Moraine Lake's turquoise waters surrounded by mountains

How to get to Moraine Lake without a car (2024 Guide)

If you’re planning to visit the Canadian Rockies, Moraine Lake is undoubtedly on your list of must-see sights.

But with the closure of the access road and parking at Moraine Lake to private vehicles in 2023, you might be feeling discouraged.

Don’t worry, despite the year-round parking ban, you still have plenty of ways to visit and enjoy this iconic Canadian lake, including visiting at sunrise.

Below we’ll delve into the various public and private transportation options available to help you plan your visit and make it a truly memorable experience.

We’ll also cover other options you might not know are available to you.

Here are all the essential details to plan your visit to Moraine Lake without a car.

Written by Lou

Why is the road to Moraine Lake now closed to personal vehicles?

Moraine Lake Road is closed to personal vehicles year-round. Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and commercial buses are permitted from June to mid-October. Exceptions will be made for visitors with valid parking placards, people with disabilities, and guests of Moraine Lake Lodge.

Parks Canada

When the above was issued by Parks Canada, it was a hot topic of discussion in the news and on social media, and although closing access to personal vehicles to the lake is unfortunate and inconvenient, it is necessary.

If you’ve ever tried to park at Moraine Lake during peak summer months, you know how difficult it is.

That’s because the parking lot is usually full nearly 24/7 due to its immense popularity as one of Alberta’s top destinations.

This is why the Moraine Lake parking lot is closed – it simply can’t accommodate all of the vehicles and the increases in visitation were putting too much strain on its already stressed environment.

Luckily, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy Moraine Lake without a car.

Those with disabled parking permits can still drive to the lake and park in the lot, but for others, taking a shuttle bus or organized tour from nearby towns like Banff or Lake Louise is the best option.

Don’t let the parking closure deter you from visiting this majestic lake – with a little planning, you can still experience all it has to offer.

When is Moraine Lake open?

The lake is open to visitors from the beginning of June to around mid-October, but don’t bank on the lake being completely thawed by the beginning of the season.

During this short period and even with the access changes, still expect large crowds due to its popularity.

No matter when you choose to visit Moraine Lake, make sure that you plan ahead and reserve spaces on public or private transport to get there as these will fill up quickly.

Can you still catch the sunrise at Moraine Lake?

Unfortunately, if you want to drive to Moraine Lake to see the sunrise, the answer is no.

Parks Canada shuttles and Roam Transit do not offer a sunrise service, but several commercial, private operators now offer sunrise trips meaning you don’t have to miss out.

So you can still get to the lake before sunrise if you book one of these providers and get a beautiful view of the sun coming up over this impressive lake.

Let’s now take a look at the ways you can now get to Moraine Lake without a car.

Transport options for visiting Moraine Lake

The Parks Canada Park & Ride

Reserving seats on Parks Canada’s Park & Ride shuttle is the best and most cost-effective way to ensure you visit Moraine Lake.

The shuttles depart and return to the Lake Louise Ski Resort, where you can leave your car at the Park & Ride free of charge.

It’s a great way to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot in Lake Louise (which is nearly impossible) so more people can enjoy both lakes sustainably.

The option of visiting Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, or just one lake, is included in the return price – your choice!

Shuttle reservations begin in the Spring when Parks Canada releases 40% of the seats.

At 8 am Mountain Time, 48 hours before the departure day, the other 60% will be released.

If you plan on taking the shuttle from the Park & Ride to the lakes, you must make a reservation beforehand.

The tickets are valid for a one-hour, so you can arrive any time during the hour.

Reservations for the Moraine Lake and Lake Louise shuttle can be purchased online here, click on the ‘day use’ tab.

Do I need an account to buy a shuttle ticket?

Yes, you must set up an account on the Parks Canada site to reserve tickets.

How much time do I get at Moraine Lake?

You can spend as much time as you want at the lakes and travel between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake on the Lake Connector shuttle (only available to those with Parks Canada Shuttle reservations or a Roam Super Pass).

The Park & Ride does not run a sunrise shuttle as the earliest shuttle leaves Lake Louise Ski Resort at 6.30 am.

