Moraine Lake and Valley of The Ten Peaks | Sunrise

Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks is absolutely breathtaking. My wife and I recently visited this location for the first time when we were in the Canadian Rockies and it instantly jumped to the top of our ‘must return to list.’ We spent many days within the area hiking and soaking up the many amazing views. No matter if you’re a photographer, painter or someone who just enjoys natures beauty, this is a place that you must visit with your own eyes.

The lake is a gorgeous color of bright turquoise because of the glacier water and sediment that flows into and settles within the lake. That glacier sediment only reflects a small range of blues and greens, giving the water an almost unreal color. It sits directly below the Valley of Ten Peaks (seven of the peaks are seen within the image below), which are all over 10,000 feet and are between 4,000 to 5,000 feet above the waters edge, giving the area a dramatic look during any time of day.

I woke on one of the mornings to photograph sunrise from one of the iconic spots to view the lake, on top of the ‘Rockpile’ (which is just that, a massive rock pile that sits on one side of the lakes edge). I got to the spot I had scouted a couple days before, composed my image to include a foreground of trees and rocks and began firing my shutter when the sun first hit the top of the tallest mountain peaks. For the first 20-30 minutes the weather was pretty much perfect, as there was no breeze and the water was as clear as glass, which created an amazing reflection within its blueish hue.

Moraine Lake and Valley of The Ten Peaks | © Jay Moore Photography

Photography / Hiking Insight: As said above, Moraine Lake is beautiful anytime of day to visit, but sunrise and sunset bring a special light to this magical place, giving it even more drama than usual. I enjoyed the morning light more than evening (August) since it touched on many of the Ten Peaks (was at location about 15 minutes before the scheduled sunrise). However, the evening light was very dramatic (at location about 2-hours before scheduled sunset for best angled light), but since the Canadian Rockies generate its own clouds throughout the day, we only had a few small windows to photograph the scene before the clouds covered the dramatic light.

Print Purchase: If you’re interested in purchasing a photographic print, the image above (and all images posted on my blog) are available in all sizes. Please email be directly through the ‘contact Jay’ link located at the top of the page.

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