Kayaking Moraine Lake

Picture it, sunrise on one of the most beautiful lakes in the Rockies.  Even better, imagine sitting in a kayak on that perfectly still lake at sunrise.  I had been thinking about it since Canada Day last year.  

It wasn't just a case of driving up for a 5:32 am sunrise, this is a crazy popular lake and the road is closed as soon as parking is full.  We stayed the previous night at Deer Lodge which allowed us to be on the access road at 4 am.  

After the exciting experience of being tailgated by a string of cars on the way in (AT 4 AM!) we arrived to darkness and chaos.  People, bags, dogs, tons of camera equipment, running, madness, stress.  

This would be the first time we inflated the boats in the dark, in a parking lot.  By 5 am we had somewhat managed it despite a comedy of errors and had carted the boats to the edge of the lake.  We were a little bit away from the lake in our parking spot, even with the early start.  Most people were on the rockpile fighting over sightlines but we still had to avoid a few on the shore which involved lugging the boats over a fence.  

It got light very fast, and by 5:40 am we could see the mountains lit up by the rising sun.

The other boaters were kindly sitting at the back of the lake allowing all the photographers to get their shots without us or ripples from paddles in the way.  The money shot is all about the reflection of the mountains you see. 

I thought our sunrise pictures were a bit meh in all honesty so please enjoy this 'slightly after sunrise' one (6:05 am) with added boat.

Canada Day at Moraine 2020 vs 2021.  We are in a much happier place this year.  It was considerably warmer this year also.

Despite the forecast high being 38C (which is madness) and baking in a hot AC-less hotel all night, it felt very cool in the morning.  I suggest remembering to pack a top or jacket in the boat, a thing we forgot in the dawn chaos.

Although you can see the entire lake from the trail, it is an amazing and unique experience to be on it at water level.  It was never busy (canoe rentals don't start until 9 am), there's a real feeling of peace. 

Leaving the rockpile/parking lot noise behind is priceless. 

We watched the sun gradually make its way down the hillsides.

This is my favourite, thanks to Kevin and the GoPro. 

We took some pics as we were leaving and they turned out to be the best reflective shots.  This lake looks different every time, it is a treat.

Is it worth the early start?  Why yes, yes it is.  As we left several busloads of tourists were arriving but I will keep the memory of tranquility and peace.


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