The bright blue water of this Alberta lake makes it a picture-perfect spot (VIDEO)

Mar 23 2022, 5:30 pm

Attention photographers: the bright blue waters of Moraine Lake may be something you want to snap a shot of this summer.

Chances are, if you’re from Alberta (or anywhere else in the world, honestly), you’ve seen your Instagram feed flooded with images of this iconic lake in Banff National Park, but have you been there to see it for yourself?


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Moraine Lake offers a breathtaking view, with its turquoise water surrounded by beautiful green forests and towering, snow-covered mountain peaks. The best time to visit the magnificent body of water is between the months of late June and August when the glaciers have melted.

Although it looks like every photo from Moraine has been edited to make the water appear that Kool-Aid blue, that’s not the case.

Rock flour, sediment caused by glacial erosion, refracts the light of the sun, which is what naturally gives the lake its jaw-droppingly vibrant blue colour.

For your own safety, please make¬†sure you are prepared before heading out¬†on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from¬†¬†and¬†AdventureSmart. Parks Canada visitor guidelines are available¬†here.¬†Always remember to leave no trace, pack out what you pack in, stick to designated trails, and refrain from feeding wildlife ‚ÄĒ and please note that irresponsibly taken selfies (even if they look great for the ‚Äėgram)¬†can be fatal.¬†


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Where is it?

Moraine Lake is found in Banff National Park, just south of the equally stunning Lake Louise and northwest of Calgary, close to the Alberta-BC border. The body of water sits at an elevation of 1,883 metres above sea level.

How do you get there?

The drive from Calgary to Moraine is just over two-and-a-half hours long. You’ll head west on the Trans-Canada Highway, turn left onto the scenic Bow Valley Parkway. From there, merge onto Lake Louise Drive, eventually making a left onto Moraine Lake Drive, which will take you right to the parking lot.

It’ll take those from Edmonton just over five-and-a-half hours, driving south towards Calgary and then following the same directions on the Trans-Canada Highway from there.


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Due to its popularity, the Moraine Lake parking lot can fill up fast, particularly during peak season. If this is the case, we suggest taking a Parks Canada shuttle up to the lake. Leave your car in the Park and Ride parking lot off of the Trans-Canada Highway (six kilometres east of the Lake Louise Village) and catch the shuttle from there. A return-trip fare will cost you $8 and can save a lot of frustration!

It’s important to note that reservations are required for all shuttles departing the Park and Ride lots to Moraine Lake. Shuttle service for the season resumes in May 2022.


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What’s there?

Once you arrive at Moraine, you can spend your day walking through trails and hiking around the area. Take a dip in the glacial waters, or grab a canoe or kayak go for a paddle.

Whatever you do, be sure to snap plenty of pretty photos!

If you want to extend your experience, no problem ‚Äď there’s a lodge near the sparkling water just for you, open seasonally from June 1 to September 30 (although you’ll want to be sure you make a reservation in advance).


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