Moraine Lake Road

Difficulty
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Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
6-8h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
24.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
993 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The multi-use Moraine Lake Road snowshoe sees cross-country skiers, ski tourers, snowshoers, and sometimes even fat bikers! This is an excellent way to experience the majestic Moraine Lake in the Valley of The Ten Peaks without the summer crowds. This is easily the most popular summer destination; however, it sees very few visitors in the winter. Spend a full day on this route, enjoying the grandeur of the lake before you turn back.

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Route Description

Moraine Lake Road is a snowshoe trail that travels along the summer road to the namesake lake. This road experiences extreme traffic and a high volume of visitors in the summer. The road closes in winter due to avalanche hazard. Due to the road closure, winter recreationalists are able to ski, snowshoe, or skin up to the famed lake. If you have seen Moraine Lake in the summer, visiting it in winter is a must-do. The winter route offers a whole new experience and allows adventurers to see the lake in its truest natural state.

Snowshoeing the Moraine Lake Road requires a bit more time than cross-country skiing; however, for those dedicated to snowshoes, it is a rewarding trail that sees little visitors.

From the Great Divide parking lot, cross the street safely and join Moraine Lake Road. There may be parking spaces at the bottom of the Moraine Lake Road. Begin your ascent on the gradual route. Be sure to stay out of cross country ski lanes. You’ll find two groomed tracks along with a skating lane. Stay to the side; these trails are maintained for skiers only.

Pass the Paradise Creek trailhead after 2.5 km and continue along the road as views across the valley begin to appear. Look for the ski runs at the Lake Louise Ski Resort across the valley as you make your way towards the lake. Further up the road, you will catch a glimpse of the peaks that tower over Moraine Lake.

The tracksetting ends after 9.2 km. Many skiers turn around here at the Consolation Valley viewpoint. Ahead of this point is a large avalanche path. Users should only continue if they have sufficient knowledge of avalanche hazards. If you are able to continue here, continue for a few kilometres until you reach the incredible frozen lake. Take in the grandeur of the Valley of The Ten Peaks and enjoy the solitude you will find at the famous Moraine Lake.

Plan for a sunny day to ensure you will be able to enjoy breaks and a picnic lunch in the sunshine. Return the way you came and watch out for skiers on the downhill!

Insider Hints

  • Leave extra early for a sunrise mission. Plan for sunrise at the lake, but if you don’t make it, you will be able to stop at the Consolation Valley viewpoint to watch the sun come up.
  • Stay out of the cross-country ski tracks especially on the return. No dogs are allowed on this route in the winter due to the tracksetting.
  • Warm up with a specialty coffee at Trailhead Cafe in the Lake Louise Village after you return.
  • Check the avalanche forecast if you plan on heading all the way to the lake. The route crosses an avalanche path.

Getting There

From Lake Louise Village, take Lake Louise Drive through the four-way stop. Continue up the hill until you reach the sign for Moraine Lake on your left. You will park in the Great Divide parking lot on your right. Get your gear organized and cross the road to begin your journey along the Moraine Lake Road.

Route Details

  • When to do

    November-May

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

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