The next stop in the immediate Lake Louise vicinity is our other fabulous lake, Moraine Lake (open in summer only). Moraine can be extremely busy by noon, so it is important to get an early start on the day. Enjoy a hearty breakfast, then head out (say, before 9:30 am) to the shore of Moraine Lake where adventures large and small await.
Do take the Rockpile interpretive trail. The very best views of the lake and surrounding Valley of the Ten Peaks can be had from the top of this, yes… pile of rocks. It is short, with only a little elevation to conquer. Look for the golden-mantled ground squirrel (fat with stripes), the chipmunk (stripes with pointy nose), the pika (a unique high mountain rabbit relative) and the marmot (a ground squirrel on steroids… occasionally sighted). Food and gifts are available at Moraine Lake Lodge. On your right, above the lodge, is Mt. Temple, the third highest peak in banff National Park (3549 m / 11, 636 ft).
There is a short walk along the right bank of the lake and a short hike to Consolation Lakes that are both a great way to extend your visit to Moraine Lake. As well, a number of longer hikes begin at Moraine Lake including spectacular Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass and Eiffel Lake. There may, however, be a bear closure or warning on these trails….
You are in Bear Country:
The Moraine Lake area has been home over the last couple of years to a young, male grizzly bear.
Right at the lakeshore your chances of seeing this bear are quite small, but it is an awe-inspiring (and humbling) experience to know that the park is still home to this powerful creature.
Find out more about the grizzly by taking in a Parks Canada interpretive show about bears at the Lake Louise Campground Theatre (schedule available at the Lake Louise Visitor Centre) or by buying one of the many books available.
Click the logo for short side trips and stops on this tour.