Lake Louise and Moraine Lake

Banff National Park

Visitors can expect significant traffic disruptions throughout the summer due to construction in the Lake Louise area. More information and project updates can be found here. The website will be updated as the project progresses, and impacts are known.

Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are among the most visited destinations in Canada. It's not hard to see why! Extensive hiking trails wrap bright blue lakes, offering breathtaking vistas at every turn. The best way to see Lake Louise and Moraine Lake is on Parks Canada shuttles or Roam Public Transit. Parking is limited in the Lake Louise area.

Location: 55 km west of Banff, Alberta, on the Trans-Canada Highway / #1

Founded in 1890 as Laggan Station, Lake Louise was once a wild outpost at the end of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Today this hamlet, lake and the surrounding area offer some of the finest hiking, skiing and site-seeing in the world. Lake Louise and Moraine Lake usually melt by late May. Alpine hiking season begins in late June.

Heads up! Due to high demand, visiting Lake Louise and Moraine Lake requires planning.

Parking lots fill up before sunrise and remain full until sunset. Taking transit or booking a Parks Canada shuttle is easy, stress-free and the only way to ensure you see these iconic lakes. You must reserve your shuttle tickets in advance.

Parks Canada shuttles

Parks Canada shuttles:

The easy and stress-free way to see both iconic lakes in one day! Reserve your shuttle ticket online and park your vehicle at the Park and Ride, located at the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Click here for directions.

Additional shuttle seats will be released in a rolling window, at 8 am MDT two days prior to departure day.

Roam Public Transit can also be used to travel from the town of Banff to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.


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parking in the lake louise area

Parking in the Lake Louise area:

Parking at the Lake Louise Lakeshore is extremely limited and finding a parking spot is challenging . You cannot take your personal vehicle to Moraine Lake. Parking in the community of Lake Louise is limited and Parks Canada recommends parking at the Lake Louise Park and Ride and taking the free shuttle service to the community. Note that this service does not access Lake Louise or Moraine Lake lakeshores.

Paid parking is in effect at Lake Louise Lakeshore during the shuttle season. Visit our fees page for pricing.

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When to visit

Lake Louise is one of Canada’s most popular destinations. Planning ahead is essential!

Lake Louise: The community of Lake Louise and the Lake Louise Lakeshore are open year-round.

Moraine Lake: Moraine Lake Road is closed to personal vehicles year round. Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and commercial buses are permitted from June 1 to mid-October (conditions permitting). Exact dates may vary depending on snow conditions. During the winter, the road is track set for skiing and the lake itself is inaccessible due to avalanche hazard.

Seasonal closures and restrictions

From May through October, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are extremely busy. Expect full parking lots, traffic control personnel, traffic congestion, long waits, and paid parking. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and have a backup plan.
When are Lake Louise and Moraine Lake busiest?

Holidays and weekends are especially busy, including:

  • Victoria Day (May, date varies by year)
  • Canada Day (July 1)
  • Heritage Day (first Monday in August)
  • Labour Day (first Monday in September)
  • Larch season (weekends in September)

From November through April, Lake Louise is a winter wonderland! We receive more snow than other parts of Banff National Park and are proud to have one of the longest ski seasons in North America.

The busiest weekends during the winter are:

  • Boxing Day through New Year (December 26 to January 1)
  • Ice Magic Festival (January, dates vary by year)
  • Family Day (second Monday in February)
  • Easter weekend (dates vary by year)
How to get there

There are multiple ways to access Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, including shuttles, transit, biking and travelling by foot. Learn more here.

Important information: Moraine Lake is considered backcountry. If you choose to bike there, you must be prepared to be self-sufficient. There is no cell service, Wi-Fi, running water or other services including lighting along the road. Pit toilets are available at the lake. There is cell phone reception is available approximately 5km away from the lake on Moraine Lake Road.

Things to do

Lake Louise and Moraine Lake usually melt by late May. Alpine hiking season begins in late June. Ski season begins in mid-November.

Every destination in the Lake Louise area is beautiful but only some are open year-round. This is when the most popular local destinations are open:

  • Lake Louise Lakeshore (year-round)
  • Community of Lake Louise (year-round)
  • Moraine Lake (early-June to mid-October)
  • Summer Gondola (mid-May to mid-October)
  • Lake Louise Ski Area (November to May)
When do the teahouses open at Lake Louise?

The charming Lake Agnes and Plain of Six Glaciers tea houses are the most popular summer hiking destinations in the Lake Louise area. These privately operated teahouses open mid-May and close after Canadian Thanksgiving in mid-October. 

The hikes to the teahouses are not safe from November through mid-May due to avalanche hazard. Do not hike to Lake Agnes or to the Plain of Six Glacier during the winter or spring. In May and June, check the trail report before departing. 

Female grizzly bear #142 near Lake Louise.


In Canada, national parks enjoy special protections that may differ from other protected places. Please know “what not to do” in a national park.


Walking, snowshoeing or tobogganing? You don’t need to venture far to be in avalanche terrain. November through June, not all sign-posted destinations are safe for travel. Choose your winter destination from a list of designated trails.

Visitor centre

The Lake Louise Visitor Centre offers information from both Parks Canada and Banff Lake Louise Tourism about the mountain national parks, accommodations and activities. It is located in the heart of the community of Lake Louise. Parking for vehicles and RVs is available in the Samson Mall parking lot. A small grocery store, outdoor store, cafés, book store, post office and bank machine are also available here.

Lake Louise Visitor Centre
201 Village Rd, next to the Samson Mall
Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0
GPS: 51.426275, -116.179304

Aerial view of the Lake Louise village and lake.

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