Parking in the Lake Louise area

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.

Due to high demand, visiting Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in Banff National Park requires planning. Parking is limited at the Lake Louise Lakeshore. Lots fill 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. Booking your shuttle in advance is required. Learn more about Parks Canada shuttles.

Moraine Lake Road is closed to personal vehicles year round.

Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and licensed commercial buses with a Moraine Lake add-on are permitted from June to mid-October. Certain exemptions apply.


Parking at Lake Louise Lakeshore

Attempting to take your personal vehicle to this iconic destination is not recommended.

This parking lot fills by sunrise and stay full throughout daylight hours. When parking has filled, there is no space to wait for parking stalls to become available. If you choose to drive, plan ahead, arrive with extra time and patience, and have back-up destinations to visit.

Paid parking is in effect at this location during the shuttle season (May – October). Visit our fees page for pricing. This fee is in addition to your national park entry pass.

If you do not have a reservation on the Parks Canada Shuttle, Roam Public Transit, or other transportation provider, you should consider returning when you have secured reservations in advance. Visitors without reservations are not likely to find parking at Lake Louise.

Frequently asked questions

If parking is so difficult, how should I access Lake Louise

The best way to experience Lake Louise and Moraine Lake is by Parks Canada shuttle or Roam Public Transit. On-it Regional Transit will also be offering direct service from Calgary to Lake Louise. Commercial tours and operators are another good option.

When is paid parking in effect?

Paid parking is in effect for all public stalls at upper Lake Louise from 3 am to 7 pm from May 17 to October 14, 2024.

Parks Canada shuttles continue to offer a way for visitors to access the lakes. Youth 17 and under ride for free, seniors’ tickets are half price, and tickets for adults are only $8.

Who is required to pay for parking at Lake Louise Lakeshore?

All public vehicles, including motorcycles and RV are required to pay for parking if parked at the Lake Louise Lakeshore. Commercial vehicles with a valid Parks Canada business license are not required to pay for parking.

Where is paid parking required?

Paid parking is required at the Lake Louise Lakeshore Day-Use Area, in all public stalls. Parks Canada does not charge for parking in other areas in the community of Lake Louise.

What is the pay parking fee?

Please visit our fees page for more information.

Are drop offs allowed?

Drop offs will only be permitted if the traffic volume is low enough to not cause added congestion. During times of high congestion, traffic control personnel will not permit drop offs.

How do I pay for my parking permit?

Parking can be paid for at the Lake Louise Lakeshore lot on the payment machines that have been installed in the parking lot. Parking cannot be paid for in advance at the Banff East gate. Pay stations at the Lake Louise Lakeshore will also provide the option to purchase a park entry pass while paying for a parking permit.

The Lake Louise Lakeshore parking lot will operate on a pay-by-plate system, so be sure to remember to take a photo of your license plate! You do not need to return to your vehicle to display your parking permit.

Can I park my car overnight in the Lake Louise Lakeshore parking lot?

No. Overnight parking is only allowed for visitors with a valid backcountry permit.

Where does the revenue go?

All revenue collected from parking fees at Lake Louise Lakeshore and from the Lake Louise shuttles remain within Banff National Park and are used to offset the cost of traffic management of the Lake Louise area.

Parks Canada is committed to developing and implementing long term, sustainable transit solutions for Banff National Park, and the revenue collected through parking fees at the Lake Louise Lakeshore will help offset the cost of providing visitor transportation services within the Lake Louise area and Banff National Park as a whole. Visitor fees never exceed the costs of delivering the service to visitors, they only ever recover costs.

Do I need to pay for a parking permit in addition to my National Park entry pass? Why?

Yes. All visitors to the national parks require a valid park entry pass. Visitation to the Lake Louise area has increased significantly in recent years.

Parking at this location is in very high demand, and fills by sunrise in the summer months, leading to excessive vehicle congestion and uncertainty in finding a parking spot. Parks Canada has implemented paid parking to encourage visitors to use the shuttles and to offset the cost of traffic management in the Lake Louise area.

Parks Canada does not profit off of shuttle fares or paid parking.

Will Parks Canada restrict vehicle access at Lake Louise next season?

Parks Canada is committed to developing and implementing long term, sustainable transit solutions for Banff National Park.

Canada’s national parks integrate environmental protection with visitor experiences. Parks Canada has been successfully managing this integrated mandate by ensuring that ecological integrity is the first priority in decision making.