  • Operation dates: Daily from mid-May – Oct 9 (approximately)
  • Shuttle frequency is every 20 minutes from 6:30 am – 6 pm
  • Last return shuttle ride from Moraine Lake: 7:30 pm

Parks Canada Lake Connector shuttle from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake

The Lake Connector runs from 8 am – 6 pm from June 1 to October 9 (approx), with the option of visiting both lakes.

This is a first-come, first-serve service and is included in the Park & Ride ticket price AND in the Roam Super Pass, so you can visit both lakes on the same day or just one lake.

There’s no need to book an exact time – jump on board when it suits your schedule, and stay as long as you want at either lake.

After checking in with your reservation at the Park and Ride with a boarding pass or Roam Super Pass, you can take the Lake Connector shuttle between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

You must start and end your trip at the Park & Ride Lake Louise Ski Resort and not the Lake Louise Lakeshore paid parking lot.

Parks Canada Shuttle Prices for Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

Adult (18 – 64 years)$8.00
Senior (65+ years)$4.00
Youth (17 and under)free
Extra charges: $3 reservation fee to book online and $6 to book by telephone.

How to get to Moraine Lake if staying in Lake Louise

If you’re staying in Lake Louise, whether at a hotel or campsite, you can take the Park & Ride Connector to reach the Park & Ride located at the Lake Louise ski resort.

This will allow you to access the Parks Canada Lake Connector.

  • You don’t have to reserve this, and it’s free of charge.
  • You will still need to make a reservation beforehand to use the Park & Ride to visit the lakes.
  • The Park & Ride Connector service also starts on May 19 to October 9, (approximately), and runs every 30 minutes from 7 am to 7:30 pm.
  • It stops at:
    • Lake Louise Campground
    • Samson Mall
    • Lake Louise Ski Resort Park & Ride at 1 Whitehorn Road.

Roam Public Transit

The Roam bus service operates throughout the park providing access to many popular destinations.

To get to Moraine Lake from Banff or Canmore using Roam, you need a Roam Transit Super Pass.

The one-day pass is $25 and allows you to travel on any of the Roam routes from Canmore to Banff to Lake Louise.

It also includes free access to the Parks Canada Lake Connector shuttle, so you can get from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake.

Just show your Roam Super Pass to Parks Canada staff at either lake for access.

The options to get to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake by Roam Transit are:

Route 8X – Lake Louise Express

This is a year-round service departing from downtown Banff directly to Lake Louise Village and the Lake Louise Lakeshore.

To get to Moraine Lake, use the Parks Canada Lake Connector.

Show your pass at the bus stop and hop aboard, and in 25 minutes, you’ll be at the lake.

Although this won’t get you there for sunrise as the first bus leaves Banff at 7.30 am and arrives at Lake Louise just under 1 hour later.

The last bus from Lake Louise to Banff is at 11.30 pm, so you can make a day of it.

As you can imagine, this is really popular in the summertime in Banff, so make sure you book the day you want in advance.

Schedule & reservation info

Route 8S – Lake Louise Scenic

The 8S route is seasonal, so it only runs from the end of June/beginning of July to September and on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only from downtown Banff to the Lake Louise Lakeshore.

This is not a direct service as it travels along the Bow Valley Parkway, stopping at Johnston Canyon, Castle Junction, Protection Mountain, and Baker Creek.

As mentioned above, your Roam Super Pass gives you access to the Parks Canada Lake Connector to Moraine Lake.

This service won’t get you to Moraine Lake in time to see the sunrise.

Again, this is popular in the summer months, so it’s best to reserve a seat in advance.

Schedule & reservation info

Route 10 – Moraine Lake Route

Although reservations do not open until September, the buses will run 7 times a day, 7 days a week until mid-October, departing from Banff High School to Moraine Lake.

Again, this service will not get you there for sunrise as the first bus has a 6.30 am departure from Banff and takes around 1 hr 15 mins to get there.

However, as this route runs during larch season, you still get to spend the day at this stunning location during this time of year, as the last bus doesn’t leave Moraine Lake for Banff until 5.30 pm.

