As for 2023, Parks Canada just announced that they are no longer allowing personal vehicles at Moraine Lake, which means you MUST book a shuttle. I know.. Not what you want to hear, trust me, neither did I, however, there seems to be no way around it. Unless you are staying at Moraine lake lodge you need to book a either a public or private shuttle.
If you or someone you know is planning an elopement, surprise proposal or even just an adventure getaway to Moraine Lake in Banff National park here are a few tips you should keep in mind that most people never think of.
If you stumbled across this blog randomly, welcome to Fly Free Photography! We are Calgary Photographers that shoot all over western Canada, but primarily in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta! It is honesty such a beautiful place to call home and we are excited to share some of it's beauty here with you today! If you are on the hunt for a mountain photographer, I'd love to chat with you more.
Moraine Lake Tips
1. Moraine Lake Sunrise
It's colder then you think - A lot of our clients are coming from warmer places in the US or abroad and are not used to our chilly mountain temperatures. So please make sure you have warm layers and are prepared for literally any sort of weather, no matter what time of year you are visiting - yes, it can snow in July. haha Sunrise at Moraine lake can typically include temperatures below 0 as it's very early morning. Due to the new restrictions from Park Canada, there sadly will be no way to access Moraine lake for Sunrise anymore except by commercial transportation, as Moraine Lake Road is now closed to personal vehicles year round. The public shuttles will not start till after 6am.
2. Moraine lake parking is nutty - at best.
The road is often closed ( Plan ahead ) - If you are headed to Banff National park for the day and just wanted to swing by Moraine whenever, you can pre book a shuttle here, which will make sure you get in and see the iconic beauty of this lake. However, if you were planning to drive yourself, you now wont be able to. As for 2023 the Moraine Lake Road is now closed to personal vehicles year round. This past summer, I shot a surprise proposal there and the parking lot was full by 3:30am - Yes friends, AM! haha It's no joke, and a lot of logistical planning for a shoot back there. The other option, if you are wanting to take in the best of the best, is to stay at Moraine Lake Lodge, they have special parking for anyone who is staying there.
3. When is Moraine Lake open
It is weather dependent - However, typically the road back to Moraine is open from May 15 till Oct 15 given we don't get any crazy so storms / it has melted enough come May due to being in avalanche territory. However, if you are a cross-country skier, you can make the trek back in the winter! It is a 15km round trip though, so come prepared!
4. Looking for a Moraine Lake Photographer
Moraine Lake is stunning, and tons of people want to shoot there - Please please please make sure they have proper licenses, know the area and can act as a tour guide. Hiring someone who has never shot there or knows the ropes might leave you with a bad taste in your mouth about photographers. Due to everything that is involved with planning, permits, etc. you can expect to hire someone in the price range of $1000 - $2000 for your adventure there. I'd love to chat if it's something you are considering.
Best places to take pictures in Banff National Park
Lucky for you, Moraine lake isn't the only stunning location in the Rockies! If you are looking to get married, plan a surprise proposal or simply just have family photos, we have tons of stunning locations in our back pocket. This beautiful sunrise proposal being just one of them! I'd love to chat with you more here or feel free to download our free Elopement Location Guide below!