If you are inquiring about the Moraine Lake Shuttle, then you probably already know that Moraine Lake is closed to private vehicles in 2023. Even prior to 2023, it was extremely difficult to get Moraine Lake parking, especially during peak season.
Moraine Lake is one of the most visited lakes in Banff National Park, and for good reason – it’s stunning! If you’ve ever seen a picture of a stunning blue lake in Banff, chances are that it was Moraine Lake!
Prior to 2023, the parking lot at Moraine Lake filled up well before sunrise and didn’t empty until after sunset. Sure, people did luck out by getting a parking space in the middle of the day but who wants to waste all that time circling around hoping to hit it just right.
One thing we know for sure is that you don’t want to miss visiting Moraine Lake. Unless you are staying at the Moraine Lake Lodge, then the best way to guarantee you see Moraine Lake is to get a ticket for the Moraine Lake shuttle or book one of the alternate ways of getting to Moraine Lake.
Parks Canada has closed the Moraine Lake Road to private vehicles in 2023. Plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss seeing Moraine Lake during your visit to Banff National Park.
Moraine Lake Shuttle – Table of Contents
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Moraine Lake Shuttles
May 2023 Update:
Looking at the Parks Canada Reservations for Moraine Lake in June, July and August, most of the morning time slots are booked up. Additional tickets will be released throughout the summer on a 48 hour rolling window. You’ll have the opportunity to book your Parks Canada Moraine Lake shuttle tickets at 8am MST two days before you’d like to visit Moraine Lake.
There are still plenty of time slots open for the afternoon shuttles.
If you want to visit in the morning and would prefer to get your tickets booked before you arrive in Banff National Park, you can book through another operator. Here is a summary of other ways to get to Moraine Lake:
Best Sunrise Option – The Moraine Lake Bus company offers shuttle rides that will get you to Moraine Lake 45 minutes before sunrise. The cost of this is only $35 per adult. They also offer the shuttle throughout the day and have some time slots that make a stop at Lake Louise. All their shuttles leave from either the Lake Louise Village (sunrise) or the Lake Louise Ski Resort Park and Ride.
Best Option to Get to Moraine Lake from Banff or Canmore – The Moraine Lake Sunrise Shuttle and Explore Banff Tours & Transfers are the two best options. In September only, we recommend the Roam Bus Route 10 as it goes direct from Banff to Moraine Lake.
Best Tour to Moraine Lake – Radventures offers a tour with stops at both Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Visits to Moraine Lake will be at sunrise and you’ll still see Lake Louise before the crowds. It’s a 7 hour tour that also includes time for breakfast.
Even as locals, we have had difficulty visiting Moraine Lake over the years. We don’t have the luxury of going before sunrise (unless we want to wake our kids at 4 am – and that’s NOT FUN for anyone!). So we make sure we book reservations for the shuttles to Moraine Lake throughout the season.
As a visitor to the area, we highly recommend booking a shuttle to Moraine Lake in advance instead of hoping that you’ll be able to walk up and get on the shuttle. We think this is one of the best ways to get to Moraine Lake.
If you’ve missed advanced booking, more tickets are released on a 48 hour rolling window for each departure day. Read below for the details!
Parks Canada Moraine Lake Shuttle
Parks Canada operates direct shuttles to Moraine Lake from the Lake Louise Park and Ride. This allows visitors to park their vehicle in the designated lot and get on a bus that will take them straight to the famous lakes (depending on the shuttle ticket purchased).
It takes around 25 minutes to get to Moraine Lake from the Park and Ride, as there are no other stops along the way.
The Parks Canada shuttle operates from mid-May to mid-October for Lake Louise and June 1 to mid-October for Moraine Lake. Similarly, the Lake Connector shuttle only operates from June 1 to mid-October. In 2023, the shuttles will operate until October 10th.
Need Help Planning Your Trip?
Our Banff Travel Guide has everything you need to get the MOST out of your trip to Banff!
Purchasing Moraine Lake Shuttle Tickets
This Parks Canada shuttle service requires advance reservation for tickets. In the past, it was possible to walk up and purchase shuttle tickets at the Park and Ride, though initially it was announced that this would not be allowed.
Moraine Lake shuttle reservations can be made Thursday, April 13th, 2023 at 8 am MT. The shuttles to Moraine Lake will begin June 1 until mid-October (October 10 in 2023). You can select a one hour time block for when you want to take the shuttle to Moraine Lake.
You can book a Parks Canada shuttle for either Lake Louise or Moraine Lake. Included in your reservation is a Lake Connector shuttle, allowing visitors to easily visit both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in one day.
Insider Tip: Parks Canada is using a new reservation system this year, so we recommend creating an account and familiarizing yourself with the new system prior to when reservations open.
If you don’t book your shuttle tickets in advance, a portion of the shuttle reservations are released 48 hours prior to the departure day (for each day in the season). These additional shuttle tickets are released at 8am.
