The Twenty Dollar Bill View

Lake Louise Travel Blog

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A rushing river on the trail to Lake Louise

Although there are many beautiful lakes in the area, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are two of the most beautiful ones. Lake Louise is the greenish blue lake against the stark backdrop of Victoria Glacier while Moraine Lake is the amazing turquoise glacier fed lake hemmed in by ten lofty mountain peaks that seem to go into infinity as its backdrop, aptly named the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

Lake Louise is famous but Moraine Lake is even more beautiful! And there is little wonder that Moraine Lake rivals Lake Louise in scenic grandeur and fame.

Lake Louise, named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta (1848-1939), is located in Banff National Park about 5 Km from the hamlet of Lake Louise and the Trans Canada Highway.

On the trail to Lake Louise
The emerald colour of the water comes from the rock floor carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers that overlook the lake. The eastern shore of the lake is dominated by Chateau Lake Louise, one of Canada’s grand railway hotels, a luxury resort hotel built in the early decades of the 20th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Most people prefer to drive up to Lake Louise but we preferred to hike from our campsite. The beautiful and peaceful trail took us next to the creek, passed the rushing rivers and through the forest to Lake Louise. Lake Louise was indeed scenic and understandably one of the most photographed place but the place was also full tourists from all over the world. We were happy to have visited the place and to have seen the beautiful lake but we would remember more of the peaceful hike than the lake itself.

Lake Louise

The trip to Moraine Lake on the following day was for me a much anticipated one because I have read so much and seen so many beautiful pictures of this lake. I had to see it with my own eyes!

Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake in Banff National Park located about 14 kilometers outside the Village of Lake Louise. It is situated in the Valley of Ten Peaks with an elevation of approximately 1,885 m and is only accessed from late spring to early autumn due to the snow. The lake is being glacially fed and normally reaches it crest some time from mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinct shade of blue due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis. We were there at the right time of the year to see this amazingly beautiful turquoise lake with its magnificent backdrop.

Lake Louise in the background

Although it was still early in the morning, the first busloads of tourists had already arrived before us. With tourists from various parts of the world and all chattering in their own languages, it was like a United Nation gathering before the spectacular lake and mountain peaks. I had even to elbow some of them out of the way in order to capture a picture of this beautiful scenery that had left me mesmerized from the first day I saw a picture of it.

After a good half an hour admiring the view and walking around the viewing point with all the other tourists, we went for a leisurely breakfast in the Moraine Lake Lodge whose architecture embraces the dramatic beauty of Banff National Park.

Thereafter, we started our trek on the trail of the Valley of Ten Peaks. The area around the lake offers several hiking trails which are from time to time restricted because of grizzly bear activity.

Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier in the backdrop
The best thing was that most of the tourists gathered and walked around the viewing place while only the hardcore hikers embarked on the trail. Hence, in a matter of about 50m away, one had the peace and quietness to enjoy the beautiful nature and scenery without the clattering of the United Nations!

After the steep ascent through the forest, the trail leveled off such that we were basically walking alongside the ten majestic peaks with the valley separating in between. The view was really spectacular! Even though it was in the midst of summer, part of the trail was still covered with patches of snow. By the time we finished our trek and came back down to the Moraine Lake Lodge area, a warning signs for bears was in place, signifying the possibility of bears looming around in the area in the evenings in search of dinner. We had again no luck in the sighting any bears.

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nicolecarp says:
I hadn't heard of Moraine Lake until reading this review. I don't know much about Banff but hope to see it this year. Great review and photos!
Posted on: Jan 03, 2010
reikkowen says:
BEARS (@_@)! that'd be so awesome to see one!
Posted on: Sep 26, 2008
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A rushing river on the trail to La…
A rushing river on the trail to L…
On the trail to Lake Louise
On the trail to Lake Louise
Lake Louise
Lake Louise
Lake Louise in the background
Lake Louise in the background
Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier …
Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier…
A deer on the road
A deer on the road
Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake
Moraine Lake
Stunning view surrounding the Vall…
Stunning view surrounding the Val…
On the Valley of Ten Peaks trail w…
On the Valley of Ten Peaks trail …
Two of the ten peaks
Two of the ten peaks
Enjoying the view of the Valley of…
Enjoying the view of the Valley o…
View of the peaks along the trail
View of the peaks along the trail
Two of the ten peaks along the tra…
Two of the ten peaks along the tr…
Dangerous grounds... a snow patch …
Dangerous grounds... a snow patch…
Crossing some snow patches along t…
Crossing some snow patches along …
Snow patches along the Valley of T…
Snow patches along the Valley of …
Gosh, its warm!
Gosh, its warm!
An interesting tree trunk along th…
An interesting tree trunk along t…
Taking a rest
Taking a rest
Tarzen & Jane
"Tarzen & Jane"
Cold water at the running stream
Cold water at the running stream
A sign on the trail 
Warning: Be…
A sign on the trail "Warning: B…
Lake Louise
photo by: mountaingirl