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Moraine Lake Shuttle Reservations all you need to know

Banff, Canada

by Coco Tran On September 8, 2023

Moraine Lake Shuttle Reservations

I’ve got all you need to know about how to make Moraine lake Shuttle reservations and tips to make your trip the best one yet!

Moraine Lake Shuttle Reservations

Moraine Lake is one of the most scenic spots in Banff National Park. With its turquoise blue waters reflecting the surrounding mountain peaks, it’s no wonder this lake is one of the most popular attractions in the Canadian Rockies. 

However, the popularity of Moraine Lake has led to major congestion and parking issues over the years. In 2023, Parks Canada implemented a new shuttle system to limit vehicle access to Moraine Lake. 

While this new system has its challenges, the Moraine Lake shuttle aims to provide stress-free access to the lake while also protecting the environment. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the Moraine Lake shuttle reservation system, including tips for booking your spot.

Moraine Lake Shuttle Reservations

Overview of the Moraine Lake Shuttle

The Moraine Lake shuttle is a Parks Canada shuttle service that provides access to Moraine Lake. It runs between the Lake Louise park and ride lot and the lakeshore of Moraine Lake. 

As of 2023, private vehicles are no longer permitted to drive to Moraine Lake. The only way for visitors to access the lake is through the shuttle system, by hiking, biking, or booking a tour.

The goals of the shuttle system are to:

– Reduce traffic congestion and parking issues at Moraine Lake
– Limit environmental impact around the lake 
– Provide an efficient and affordable transportation option for visitors

The shuttle runs frequently, aiming to transport over 2,000 people per day. It’s designed as a convenient way for visitors to access this incredibly scenic destination in Banff National Park.

moraine lake sunrise

When Does Moraine Lake Road Open?

Moraine Lake road typically opens in early June each year. The exact opening date varies depending on snowmelt and road conditions. 

In 2023, Moraine Lake road opened on June 8th. For 2024, the projected opening is June 1st, but this could change depending on the weather and snowpack levels.

The road stays open until mid-October when it closes for the winter season. The operating schedule for 2023 is:

– Opening day: June 1, 2023
– Closing day: October 9, 2023

So the season to visit Moraine Lake runs from early June through early October. The busiest months are July and August.

Parks Canada Moraine Lake Shuttle Schedule

The Moraine Lake shuttle runs daily from June 1 to October 9 

The first Moraine Lake shuttle departs the Lake Louise park and ride at 6:30 AM and the last shuttle leaves Moraine Lake at 7:30 PM.

Shuttles operate every 15-20 minutes in both directions. 

Here are the key shuttle times to be aware of:

– First shuttle departs park and ride: 6:30 AM 
– Last shuttle departs park and ride: 6:00 PM
– Frequency: Every 15-20 minutes
– Last shuttle departs Moraine Lake: 7:30 PM

The schedule allows visitors ample time to enjoy a full day exploring Moraine Lake and the surrounding trails. With frequent shuttles, you can take your time without worrying about missing the last shuttle back.

Moraine Lake Shuttle Reservations

How to Book Your Moraine Lake Shuttle Reservation

To ride the Moraine Lake shuttle, you must make a shuttle reservation in advance. No tickets are sold at the shuttle stops. 

Here are the steps for booking your reservation online:

1. Visit the Parks Canada Reservation Website

2. Create an account if you don’t already have one

3. Search for “Moraine Lake Shuttle” 

4. Select your date and departure times

5. Complete reservation and payment ($10 roundtrip per adult)

Reservations can be booked quickly during peak summer, so it’s recommended to reserve your spot as early as possible. 

You can reserve same-day shuttle tickets on the website up until 5 p.m. the day before. Keep checking back for last minute openings if the time you want is full.

When Do Reservations Open For 2024?

For the 2024 season, a portion of the Moraine Lake shuttle reservations will open on April 13,  at 8 AM Mountain Time. 

On this initial reservation launch, Parks Canada will release 40% of the operating season. This equates to roughly 2.5 months of shuttle tickets. 