While it’s important to plan ahead, purchasing shuttle tickets can be done up until 30 minutes before a departure window, but only if space is available. Make sure to do this where you have a good signal (i.e. your hotel or apartment). You likely won’t have cell service good enough to book a shuttle reservation from the Park and Ride.
Tip: Always take a screenshot or print off of your reservation. The cell service varies from not-great to non-existent in this area!
Visit the Parks Canada reservation system to book your shuttle ticket.
Moraine Lake Shuttle Cost
Booking Moraine Lake shuttle tickets will cost $8 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for youth and under 6 years old is free. This is the total cost of the return trip and includes the Lake Connector shuttle between Moraine Lake and Lake Louise.
You’ll also have to pay a $3 transaction fee per Moraine Lake shuttle reservation (not per ticket but for the entire reservation). Your national park entrance fee is NOT included with your shuttle ticket. See more on getting your Banff Park Pass here.
Moraine Lake Shuttle Times
Moraine Lake shuttle runs every 20 minutes from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm. The last return bus on the Moraine Lake shuttle schedule is at 7:30 pm. Always confirm the times when booking shuttles and making plans as they are subject to change.
You arrive at the Park and Ride during your one hour window on your shuttle reservation.
Tip: If the Moraine Lake shuttles aren’t available for the day you want to visit, you can make a reservation for the Lake Louise shuttle then take the Lake Connector shuttle to Moraine Lake.
The Lake Connector shuttle frequency is every 15 minutes starting at 8:00 am. The last Lake Connector shuttle runs at 6 pm, regardless of the direction. The Lake Connector shuttle between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake is on a first come first serve basis and is part of your shuttle reservation.
Note: You CAN NOT take the Lake Connector shuttle without first checking-in and taking the shuttle at the Lake Louise Ski Resort Park and Ride, with the exception of those who are using a Roam Public Transit Super Pass to get to Moraine Lake or Lake Louise
Lake Louise Park and Ride
In the past, the Lake Louise / Moraine Lake park and ride location was in a parking lot off the Trans-Canada Highway just 6 km east of the village of Lake Louise. It was easy to spot given the signs and lowered speed limit.
The NEW Park and Ride location for Parks Canada shuttles to Moraine Lake and Lake Louise will be the Lake Louise Ski Resort located off Whitehorn Rd under 5 km away from the Lake Louise village. This will make it safer for visitors, as the buses don’t need to pull out into traffic on the TransCanada highway and it will increase the parking spots from 800 to 2000.
Don’t miss the Lake Louise Sightseeing Summer Gondola while you are there!
Lake Louise Park and Ride Connector
If you are staying in the village of Lake Louise and already have parking, you can take the FREE Park and Ride Connector shuttle. This shuttle will take you to the Park and Ride where you can get on your shuttle to Moraine Lake.
The Village Connector operates from mid-May to mid-October (May 13 to October 10 in 2023) and no reservation is required.
Moraine Lake Shuttle from Lake Louise
If you’ve booked a Lake Louise shuttle, you can use the Lake Connector shuttle to get from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake. The Lake Connector shuttle is part of your shuttle reservation and you can not use it unless you’ve booked a shuttle ticket to Lake Louise or Moraine Lake, and checked in at the Park and Ride.
One exception to the taking the Lake Connector, is that Roam Super Pass holders that take the Roam Bus to Lake Louise Lakeshore also get access to the Lake Connector shuttle between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
**NEW IN 2023 – You will now need to take a Moraine Lake shuttle to the Paradise Valley trailhead. There will be no access to Moraine Lake Road to park at the Paradise Valley parking lot.
Other Moraine Lake Shuttles
There are other shuttles to Moraine Lake that are not operated by Parks Canada.
Moraine Lake Bus Company
The Moraine Lake Bus company offers sunrise shuttles to Moraine Lake, they also offer the shuttle throughout the day and have some time slots that make a stop at Lake Louise. All their shuttles leave from either the Lake Louise Village (sunrise) or the Lake Louise Ski Resort Park and Ride.
Moraine Lake Sunrise Shuttle
The Moraine Lake Sunrise Shuttle is a “sunrise only” option for Moraine Lake. This shuttle will get you to Moraine Lake 45 minutes before sunrise, so the departure times vary. This is one of the best ways to get from Banff or Canmore to Moraine Lake.
Explore Banff Tours & Transfers
Explore Banff Tours & Transfers offers visitors a choice of a private transfer or a share transfer from Canmore or Banff to Moraine Lake. The owner works with the visitors to ensure they have the best possible experience by finding departure and return times that work. For the private transfers, groups can choose when they depart and their return time.
Mountain Park Transportation
Mountain Park Transportation offers a shuttle from Lake Louise Village up to Moraine Lake. The cost of this return trip is $25 per person. You can see their schedule here.
This service doesn’t operate until after May 31st when the Moraine Lake Road opens. If you prefer to book a private vehicle, you need to contact them directly.
