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Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore

  • Difficulty
  • 3.4km
  • 38m
  • 0.5-1h
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The Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore trail in Lake Louise provides one of the best views of the Canadian Rockies and the stunning Moraine Lake. This hike is best enjoyed very early or in the evening due to large crowds and limited parking.

Getting there

If you want to park at Moraine Lake, your best bet is to get there before 6am.  To get there, take Lake Louise Drive from Lake Louise Village for 2.0km, then turn left on Moraine Lake Road and follow for 12.2km.  Most people end up taking the public transportation.

elevation

Total Gain: 38m

About

Type of Hike Out and Back
Crowd Levels Extreme
Route Signage Good
Toilets Trailhead
Family Friendly Yes
Backcountry Campgrounds No
When to Do May through October

 Detailed Description

The hardest part of hiking at Moraine Lake is getting there. Parking at Moraine Lake is extremely limited, and the best bet is to aim to get to Moraine Lake before 6am or after 8pm for your best chance to snag a parking spot.

There are also paid shuttle options to Moraine Lake Parking lot. These are available from the Lake Louise Village and the Lake Louise Overflow Parking lot which, is where traffic will be redirected to once the Moraine Lake Parking Lot is full. There is nowhere to line up if access is blocked to Moraine Lake Road. You can also ride a bike to Moraine Lake, and it’s a beautiful ride.

We love this hike at Moraine Lake, as it is a great route for families and those who aren’t experienced hikers. Experienced hikers should add this hike to their itinerary at Moraine Lake, and ensure they take in the view from the top of the Rockpile while doing other hikes in the area. The view from the top of the Rockpile overlooking Moraine Lake provides an iconic view of the Canadian Rockies – stunning and fit for a postcard.

To start this hike, hike through the parking lot to Moraine Lake. Before you get to the lake, head off to the left on a trail that goes behind the big rockpile. Some people choose to climb up the rocks up the Rockpile, however, the preferred (and safer way) of hiking up is a well-built trail that involves hiking behind the Rockpile.

The trail around the Rockpile is well-made, with steps for the steeper ascents. Once you’ve hiked to the top of the Rockpile, you can savor the scenery of the Valley of the 10 Peaks towering over the stunning Moraine Lake, one of the most iconic mountain views on earth. The hike continues in a circuit on the top of The Rockpile, which provides many viewpoints for great photos.

Follow the path back down from the Rockpile (it’s the same route you came up on) and then head towards Moraine Lake Lodge. You can stop here for a snack, however most follow the forested trail that goes along the right-hand shore of Moraine Lake.

While hiking along Moraine Lake, you’ll get a beautiful view of Mount Fay and the Fay Glacier as well being able to look out at canoes enjoying a paddle on the lake.

Hike as far as you want around Moraine Lake. The end of the hike is a boardwalk, with more nice views. Enjoy this pleasant stroll along one of the most beautiful places on earth.

We like to do this hike after dinner during the summer, and find getting a parking spot between 8-9pm is usually not too difficult.

Insider Hints

  • You need to get here before 6am in summer to even have a chance at a parking stall. Otherwise plan to take a shuttle or taxi. If you need to drive, try going after 8pm.
  • This is a great place (though expensive) to rent a canoe. Rentals are on the lake, just past Moraine Lake Lodge.
  • Snacks and drinks are available at Moraine Lake Lodge.