Fares for Routes 8X, 8S + 10

Lake Louise/Banff Regional Route 8X, 8S, & 10Adult +19Seniors +65Youth 13-1812 and under
1 Day Super Pass covers any/all Roam routes – From Canmore to Banff to Lake Louise & Lake Connector to Moraine Lake$25$12.50$12.50Free
Single Cash Fare$10$5$5Free
1 Day Pass$20.00$10.00$10.00Free

Check for updated prices on the Roam Fare page.

Does Roam Transit go to Moraine Lake from Canmore?

No, unfortunately, no bus goes directly from Canmore to Moraine Lake.

You have to get the Route 3 Canmore – Banff Regional bus into Banff and then hop on either the Lake Louise/Banff Regional Route 8X, 8S, or 10.

As I already mentioned above, a Roam Super Pass covers all Roam routes and access to the Park & Ride Lake Connector shuttle from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake.

The other alternatives are booking a tour or shuttle through one of the commercial tour and shuttle operators.

Where can you buy the Roam Transit Super Pass?

You can buy the 1 Day Super Pass on the Token Transit app, on the bus, or at the Roam Transit office inside the Banff Visitor at 224 Banff Ave, Banff, T1L 1A5.

Can you take a bike on a Roam Transit bus?

You can take your bike as long as there is enough room. Each bus has room for 3 bikes on its exterior bike rack.

Is the Roam Transit bus wheelchair accessible?

Yes, all Roam buses are fully accessible with a wheelchair ramp.

Is Roam Transit pet friendly?

Yes, but only for small pets, as your pet must be in a crate or a secure, clean pet carrier that is small enough to fit on your lap.

Can you take a stroller on Roam Transit?

Yes, as long as the stroller is no bigger than 20″ wide by 48″ long (51 cm wide and 122 cm long).

Other transport options to get to Moraine Lake

There are new companies providing transportation services to Moraine Lake since the announcement of the access road and parking closure, so we are not recommending them (at the moment), just providing you with the options available.

We will update this page as and when new companies offer this service.

Moraine Lake Bus Company

Do they offer a sunrise trip: Yes

The Moraine Lake Bus Company will get you to Moraine Lake to see the sunrise over The Valley of the Ten Peaks.

The Sunrise shuttle leaves as early as 4 am arriving at Moraine Lake around 4:35 am. It operates throughout the day into the evening.

This service starts at the beginning of June to mid-October and includes a 1-hour stop at Lake Louise Lakeshore on some routes – check which routes when booking.

Pets are allowed on the bus but have to be in a carrying case that will fit on your lap.

The 24-seater buses are not wheelchair accessible.

How much does Moraine Lake Bus Company cost?

Prices for Moraine Lake bus start at:

  • Adult: $35-$63
  • Child: $25-$53 (3-15 years)

Prices for Moraine Lake with 1 hour at Lake Louise start at:

  • Adult: $45-59
  • Child $35-$49

Moraine Lake Sunrise Shuttle

Do they offer a sunrise trip: Yes

This is a sunrise-only trip where you’ll be at Moraine Lake for 2 hours.

The company claims they will get you to Moraine Lake 45 minutes before sunrise.

Daily shuttle times run according to sunrise hours, so they will differ weekly.

This service starts at the beginning of June to mid-October.

They offer picks ups and drop-offs at hotels in Banff, Canmore, and Lake Louise.

The 15-seater van doesn’t allow pets (only service animals).

How much does Moraine Lake Sunrise Shuttle cost?

  • $75 per person

Mountain Park Transportation Shuttle

Do they offer a sunrise trip: No

They run a private shuttle service throughout the day, with pick-ups from hotels in Lake Louise starting at 8 am, and the last shuttle back is at 4:30 pm.

The daily service is available from the beginning of June to mid-October.

They are pet friendly, and the price to take your pet is $10, but there are limited spaces for pet carriers.

You can take a SUP board for $10, but check at the time of booking as space is limited.

How much does MPT cost?

  • Adults (18+) CA$25
  • Youth (13 – 17) CA$25
  • Children (5 – 12) CA$15
  • Infant(s) 4 and under Free

Fairview Limousine & Shuttle Service

Do they offer a sunrise trip: Yes, but you have to contact them to arrange it as different charges apply.

