise Mountain Resort. Moraine Lake and Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse are also within 9 miles (15 km). Lake Louise Station is 14 minutes by foot.

        Baker Creek Mountain Resort CA $191
        Baker Creek Mountain Resort

        Baker Creek Mountain Resort

        Bow Valley Parkway, Lake Louise, AB
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated on the riverfront, this spa hotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of Icefields Parkway, Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Lake Louise Gondola. Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse is 10.4 mi (16.8 km) away.

          Mountaineer Lodge CA $135
          Mountaineer Lodge

          Mountaineer Lodge

          101 Village Road, Lake Louise, AB
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in a national park, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Icefields Parkway and 1.9 mi (3 km) from Lake Louise Mountain Resort. Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse and Banff National Park are also within 6 miles (10 km). Lake Louise Station is 11 minutes by foot.

            Deer Lodge CA $108
            Deer Lodge

            Deer Lodge

            109 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise, AB
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in a national park, this family-friendly hotel is 4.1 mi (6.7 km) from Lake Louise Mountain Resort and 4.2 mi (6.8 km) from Lake Louise Gondola.

              Paradise Lodge & Bungalows CA $245
              Paradise Lodge & Bungalows

              Paradise Lodge & Bungalows

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

                Situated in a national park, this lodge is 3.5 mi (5.6 km) from Lake Louise Gondola and 7.9 mi (12.7 km) from Moraine Lake.

                Storm Mountain Lodge Cabins & Dining
                Storm Mountain Lodge Cabins & Dining

                Storm Mountain Lodge Cabins & Dining

                Highway 93 South, Castle Junction, AB
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Castle Junction, this cabin is 3.1 mi (4.9 km) from Kootenay National Park and within 9 miles (15 km) of Banff National Park and Johnston Canyon. Paint Pots Trailhead and Numa Falls are also within 12 miles (20 km).