Your COMPLETE Guide to the Moraine Lake Shuttle for 2024

Author: Celine Brewer

Last Updated:

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!

If you are inquiring about the Moraine Lake Shuttle, then you probably already know that Moraine Lake is closed to private vehicles.

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 Parks Canada Moraine Lake shuttle or book one of the alternate ways of getting to Moraine Lake.

Moraine Lake in early morning on the way to Sentinel Pass Larch Valley

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Parks Canada Moraine Lake Shuttle – EXPLAINED

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 the Parks Canada shuttles to Moraine Lake are one of the best ways to get to Moraine Lake.

Local Tip

If you’ve missed advanced booking, more tickets are released on a 48 hour rolling window for each departure day. Alternatively, you can use a service like Schnerp to scan for any tickets that become available!

Get to moraine lake shuttle

Parks Canada Moraine Lake Shuttle

Parks Canada operates direct shuttles to Moraine Lake from the Lake Louise Ski Resort Park and Ride, located at the Lake Louise Ski Resort off Whitehorn Road. 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).

how to get from Banff to Moraine Lake - Shuttle

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 (May 17 to October 14 for 2024) and June 1 to mid-October for Moraine Lake (June 1 to October 14 for 2024). Similarly, the Lake Connector shuttle between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake only operates from June 1 to mid-October (June 1 to October 14 for 2024).

Moraine Lake Quiz

Take our Moraine Lake Shuttle Quiz

Based on your trip details, we will send you personalized recommendations on the best way to get to Moraine Lake. It’s short, fast and you’ll get our recommendations right to your inbox.

Take Moraine Lake Quiz

Purchasing Moraine Lake Shuttle Tickets

This Parks Canada shuttle service requires advance reservation for tickets. It is possible to walk up and purchase shuttle tickets at the Lake Louise Ski Resort Park and Ride, but you run the risk of showing up and finding them to be sold out.

Moraine Lake shuttle reservations for 2024 can be made starting Thursday, April 18 2024 at 8:00 am MT. The shuttles to Moraine Lake will begin June 1 until mid-October (October 14 for 2024). 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 you to easily visit both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in one day.

Local Tip

The Parks Canada System is not always intuitive or easy to use. We recommend creating an account and familiarizing yourself with the system prior to when reservations open. The Parks Canada Shuttles are found under the Day Use tab.

Screen shot of Parks Canada Shuttle Reservation.

Wondering how things go when reservations open? I’ll be honest, that first day is a repeat of when camping reservations open!

Take my advice, create your account in advance and know how to navigate the site. Some people have issues even creating accounts, so you don’t want to deal with that on the day reservations open.

Don’t get confused by needing a Canadian bank account, just signup for a new GCKey.

Once you have your account set up and know where to find the shuttles (under the Day Use tab), you are ready for reservation day! On that day, get on your computer and logged in before 7:30 am. Around 7:30 am, everyone on the site is put into a waiting room where you’ll be assigned a random spot in the queue at 8am.

Everyone that gets on the site after 8am goes to the end of the queue.

This year, I ended up with a number in the 17,000s. It took me about 20-30 minutes to get in. Shortly after 8:30 am, most of the 6:30 – 7 am time slots in July for Moraine Lake were sold out. Then shortly after that, early July morning slots were sold out and a lot of June was gone too.

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 may not have cell service good enough to book a shuttle reservation from the Park and Ride.

Local Tip

Always take a screenshot or print off of your reservation. The cell service varies from not-great to non-existent in this area!

Moraine Lake Shuttle Cost

Booking Moraine Lake shuttle tickets will cost $8 for adults, $4 for seniors, 17 years old and under 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 30 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 Lake Louise Ski Resort Park and Ride during your one hour window on your shuttle reservation. There is plenty of free parking at the Park & Ride.

New This Year

Parks Canada is offering an “Alpine Start Shuttle” with two departures at 4am and 5am. This sunrise shuttle to Moraine Lake is intended for climbers, scramblers and hikers who require more time before the last return shuttle.

This shuttle leaves from the Lake Louise lakeshore parking lot, which will require paid parking of $36.75 for the day in addition to the cost of the shuttle.

Moraine Lake Shuttle at Park and Ride

Local 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 30 minutes starting at 7:00 am. The last Lake Connector shuttle runs at 7 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

The 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. It’s an easy location to get to and there are over 2000 parking spots.

Read More

Love those mountain views? Don’t miss the Lake Louise Sightseeing Summer Gondola. You’ll be parked there for your shuttle anyways!

Gondola - Best Lake Louise Attractions
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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 17 to October 14 for 2024) 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.

Parks Canada shuttle to Moraine Lake or Lake Louise

Local Tip

You can 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. Just be sure to tell the driver where you want to get off! When we did this, we were able to get back on the shuttle by flagging it down on the road.

Other Moraine Lake Shuttles

There are other shuttles to Moraine Lake that are not operated by Parks Canada.

The Parks Canada Moraine Lake Shuttle may not be the best option for you, we created a simple quiz to help you find the best option for your trip. By answering a few questions, you’ll get personalized recommendations on how best to plan your visit to Moraine Lake.

Moraine Lake Quiz

Take our Moraine Lake Shuttle Quiz

Based on your trip details, we will send you personalized recommendations on the best way to get to Moraine Lake. It’s short, fast and you’ll get our recommendations right to your inbox.

Take Moraine Lake Quiz

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.

What’s better, is you won’t have to wait in a big line for the Parks Canada shuttle at the end of the day! You’ll have a guaranteed return time.

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.

Other Options to see Moraine Lake

It’s quite easy to get to Banff National Park without a car, and once you are there, it’s easy to get around Banff without a car.

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!

View of Ten Peaks and Minnestimma Lakes from Sentinel Pass Trail in Banff

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 Sentinel Pass Hike in Banff

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 2024 has not yet been announced).

Reservations can be made for the Roam bus from Banff to Moraine Lake.

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!

This aerial shot displays the magnificent setting of the Moraine Lake Lodge, showing why it is one of the top accomodations in Lake Louise

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 2024 you will need to take a shuttle or book a tour to Moraine Lake. The Moraine Lake Road is closed to private vehicles unless you have a handicap tag or you are staying at the Moraine Lake Lodge.

How much is the shuttle to Moraine Lake?

The Parks Canada Moraine Lake Shuttle is $8 for adults, $4 for seniors, and free for 17 and under for the return trip. A shuttle to Moraine Lake through a commercial operator will cost between $35 to $99 for a return trip depending on time of day of the visit. Sunrise is most expensive.

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 Roam Transit to Lake Louise with a System Wide Day Pass then using the Parks Canada Lake Connector Shuttle to Moraine Lake. Alternatively, there are several shuttle companies that do pickups in Canmore and Banff, making this a much easier way to get to Moraine Lake from Canmore or Banff.

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.

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?

Yes, you can bring inflatable kayaks or paddle boards Moraine Lake (check with your shuttle operator). A self-certification permit is required and your watercraft must meet the conditions on the permit. Follow all Banff National Park requirements for entering a Banff Lake. Get more information here or get the self-certification permit online here.

Is Moraine Lake Open 2024?

The Moraine Lake road will open in 2024 between the third week of May and early June. It may open earlier depending on conditions.

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Moraine Lake Shuttle - Here's everything you need to know about shuttles to Moraine Lake in Banff National Park! Don't miss a trip to Moraine Lake in Banff!
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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.

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