Fairview offers several shuttle trips departing only from the Lake Louise Inn Hotel in Lake Louise to Moraine Lake throughout the day starting at 8 am.

This service starts at the beginning of June to mid-October.

You can take your dog with you, and if small enough to sit on your lap, you don’t have to pay for it. However, bigger dogs will need a seat, so there is a $15 fee.

How much does Fairview Limousine cost:

  • $25 Adults
  • $25 Youths (13-18)
  • $15 kids (3-12)
  • $15 pets

Take a Tour of Moraine Lake

A tour is another way to see Moraine Lake and offers a hassle-free experience.

There are various tour options, and if you want a more personalized experience, consider a private tour where you customize your itinerary to your liking.

Here are a few tour options:

Wow banff

Do they offer a sunrise trip: No

Take an open-top double-decker to Moraine Lake, which runs daily from early June to mid-October.

Pick-up is at Lake Louise Ski Resort and runs every hour from 8 am to 3 pm.

The lower deck is wheelchair accessible.

Dogs are allowed on the upper deck only.

How much does Wow Banff cost:

  • Adult: $34.95
  • Child/youth – $25

They also offer a Banff to Lake Louise shuttle that costs:

  • Adult: $34.95
  • Child: $24.95

Hop On Banff

Do they offer a sunrise trip: No

Hop On Banff operates from early June to late September.

As you’ve probably guessed by the name, it means you can hop on and hop off wherever you want along the route or head straight to Moraine Lake.

It runs daily from June to September with full-day tours starting at 7.45 am or 9.30 am from Banff.

Only service animals are allowed on this tour.

How much does Hop On Banff cost?

  • Adult 16+ $71.43
  • Child (5-15) $61.90
  • Infant $0 – they do not recommend this tour for infants.


Do they offer a sunrise trip: Yes

The Earlybird Explorer tour gets you to Moraine Lake for a beautiful sunrise where you’ll spend around 2 hours here before moving onto Lake Louise.

This tour runs daily from the beginning of June to mid-October and is a small group tour of up to 14 people.

Pick-up is from Canmore, various Banff hotels, Samson Mall, and Lake Louise Village around 4 am.

How much does Radventures cost?

  • $250 per adult + booking fee
  • Breakfast wrap and tea and coffee are $16 extra (optional).

Explore Banff Tours & Transfers

Do they offer a sunrise trip: Yes

To see the sunrise at Moraine Lake, you’ll have to book their private round-trip transfer from Banff or Canmore, which runs from the beginning of June to mid-October at 5 am.

They cater to up to 14 people in a group, which is ideal when traveling with a large party.

How much does Explore Banff cost:

  • $490 for 1-4 people
  • $790 for 5-8 people
  • $1090 for 9-14 plus booking fee.

If you don’t mind missing the sunrise and want to arrive at Moraine Lake later, you can opt for the Shared Round-trip Transfers from Banff or Canmore. These transfers are more affordable than their private tours.

This tour starts at 8:30 am from Canmore and 9 am from Banff.

How much does Explore Banff cost?

  • $125 adults
  • $90 child under 12

Discover Banff Tours

Do they offer a sunrise trip: No

Starting at 8 am and 1 pm, you can plan a trip to both Moraine Lake and Lake Louise that lasts around 4.25 hours.

The bus seats 24 passengers, so it’s a fairly small tour group. There are various Banff hotel pick-up locations.

How much does Discover Banff cost?

  • Adult (13+): Starts at $97- $116
  • Child (6-12): Starts at $49- $58
  • Infant (0-5): $0

White Mountain Adventures

Do they offer a sunrise trip: No

White Mountain Adventures offers a full-day Glaciers, Lakes, and Peaks of Lake Louise Tour – this is a custom private guide service.

Pick up is 7:30 am from various Banff hotels, and return is by 3 pm to your hotel.

If you’re not into lots of walking, these short 30-minute walks around Moraine Lake and Lake Louise are ideal.

How much does White Mountain Adventures cost?

