It was my fourth visit to Moraine Lake in ten years. Twice before it had been so rainy that I hadn't even taken my camera out. But this time it was perfect, bright sun and clear skies.
It is always the color of the water that people exclaim about, and remember. If you haven't seen it before you may think the photos have been enhanced, but they haven't. Rock ground-up fine by the glaciers, known as "glacial flour", makes the water reflect a vivid aqua, even though it is really very clear. Striking even on cloudy days, in bright sun the color is truly amazing.
Moraine Lake in the Valley of Ten Peaks is a Canadian icon. For many years the view from the "Rockpile" (left end of the lake) appeared on the Canadian $20 bill. The peaks at the west end of the lake rise more than 4000 feet (1275 meters) above it.
Though perfect for photography, the day I took these photos was a bit windy for canoeing, so the Australian girls renting them had little to do but chat. Up the hill behind them is the comfortable Moraine Lake Lodge. Just a few miles away is Lake Louise, with its huge chateau-style hotel and mobs of tourists. A few miles further is the Trans-Canada Highway, thronged with traffic of the world's second largest country.
Banff National Park, Canada's oldest, is (together with Jasper National Park, adjacent to the north) a UNESCO World Heritage Site.