Moraine Lake and Scenic Drive
We started off from Lake Louise late morning and took the windy road from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake. Moraine Lake is about 14 km from lake Louise, and the drive to get there is very scenic. The road is only open in the peak season, from about mid May to October.
Moraine lake is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful lakes in the Canadian Rockies. It’s also known as the “20 dollar view” as it used to adorn the Canadian 20 dollar bill. As this was early in the season, the lake had not filled up completely. So we unfortunately didn’t get to see the lake in its full glory. But it wasn’t difficult to imagine how beautiful it would be when the water had filled up right to the tree line.
There are several information boards around that tells you about the history of the lake. It was discovered by Samuel Allen and Walter Wilcox in 1894 and was originally named Lake Heejee after one of the mountain peaks surrounding the lakes. However, the name was later changed to Moraine Lake by Walter Wilcox after the moraine, or rock pile, deposited by the Wenkchemna Glacier.
The area around the Moraine Lake is very poupular with hikers and there are many hiking trails available.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for a hike here today and we decide to push onto Banff.
Interesting fact: Moraine lake ranks at number 163 on the Lonely Plant Ultimate Travelist: Best 500 places to visit on the planet.
The road to Banff is pretty flat compared to some of the roads we encountered on this trip, nevertheless, it was a beautiful drive.
Banff is located ~125 km west of Calgary and ~60km east of Lake Louise. Banff is essentially a resort town and one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. If you start your Rocky mountain adventure from Calgary, rather than Vancouver, this is where you will get your first taste of the mountains.
It reminded me of a small alpine village in Europe. The high street itself offers many picture postcard views.
And, to make things even better, there was a Sri Lanka option in the food court:
We spent sometime exploring the town and is many gift shops.
We also visited the Banff Park Museum. It has many specimens of animals. The Banff Park Museum is classified as a national historic site because the museum’s original exhibit collection reflect and commemorate an early approach to the interpretation of natural history in Canada. Also, the architectural style and detailing of the 1903 log building are characteristic examples of early federal buildings in the Park. Entry is free with the Canada Park Pass.
After the Museum, we went for a walk along the Bow River.
We also took a drive along Tunnel Mountain Drive offering up beautiful views of the Banff valley.
We stayed in Banff for one night, at the Buffalo Mountain Lodge. Next day, we drove to Calgary, to catch our flight home. It was very hard to leave the beautiful Rockies behind, but I had many memories and tonnes of photos to take with me. I was also able to console myself with this amazing sundae at Calgary airport 🙂
Linking to #theweeklypostcard with Two Traveling Texans