Bus from Banff to Moraine Lake
To help with the congestion of visitors trying to get to Moraine Lake to hike Larch Valley, Roam Transit operates a bus route to Moraine Lake from Banff. Typically this route operate daily from mid-September to mid-October. Which is a great option for anyone planning a trip in September to Banff and wants to do some hiking.
Larch Valley is one of the best larch hikes in Banff, but it will be crowded. In fact, you can expect crowds at all the best larch hikes from the third week of September and into October.
The distance from Moraine Lake from Banff is approximately 72 km. The bus from Banff to Moraine Lake (Route 10) operates from mid-September to mid-October (peak larch season), with 7 departures per day, 7 days a week.
The first bus departed Banff at 6:30 am from the Banff High School Transit Hub and the last bus left Moraine Lake at 5:30 pm (the schedule for 2023 has not yet been announced).
Reservations can be made for the Roam bus from Banff to Moraine Lake.
Don’t miss these other incredible hikes in Banff without a car!
Other Options to see Moraine Lake
With regards to Moraine Lake, here are others alternative to visiting the lake:
- Book a tour like this Discover Banff Tours to Lake Louise & Moraine Lake.
- Radventures offers a tour with stops at both Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. Visits to Moraine Lake will be at sunrise and you’ll still see Lake Louise before the crowds. It’s a 7 hour tour that also includes time for breakfast.
- HopOnBanff includes a stop at Moraine Lake in there schedule. Learn more here.
- WowBanff also offers a Moraine Lake shuttle from the Lake Louise Ski Resort Park and Ride.
Though the beauty of booking a reservation for the shuttle to Moraine Lake is that once you are at Moraine Lake, you can stay as long as you want. It gives you ample time to complete one of the best Moraine Lake hikes!
Where to Stay at Moraine Lake
The only accommodation option at Moraine Lake is the Moraine Lake Lodge. The best thing about staying here is that you have zero parking hassles! Moraine Lake is right out your front door!
If you want to stay closer but Moraine Lake Lodge isn’t an option, here are the best Lake Louise hotels that we recommend.
Moraine Lake Shuttle FAQs
Do you have to take a shuttle to Moraine Lake?
Yes, in 2023 you will need to take a shuttle or book a tour to Moraine Lake. The Moraine Lake Road is closed to personal vehicles in 2023.
How much is the shuttle to Moraine Lake?
The Parks Canada Moraine Lake Shuttle is $8 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for youth and under 6 years old is free for a return trip. A private shuttle to Moraine Lake will cost closer to $25 per person for a return trip.
Where can I get a shuttle to Moraine Lake?
Visit Parks Canada shuttle reservations to book your shuttle to Moraine Lake. Once you have made a shuttle reservation for Moraine Lake, you can get on the shuttle at the Lake Louise park and ride at the Lake Louise Ski Resort.
How do you get to Moraine Lake without a car?
If you are visiting Banff without a car, you can get to Moraine Lake by taking a bus from Banff or by having a Moraine Lake shuttle ticket.
How do I get to Moraine Lake?
There are several ways to get to Moraine Lake which include joining a tour, reserving a ticket for a Parks Canada shuttle, riding a bike or booking a private shuttle to Moraine Lake.
What is the best time to go to Moraine Lake?
The best time to visit Moraine Lake is anytime between June 1 when the road opens back up and before it closes (typically after Canadian Thanksgiving). The third week in September is an incredible time to visit Moraine Lake, as it’s peak season for the golden larch trees which can be see along the Larch Valley hike that leaves from the shores of Moraine Lake.
What time does Moraine Lake parking lot fill up?
In summer months and peak larch hiking season, the Moraine Lake parking lot will fill up well before sunrise (typically before 5:30 am or even before 3am on some days). In 2023, private vehicles are prohibited from driving on Moraine Lake Road up to Moraine Lake.
Is Moraine Lake open now?
Moraine Lake opens sometime between the third week of May and early June, depending on the conditions in the given year.
Why is Moraine Lake closed?
The road to Moraine Lake is closed each year after Canadian Thanksgiving (2nd Monday in October) until late-May or early June. Moraine Lake road closes because of heavy snowfall and dangerous avalanche terrain in the winter.
How long do you need at lake Moraine?
Many people visit Moraine Lake to climb the Rock Pile or do a short walk along the Moraine Lake lakeshore trail. It’s possible to stay much longer and enjoy one of the many spectacular hikes around Moraine Lake.
Can you bring your own canoe to Moraine Lake?
Is Moraine Lake Open 2023?
The Moraine Lake road will open in 2023 between the third week of May and early June. It may open earlier depending on conditions.
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Celine Brewer, a local Canmore resident, is the co-owner of Travel Banff Canada. She has a passion for being out in the mountains any time of year. In the summer, you'll often find her hiking or mountain biking. In the winter, she enjoys cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking the most.
As much as she loves the mountains, she also loves travel! When she's not playing outdoors at home, she's either traveling the world with her husband and two kids or working on their other two travel sites: Family Can Travel and Baby Can Travel.