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The Best Moraine Lake Sunrise Tour

Moraine Lake. Canada

by Coco Tran On September 9, 2023

lake moraine sunrise tour

Are you planning a trip to Moraine Lake in Banff National Park and want to experience sunrise at Moraine Lake?

Hands down Moraine Lake Is the most beautiful lake I’ve seen. Even better than Lago di Braise in Italy. Hence the crazy surge recently after Covid. So Canada Parks Recreation had to pivot which included a recent permanent ban on all personal vehicles,

there are still ways to visit the gorgeous lake moraine for sunrise! Read on below for the best lake moraine sunrise tours.

The Best Moraine Lake Sunrise tour

lake moraine sunrise Tour

When I visited Moraine Lake, the ban on parking wasn’t implemented yet. About a month later in early 2023 it was in place, so I was lucky to have experienced Lake Moraine in all its glory during sunrise. But it wasn’t without its qualms, we had to wake up crazy early and waited in the parking lot at 3 am!! Parks Canada has said that they saw a 300% visitor spike in recent years.

To remedy the traffic congestion they started to offer paid shuttles to Moraine Lake, but the shuttles have to be reserved in advance, and the earliest shuttle doesn’t start until 6:30 am not early enough to catch the sunrise! Not just that but the early 6:30 am shuttles are ALL BOOKED and completely sold out already this summer.

On top of that, Parks Canada shuttles only let you book a 1-hour time slot, so the lines are regularly 60+ minutes at the end of the day. In all honesty, I totally understand why this no-parking rule was implemented at Moraine Lake. But obviously, this is a huge dilemma for visitors who want to see Moraine Lake at sunrise! So I’ve done some digging and research to find the answer.

What is the best way to visit Lake Moraine for sunrise? Well, the good news is there are early bird tours & the only moraine lake sunrise shuttle that makes it for sunrise aside from the the park & ride shuttle. This bus shuttle is made just for sunrise at lake moraine. There are very limited tours that are allowed and have the proper license to do so.

Below you’ll find the only 4 tours & shuttles that are approved and allowed to operate at Lake Moraine. Lake Louise which still allows you to park there. So without further ado, here are the best tours to see Lake Moraine for Sunrise:

Private Sunrise Tour of Lake Moraine

This private tour to Moraine Lake. This means you and your group of up to 4 people have a private transfer from your hotel or residence (Canmore or Banff) This will allow you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning views on the way to the lake! You’ll sip some hot chocolate or coffee en route and you will arrive at Lake Moraine by 4:30 am! Click on the black button to see pricing and availability. Book your tour asap as they sell out! You can reserve and pay later for more convenience and flexibility.

Lake Moraine Sunrise Shuttle

If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to see Lake Moraine at sunrise, this is the only shuttle allowed to operate for early sunrise! The earliest bus takes you to Lake Moraine by 4:30 am and is only $29 per person. The pick up location is at Samson Mall ( 20 minutes from lake moraine) which you can park at. They have an easy route that loops to Lake Louise as well.

What To Do At Lake Moraine

lake moraine sunrise Group Tour

Another awesome lake moraine sunrise tour tour with the best reviews. It’s a tour of up to 14 people. So it’s a larger group but at a great price! Again, only certain tour operators are allowed to enter Moraine Lake Rd so the only way you can see Moraine Lake for Sunrise is by booking one of these tours. They offer a comfy ride and pick-up from your hotel and hot chocolate!

Private Moraine Lake Sunrise Tour

Another great option to see Moraine Lake for sunrise: this is a private early morning shuttle to Moraine Lake just for your group of up to 4 people. You have the option to stop by Lake Louise as well ! 2 in 1 and if you split the cost it’s actually a much better experience and price. Definitely book this ahead of time as it will sell out (especially if you’re going during the summer)/


Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Lake Moraine

No, personal vehicles are no longer allowed at Moraine Lake. Shuttle bus reservations are required to access the lake or you can book a private tour!

A: Shuttle bus reservations can be made online in advance. It is recommended to book your reservation as soon as possible as spots fill up quickly.

A: Arrive at least 45 minutes before sunrise to secure a good spot.

Pets are not allowed at Lake Moraine or in Banff National Park. Please leave your furry friends at home or make arrangements for their care while you visit the park.

No, swimming is not allowed in Lake Moraine to protect the fragile ecosystem and preserve the natural beauty of the lake.

It takes about 45 minutes to hike around Lake Moraine. However, if you plan to stop and take pictures or explore the surrounding area, it can take longer.

The fee to visit Moraine Lake is included in your National Parks A small fee of $8 to reserve the parking shuttles

No. You cannot stay overnight in your vehicle, as personal vehicles aren’t allowed on the road starting 2023. But don’t worry! You can book a stay at the lodge in the park .

The answer will depend on your individual preferences and travel plans. However, as a general guideline, I recommend spending at least 2-4 hours at Lake Moraine to truly take in the beauty of this stunning destination. Longer if you are planning to hike.

in general, Moraine Lake is typically open to visitors from mid-June to mid-October, when the snow melts and lake thaws. Check the latest information on Parks Canada’s website.

While Lake Moraine is accessible by car, personal vehicles are not permitted to park at the lake itself during peak travel times starting in 2023 due to limited parking availability and environmental concerns.

Instead, visitors are encouraged to use the Parks Canada shuttle service, which operates between the Lake Louise overflow parking lot and Lake Moraine. This service runs several times per day during peak travel times and offers a convenient way to reach the lake without having to worry about parking.

Alternatively, visitors can take a taxi or ride-sharing service to the lake or participate in a guided tour that includes transportation to and from the lake.

It’s important to note that while personal vehicles are not permitted to park at Lake Moraine during peak travel times, there are still plenty of ways to reach the lake and experience its stunning beauty. Whether you choose to take the shuttle, a taxi, or a guided tour, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with this iconic Canadian destination.

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Book Your Stay at Moraine Lake!

the best hotel
lake moraine lodge

Best Hotel Closest to Moraine Lake

The only accommodation within walking distance of lake moraine. Staying here will take the hassle of planning. Stay here to enjoy the convenience of being right next to the lake.

rating :

3 star rating
3 star rating
3 star rating

3 star lodge

key features:

  • located in the park
  • best view of lake
  • walking distance to the lake
  • Restaurant on property
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