Lesser known than neighbouring Lake Louise but no less beautiful, Moraine Lake is another glacially fed slice of heaven in Banff National Park. The best view comes from climbing the steep and aptly named Rock Pile Trail, which offers panoramic views of the whole fairy tale scene. If you want to take the shortcut, it’s a quick scramble up some loose rocks, but the official route is only 350 metres and not nearly as dicey.
The shot from the top is known as the “Twenty Dollar View,” once featured on the back of the Canadian twenty-dollar bill. Be sure to walk around the lake to the canoe rentals, which are also one of the most photographed areas. Parking can be a nightmare with lots often full by 10 a.m. so you should plan on arriving super early (get those sunrise shots in!) or take the seasonal shuttle from town. It’s also important to note that the road to Moraine Lake is closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall and high avalanche risk.
Where to Stay: Moraine Lake Lodge