Distance: 19.4 km (return)
Time: 2 – 4 hrs
Elevation Gain: 480 m
Elevation Loss: 480 m
Technical Rating: Advanced
Physical Rating: Hard
Season: June – September
Permit Required: Yes (Park Pass)
Undoubtedly the best mountain bike ride in Lake Louise, Moraine Lake Highline is not for the beginner rider. The trail starts with a rooty, rocky, and technical climb, which is relentless up to the 5 km mark. Around the 6 km mark the trail starts to mellow out, with a gradual descent towards Moraine Lake.
Most of the trail leads through an old growth forest, along the side of Mount Temple, and therefore doesn’t offer much of a view. However, once you reach the Moraine Creek Valley the trail opens up and offers you some incredible views of The Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake, The Tower of Babel, and Consolation Valley. The last section of the trail (3 km) is narrow and somewhat exposed, with a number of challenging rock sections – fun for the advanced rider.
Moraine Lake Highline is typically ridden as an out and back (19.4 km return) and my be accessed directly from Lake Louise Village via the Tramline.
Please note: A partial seasonal trail closure for all trail users comes into effect usually early August to mid-September during the berry seasonal to allow bears undisturbed feeding.
TRAILHEAD | N51 23.991 W116 10.588
The trailhead is located 5 km from Lake Louise Village on Moraine Lake Road. Drive or ride up Lake Louise Drive and turn left on to Moraine Lake Road. Continue up the road for about 2 km and look for the trailhead on your right.
bikepirate rating: 5 Skulls
Moraine Lake Highline may be ridden as an out-and-back, or as a loop when combined with the Moraine Lake Road. I prefer to ride it as an out and back. The return trip from Moraine Lake is more manageable and the descent down to the trailhead, about 5 km, is super-fast, fun and technical. Worth doing over and over again.
If you prefer to ride from Lake Louise Village, use the Lake Louise Tramline to get to the start of Moraine Lake Highline. Follow the Tramline to the Moraine Lake Road crossing; turn left onto Moraine Lake Road and cycle along the road to the signed trailhead on your right.