Moraine Lake is easily one of the most beautiful places in all of Canada. There is no image more iconic of the Canadian Rockies or Canada for that matter than Moraine Lake. It’s on every visitor’s bucket list, but when is the best time to visit Moraine Lake?
Moraine Lake is an alpine lake that is wild turquoise blue fed by glacier melt and set with a backdrop of the Ten Peaks. This pristine piece of wilderness draws in millions of visitors a year and once graced Canada’s twenty-dollar bill. However, there are only a select few months out of the year that you can actually visit this iconic lake. And even then it’s not as easy to visit Moraine Lake as you may think. Let’s dig into the best time to visit Moraine Lake
Typically I would break this down month by month, like I did when discussing the best time to visit Lake Louise. However, I don’t have to do that for Moraine Lake, because the access road to Moraine Lake is only open five months out of the year. From mid-October to late May/early June the road to Lake Moraine is completely closed off.
Since the lake lies at a high elevation and is accessed by one small road it is prone to high avalanche risk. This means for safety the road is closed to all vehicles during the winter months. It usually opens around late May and closes the Tuesday after Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday (second Monday in October). Yes, Canada has its own Thanksgiving.
There are no set dates in regard to the opening and closing of the road as it’s entirely subject to the weather/snow conditions. When Parks Canada feels the route is safe they will plow the road and open it to the public. However you can expect this to happen the first week of June and close around the second or third week of October.
Only a select few people will get back there during the other months and are typically well versed in avalanche safety.