The remaining 60% of reservations will be released throughout the summer on a rolling basis:

– Additional tickets are released every 2nd Tuesday at 8 AM Mountain Time 
– Tickets are released for travel dates 48 hours later (2 days in advance)

So if you miss out on the initial April reservation release, keep checking regularly for new batches of tickets to open up. 

Moraine Lake Park & Ride Shuttle Prices (Return Trip)

Adults: $10 
Seniors (65+): $5
Youth (6-17): $2.50
Children (under 6): Free

Tip: Create your Parks Canada account now so you’ll be ready to book on April 13th!

Where is the Moraine lake Shuttle bus Pickup/Drop-off Location?

The Moraine Lake shuttle picks up and drops off from the Lake Louise Park and Ride location. This is NOT the actual Lake Louise lakeshore.

The Lake Louise Park and Ride address is:

1 Whitehorn Road 
Lake Louise, AB

This is located below the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Free parking is available in the designated Park and Ride lot.

You can plug these GPS coordinates into Google Maps to find the exact pickup spot: 

51.426931, -116.152226

When you arrive, look for the shuttle signs and lineup to board. Be sure to have your ticket confirmation ready to show the driver.

Connecting between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

How to get from Lake Louise to Lake moraine and How to get from Lake Moraine to Lake louise

The Lake Connector shuttle provides service between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. This allows you to visit both lakes in one day using the shuttle system.

To use the Lake Connector, you must have a reservation for either the Lake Louise or Moraine Lake shuttle. You can book reservations for both shuttles in the same day.

The Lake Connector runs every 15 minutes between the Lake Louise lakeshore and Moraine Lake. Simply show your confirmation for a shuttle reservation at either lake to board this shuttle.

This connector shuttle is a convenient option if you’re staying in Lake Louise village and want to see Moraine Lake too. You can take the Lake Connector over to Moraine Lake rather than driving to the Park and Ride lot. 

No additional reservations are needed for the Lake Connector. Just have your original shuttle reservation confirmation ready.

lake moraine sunrise tour

Taking the Roam Public Transit Bus 

Roam Public Transit provides bus service from Banff to Lake Louise on Routes 8X and 8S. You can use Roam to access the **Lake Louise park and ride** shuttle pickup area.

Between May 20 and September 18, Route 8X (Lake Louise Express) runs daily along the Trans-Canada Hwy with stops in Lake Louise village.

From Sept 19 to Oct 10, Route 10 provides direct shuttle service to Moraine Lake. No transfers are needed.

If you don’t have a car, Roam is a convenient way to reach the Lake Louise area without the hassle of booking multiple shuttles.

One option is to purchase a Roam Super Pass for $25. This provides unlimited access to all Roam routes for one day. With the Super Pass, you also get free access to the Lake Connector shuttle.

 Driving to the Lake Louise Park and Ride

If you are driving to Moraine Lake, you must park at the Lake Louise park and ride lot. This large parking area is located below the Lake Louise Ski Resort. 

The address is 1 Whitehorn Rd which you can plug into your GPS. Look for signs for the Park and Ride when approaching Lake Louise.

Parking is free if you have a shuttle reservation. Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled boarding time. 

Parking illegally along the highway or in other undesignated areas risks getting a ticket. Use the official Park and Ride lot to avoid issues.

What If the Shuttle is Sold Out For My Date?

With Moraine Lake’s popularity, shuttle tickets can be booked quickly during peak summer. If your desired date is sold out, you have a few options:

– Keep checking back for cancellations as tickets are constantly being returned. New tickets are released 48 hours in advance. 

– Consider visiting earlier or later in the day when tickets are more likely to be available.

Book a tour that offers guaranteed transportation to Moraine Lake.

– Take Roam Route 10 which provides direct service to Moraine Lake in September/October without needing a shuttle reservation.

– Ride your bike! It’s 14 km uphill but a stunning ride from Lake Louise village to Moraine Lake. 

– Hike to the lake on one of several scenic trails like Larch Valley, Sentinel Pass, or Paradise Valley.

