MORAINE LAKE – An express shuttle service from the Lake Louise park-and-ride lot will take residents and visitors to view the spectacular larch trees at Moraine Lake this fall in a bid to battle weekend congestion.
In partnership with Roam, Park Canada is offering the service for the first time, which complements the Route 10 bus service that runs from the Banff townsite to Moraine Lake for the larch season.
For about three weeks in fall, larch trees turn from a pale green to a vibrant yellow or gold, a spectacular display that draws visitors to the iconic lake in Banff National Park year after year.
“This provides another way for visitors to get to Moraine Lake if they want to get up and see the larches, which we know is a popular thing,” said Jed Cochrane, Parks Canada’s visitor services manager for Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay.
Roam will operate the shuttle service from the park-and-ride lot, located about six kilometres east of Lake Louise, to Moraine Lake on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Thanksgiving Monday from Sept. 18 to Oct. 12
Shuttles will run every 20 minutes starting at 8 a.m. until the last bus from Moraine Lake at 4:40 p.m.
The direct service, with no stops in Lake Louise, costs $10 for adults, $5 for youth and seniors.
Cochrane said that masks will be mandatory on the shuttle bus and all provincial health regulations regarding COVID-19 are being followed as per Alberta Health Services.
“We will be working hard in the park-and-ride to make sure there’s lots of space for people to physically distance and that the lineups will be spread out,” he said.
“We will have masks on-site, but we encourage visitors to bring their own.”
During the upcoming larch season, visitors will still be allowed to drive to Moraine Lake, but will be turned away if the 150-stall lot is full.
Cochrane doesn’t believe the larch season will be as busy as summer, but popular nonetheless.
“I expect the parking lot will be filling nice and early in the morning,” he said.
“We’ve always seen that at Moraine Lake – it’s not a big parking lot – and that’s why we wanted to run the shuttle.”
Meanwhile, the Banff-Moraine Lake (Route 10) transit service started on Sept. 14. Running until Oct. 12, buses go seven days a week and seven times per day.
The bus leaves from the transit hub by the Banff Community High School to Moraine Lake, with stops in Lake Louise village (Monday-Thursday only).