Moraine Lake, situated in the Banff National Park of Alberta, Canada is perhaps one of the most underrated SUP destinations in North America.
Surrounded by lush greenery and stunning mountains, this remote little lake has much to offer in terms of peace, tranquility, and natural beauty.
When visiting Moraine Lake for the paddleboarding session of your dreams, you will also be able to absorb the many treasures of the Banff National Park. Established in 1885, this is the oldest national park in Canada.
Moraine Lake is just one of the many amazing water bodies to be found at the Banff National Park. With the much bigger Lake Louise, Lake Minnewanka, and Johnson Lake for competition, it is not the only potential paddleboarding destination in the area. It is, however, the most popular.
A picturesque, glacier-fed water body located in the midst of the awe-inspiring Canadian Rockies, Moraine Lake is hemmed in by bare, rugged slopes on one side and forested hills on the other. As a result, this lake is wrapped year-round in the cloak of natural beauty, and offers breathtaking views on all sides.
A Paddleboarding Trip to Banff National Park
Encompassing an area of 6,641 sq. km. (or 2,564 sq. mi.), the massive Banff National Park boasts unique alpine landscapes, dense coniferous forests, rugged mountains, and many ice fields, glaciers, etc. The little town of Banff, located in the Bow River valley, is the primary commercial center of the park.
The beautiful alpine lakes of Banff National Park draw canoeists and paddleboarders from around the world. Boasting a large number of lakes and rivers, the park has something to offer amateur as well as expert paddleboarders.
It offers breathtaking visuals, amazing opportunities for photography, and has something for paddleboarders at each skill level. Beginners wanting to get their feet wet, as well as experienced SUP racers wanting to test their limits, will each find a lake or river that is perfect for their needs.
Most visitors to Banff National Park bring their own SUP gear, since the area is remote and there aren’t many places near the lakes where you can buy or rent a paddleboard.
Thankfully, the advent of high-quality inflatable paddleboards – made from military-grade PVC – has made it quite easy to carry the SUP gear to the remote, mountainous lakes. The best inflatable paddleboards allow you to maximize portability and convenience, without sacrificing performance in any way.
The alpine, subalpine, and montane are the three primary eco-regions within Banff National Park. Overall, the park has a subarctic climate, with unique flora and fauna adapted especially for the extremely cold winters common to the region.
The lowest parts of the park are dominated by pine forests, while spruce trees are commonly found at the higher elevations. Elks, grizzly bears, wolverines, moose, bighorn sheep, and cougars are some of the animals you’ll get to see, when visiting the Banff National Park for your paddleboarding trip.
The Benefits of Paddleboarding at Moraine Lake
Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by snow-capped mountains, crystalline waters, and tall pines while cruising along on their paddleboard? The sheer scenic beauty of Moraine Lake is, in itself, enough to draw paddleboarding enthusiasts from the far reaches of the continent (and the world).
But there is much more to Moraine Lake than just the awe-inspiring views. Some of the reasons why paddleboarders flock to this remote lake, surrounded by the Canadian Rockies, are as follows:
- Majestic Peaks: Moraine Lake is located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. As the name suggests, this valley is surrounded by ten jagged, majestic, snow-capped mountain peaks that stand adjacent to one another. Overlooking Moraine Lake, these snow-capped peaks are reflected in the clear, pristine waters. For those exploring the lake on their paddleboards, this makes for a surreal yet majestic sight that is not easily forgotten.
- Relaxing Ambiance: Being small, remote, and surrounded by mountains on all sides, Moraine Lake can offer tourists a natural, relaxing, and rejuvenating ambiance. Peaceful and tranquil, this is the place to be if you’re looking for a relaxing, cruise-like paddling session, ensconced in the lap of nature.
- Photography: Surrounded by jagged slopes, dense coniferous forests, and snowy peaks on all sides, Moraine Lake is perhaps one of the most ‘Instagrammable’ locations in Canada. It is the perfect destination for amateur paddleboarders who want to have some fun in the water, do a bit of photography, and have a memorable SUP vacation, overall.
- Glacial Silt: Want to know the secret behind the clear, turquoise-blue waters of Moraine Lake? Glacial silt, also known as rock flour, consists of granular particles originating from quartz and feldspar. These fine particles are suspended in the melt water from the glacier that’s feeding the lake. The light reflecting off this glacial silt gives the lake water its intense blue color.
- Cozy Lodge: A cozy, luxurious lodge – nestled in the spectacular Ten Peaks Valley – makes it easy for paddleboarders to spend a few days relaxing on the shores of Lake Moraine. Vacationers staying at this lovely lodge can also explore other local water bodies like Two Jack Lake and Lake Louise with relative ease. Hence, this destination is very attractive to paddleboarders of all stripes.
In conclusion, there are a number of reasons why every SUP enthusiast should visit Moraine Lake, in the Banff National Park, at least once. For a safe and enjoyable experience, be sure to pack a high-quality SUP kit – including an inflatable paddleboard, adjustable paddles, and a comfortable ankle leash. Paddle boarding isn’t hard, read this article to study up before you venture out!