With some advanced planning and preparation, you can find a way to experience the incredible beauty of Moraine Lake. Don’t let a sold-out shuttle deter you from seeing this top Banff attraction. 

Booking the Moraine Lake Sunrise Shuttle Bus

One of the best times to see Moraine Lake is at sunrise, when golden light glows off the calm turquoise water. 

Since private vehicles are no longer permitted, the only way to see sunrise at Moraine Lake is to:

– Stay overnight at Moraine Lake Lodge (the only lakeside accommodation)

Book a sunrise tour 

Take the Moraine Lake Sunrise Shuttle Bus

The Moraine Lake sunrise shuttle departs from Lake Louise at 4 AM and arrives at Moraine Lake in time for sunrise. This gives you a chance to experience the peaceful serenity of dawn at the lake before crowds arrive later.

This specialty shuttle runs on select dates from late June through September. Reservations are required in advance directly through the shuttle operator, Moraine Lake Shuttle.

Tickets are $20 per person roundtrip. Dress warmly for this early start! The shuttle returns to Lake Louise around 8:30 AM.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some other common questions about the Moraine Lake shuttle service:

Are pets allowed on the shuttle?

Yes, small pets in carriers can ride for free. Assistance pets are also permitted.

Can I take my canoe or kayak?

Yes, shuttles can accommodate paddle crafts and other small non-motorized boats. 

Is there disability access?

The shuttle has wheelchair lifts but limited capacity. Visitors with disability placards can get special permission to drive their vehicle to Moraine Lake if needed.

Can I pay cash for tickets?

No, you must book online with a credit card in advance. No cash payments are accepted.

Do children need a ticket?

Children under 6 can ride for free without a ticket. Older children need a regular or discounted youth ticket.

What about bad weather

Shuttles run rain or shine. Check the Parks Canada updates for any closures due to extreme weather or road conditions.

Getting to Moraine Lake Without the Shuttle

While the shuttle system provides easy access to Moraine Lake, there are a few other transportation options to consider:

Hike or Bike- The scenic 14 km route from Lake Louise along Moraine Lake Road is a favorite for cycling and hiking. Bike rentals are available in Lake Louise village. 

Book a Tour- Guided tour companies like Discover Banff, Radventures, and Banff Jasper Tour Company can drive you directly to Moraine Lake. Tours start from Banff or Lake Louise.

Rent a Car – Having your own car allows you to visit Moraine Lake on your own schedule. Reserve well in advance as summer rentals sell out fast.

Take a Taxi- Taxis like Three Sisters Taxi offer private rides to Moraine Lake. Rates start around $400 roundtrip from Banff.

Roam Transit (Sept/Oct Only)*- In fall, Roam Route 10 provides direct service to Moraine Lake from Banff without needing a shuttle reservation.

While less convenient than the shuttle, these options allow you to see Moraine Lake on your own terms.

 Tips for Visiting Moraine Lake

To make the most of your visit to stunning Moraine Lake, keep these tips in mind:

– Arrive early. Try to take the first shuttle at 6:30 AM to avoid crowds. 

– Have backup dates/times booked. In case of cancellations, you’ll have alternatives ready.

– Bring warm layers. It’s often cold and windy by the lakeshore.

– Pack a picnic. There are no dining options at Moraine Lake, so bring your own food.

– Wear good footwear. Trails can be rocky, muddy, and steep in areas. 

– Check the forecast. Aim for sunny bluebird days for the best lake photos.

– Explore Lakeshore Trail. This easy 2.8 km loop offers classic lake views.

Join a canoe tour. Paddling on the turquoise waters of Moraine Lake is incredible.

– Hike to one of the viewpoints. The Rockpile, Wenkchemna Peaks, and Consolation Lakes offer stunning vistas looking back at the lake.

With proper planning using the Moraine Lake shuttle reservation system, you’ll be able to comfortably access and enjoy this magnificent glacier-fed lake in Banff National Park.

Just be sure to book your shuttle tickets well in advance since spots fill up fast. Add a Moraine Lake visit to your Canadian Rockies itinerary for an experience you’ll never forget!

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