  • $960 for 1-12 people, with additional costs for lunch and attraction admissions (optional).

Brewster Sightseeing

Do they offer a sunrise trip: No

The Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls tour takes you to Moraine Lake and other locations within Banff National Park and Yoho National Park.

The tour leaves Banff around 8:30 am and lasts 9 hours. Included in the price is lunch at the beautiful Emerald Lake Lodge.

Pick-ups can also be arranged from Calgary and Canmore.

Not all of their coaches are wheelchair accessible, so check directly with the company, if needed.

How much does Brewster Sightseeing cost?

  • $203 Adult (from Banff)
  • $132 Child (6-15)

Take a taxi to Moraine Lake

Another option is taking a taxi to Moraine Lake.

Three Sisters Taxi

Do they offer a sunrise trip? Contact them for information

They can take up to 6 people from Canmore or Banff to Moraine Lake.

This taxi company offers a 4-hour self-guided tour that includes 1 hour at Moraine Lake.

Prices are not listed on their website, so you’ll have to contact them to inquire. I would recommend calling them if you can, as I emailed and didn’t get a response.

Additional time at the lake will cost an extra $100 per hour.

You pick the time you want to start the 4-hour self-guided tour, so this may include a sunrise option, but confirm when booking.

Any other ways to get to Moraine Lake?

There sure are! Aside from taking public or private transportation, there is always pedal power, hiking, or staying at the lake itself.

Mountain bike to Moraine Lake

Only attempt this if you’re an experienced mountain biker due to its challenging terrain. The single-track Highline Trail starts 2.5 km up Moraine Lake Road.

Keep in mind that there is no parking available at the trailhead, so you will need to cycle from Lake Louise.

If you don’t have a mountain bike, you can rent one from Banff Adventures in Banff or Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise, as mentioned below.

Hike to Moraine Lake

Taking on a 28km round trip hike with a moderate elevation gain from the village of Lake Louise to Moraine Lake may not be your best bet and Parks Canada does not recommend it.

It’s a challenging trek and requires proper planning, gear, and physical fitness. There is also no pathway along Moraine Lake Road.

Can you still visit Paradise Valley?

On the day of your hike in Paradise Valley, pick up a ticket from the Parks Canada Park & Ride staff, which you must show to the driver.

There are a limited number available each day and are issued on a first-come-first-serve basis. See here for more information.

Cycle to Moraine Lake

You can cycle to Moraine Lake. If you don’t have a bike, you can hire one from Banff Adventures in Banff or Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.

If you plan on cycling to Moraine Lake, bear in mind that the road to the lake is narrow with no shoulders, and you will still have to bike among the buses going to and from the area.

Parks Canada recommends cycling early or late in the day to avoid some of the traffic.

If you do cycle, the climb up Moraine Lake Road from the turnoff at the 3 km mark of Lake Louise Drive offers breathtaking views of Consolation Valley and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

You can leave your bike during your visit as racks are available at Moraine Lake.

Is Moraine Lake Lodge Closed?

Although the road is closed to personal vehicles, Moraine Lake Lodge is still open for reservations for the season from June 1st to October 1st.

Staying here is expensive but guarantees you see the lake throughout the day, including at sunrise and sunset.

As a guest, you can use your car to get to the lodge. You’ll be sent instructions on how to access Moraine Lake Road 30 days before your stay.

If you’re hiring a car at the Calgary Airport to get to Banff, expect around a 3-hour drive to the lodge. If you’re already in Banff, it’s around a 1-hour trip.

Visiting Moraine Lake without a car

Visiting Moraine Lake, not just at sunrise is a beautiful experience, but as the road is now closed year-round to personal vehicles, it can be a bit tricky to figure out how to make it happen.

Although not as convenient as driving your car, there are still plenty of ways to get to this stunning alpine lake, such as taking the Parks Canada Park & Ride shuttle, Roam Public Transit, or one of the many commercial tours or shuttle operators.

I hope this article has answered all your questions about how you can still visit Moraine Lake now that the access road and parking area are closed.

Remember to book reservations in advance, check the Parks Canada website for up-to-date information, and stay safe while exploring this beautiful corner of the world.

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