The most common hike for visitors would certainly be the “rock pile” which is simply a large pile of glacial moraine. The rocks were deposited their naturally by the Wenkchemna Glacier and it was this pile of rocks that dammed the streams flowing off the glaciers and created the lake.
From the top of the rock pile you will be rewarded with one of the most classic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. One oddly shaped peak near that pile is Tower Rock (pictured) it stands alone and seems almost out of place with the jagged peaks encircling the rest of the lake.
What would Moraine Lake be without the Glaciers? The lake itself was created by the presence of glaciers. Glacial Moraine deposited from the Wenkchemna Glacier blocked the outlet for the glacial runoff and created the lake. It is that runoff that also gives the lake its beautiful turquoise color.
Like many other glacially fed lakes--like Lake Louise and Peyto in the Icefields Parkway--the colors are created when fine particles of glacial silt known as rock flour runs into the lake with the first heavy meltwater of the year. This usually happens in June or July when the glaciers start to melt back for the summer. The “flower” absorbs all colors of incoming light except the blue green-spectrum.
Before the initial meltwater flows into the lake, typically in May or June, the color is more likely a deep sky blue.
The ten peaks around the lake make the location of this lake very beautiful. In literally every direction you look there are more peaks. Wenkchemna peaks greet you on the side of the lake opposite the parking area they are closely spaced and resemble a saw blade as they rise to very sharp points and are fairly close in height.
The many Wenthemna peaks are not the mammoths in the area though. Mount Temple is the third tallest mountain in the Canadian Rockies at a towering 3,540 meters (11,500 feet). These nearby mountains give Moraine Lake an elevation of 1884 meters (6200 feet).
The gorgeous MORAINE LAKE is about 15 km from Lake Louise. If you are in the vicinity, NEVER NEVER miss it!
Walter Wilcox, 1st European visitor to this lake, named it on the assumption that its waters are dammed by a moraine deposited by the Wenkchemna Glacier. However, experts now believe Moraine Lake rockpile was actually deposited by a rockslide from the cliffs to the south.
The turquoise color of MORAINE LAKE is incredible. I simply couldn't take my eyes off it while I was there. With the Valley of 10 Peaks (The mountains are called the Wenkchemna Peaks) as its backdrop, the landscape is just like a panoramic postcard! Simply awesome!
Just sit & stare... it's sooooooo beautiful it touches your soul!
Excerpts from Alberta-travel.com website (http://www.alberta-travel.com/files/Hiking-Lake-Louise.html):
MORAINE LAKE TRAILHEAD
In front of the Moraine Lake Lodge.
2.8 km one way, elevation gain 465 m, 1.5 hours one way A 2.4 km trail switchbacking steeply through the forest to a junction high on the north slope of the Valley of the Ten Peaks. From the junction it is another 0.4 km uphill to Larch Valley.
5.8 km one way, elevation gain 725 m, 3 hours one way
From the trail split at 2.4 km, the Larch Valley trail branches uphill. Follow up steep switchbacks to this 2611 m pass.
5.6 km one way, elevation gain
370 m, 2.5 hours one way
From the Larch Valley / Eiffel Lake junction, continue along at treeline with views across to the Wenkchemna Peaks.
9.7 km one way, elevation gain 720 m, 3.5 hours one way.
2.9 km one way, elevation gain 65 m, 2 hours round trip Trailhead: the bridge at the rear of the Moraine Lake Picnic Area.
Hiking Areas Index Map:
MORAINE LAKE is one of the most beautiful lakes I've ever set eyes on & you must, have to, visit this lake when you are at the Rockies. To not go there is like visiting Grand Canyon & not looking over the edge or fly over it.
W O W !!!
You almost need to touch this water to believe it's real! Floating, reflective particles of glacial silt give it an unearthly glow.
This is a scenery to savour...
Amazing, just amazing...
Thank You, God!
Nice place for hiking!!We have two ours sitting and walk on the big stones..So a great vieuw!!Much people do it and wait for nice Photos..
Hiking! There are many excellent trails to hike to the Wenkchemna Peaks (Ten Peaks).
I didn't do any the last time but I'm definitely going to do one on my next visit. Hopefully, real soon!