Parks Canada currently restricts traffic on Lake Louise Drive when volumes present a safety concern for emergency vehicle access. No additional vehicle restrictions on Lake Louise Drive are being considered at this time.


Parking at Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake Road is closed to personal vehicles year round.

Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit, and third party transportation providers (e.g. tour buses) who have a Banff National Park business license with a Moraine Lake add-on are permitted from June to mid-October.

Frequently asked questions

Why has Parks Canada decided to restrict personal vehicle traffic on the Moraine Lake Road?

Demand to reach Moraine Lake far exceeds available parking. In 2022, traffic flaggers were required 24 hours a day to manage the demand for access. During the peak of summer 2022, the parking lot remained full nearly 24 hours a day.

Traffic control at Moraine Lake Road has ensured that safe access into and out of the area was maintained. However, it has also contributed to the degradation of the visitor experience. Most visitors who attempt to drive to Moraine Lake are turned away as parking lots are full.

Replacing personal vehicles with Parks Canada shuttles, Roam Public Transit and other commercial transportation providers will provide several benefits. These include:

  • Predictability and improved visitor experience - Visitors with Parks Canada shuttle reservations are guaranteed to visit Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. This removes the uncertainty and frustration when arriving in a personal vehicle but unable to park.
  • Improved wildlife movement in the Fairview wildlife corridor - Moraine Lake Road runs through an important wildlife corridor. Eliminating personal vehicles will reduce stress on animals who use the corridor, particularly in the late evening and early morning.
  • Reduced carbon emissions - Eliminating personal vehicles means a reduction of approximately 900 cars per day and 20,000 kilometres per day of driving. Based on an average fuel consumption of 9.0L/100km, this would mean a reduction of more than 4 tonnes of CO2 per day.
How can people see Moraine Lake in 2024?

Visitors who wish to visit Moraine Lake will have four options in 2024:

  1. Take the Parks Canada Shuttle – Visitors can reserve a seat in advance on a Parks Canada shuttle to see Moraine Lake. Shuttle fares include the Lake Connector route between Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, allowing visitors to see both lakes in one day. 40% of tickets are released for reservation in the spring. The remaining 60% of seats are released for reservation 48 hours in advance of departure. More information can be found here.
  2. Take Roam Public Transit: Riders departing from Canmore or Banff who purchase the Roam Public Transit Reservable Super Pass can connect to Moraine Lake via the Parks Canada Lake Connector Shuttle upon arrival at the Lake Louise Lakeshore. Riders can reconnect with the Roam Public Transit system by returning to the Lake Louise Lakeshore on the Parks Canada Lake Connector Shuttle.
  3. Use a commercial transportation provider – Visitors can use a commercial transportation operator.
  4. Bike the Moraine Lake Road – Bicycles, including pedal assist e-bikes will be allowed on Moraine Lake Road. Visitors will be able to access the lake by bicycle. The journey is 25 km round trip. Please note: There is very limited parking within the community of Lake Louise, and this is best suited for visitors who are already staying in the community.
Does Parks Canada run a sunrise shuttle?

Parks Canada offers an Alpine Start Shuttle service to Moraine Lake for climbers, scramblers and hikers who need earlier start times to safely complete their planned trips. There are two daily departures – one at 4 am and one at 5 am. Learn more.

I have a disabled parking tag; can I drive to Moraine Lake?

Yes. Visitors in possession of a disabled parking hang tag will be granted vehicle access to Moraine Lake between 6:30 am and 8:00 pm when accessible stalls are available. Please have your disabled parking hang tag visible and speak to the traffic control staff when you arrive at the Moraine Lake Road Junction.

Visitors who require accessible parking but do not possess a disable parking hang tag should proceed to the Park and Ride and speak with Parks Canada staff.

If I have a watercraft, can I drive to Moraine Lake?

No. The Parks Canada shuttles can accommodate many different types of non-motorized watercraft including inflatable paddleboards, packrafts, inflatable kayaks, and even small hard-sided kayaks provided space permits. If you are unsure about whether your watercraft can be accommodated, please speak to the Parks Canada staff at the Lake Louise Park and Ride.

Remember to Clean, Drain and Dry your watercraft and water-related gear before entering any river, lake or stream! Anyone launching non-motorized watercraft such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, inflatables, and water-related gear are required to complete a self-certification permit every time you enter a new lake, river or stream in Banff National Park. Learn more here.


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