Moraine Lake Banff

Valley of the Ten Peaks rises high

Moraine Lake Banff

Moraine Lake in Banff National Park gives you a stunning view of the Rockies. (Julia Pelish/

The Valley of the Ten Peaks surrounds Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Moraine Lake is so spectacular that at one time its photo adorned the back of a Canadian $20 bill. In the full sunlight, the glacier-fed  lake glistens like a mesmerizing turquoise blue gemstone. As the light shifts so do the shades of blue, a new sight always emerging. You can paddle around the lake on rented kayaks or take in the views from the hiking trails.

I was here in the middle of October, after all the tourists had left. We arrived late afternoon/early evening and the immense mountains and tree line were covered with a fresh dusting of snow. I remember distinctly stopping in my tracks when the lake came into view. Hands down it was probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure of observing and the photo hardly does justice to the reality of the impact.

Like so much of the Rocky Mountain scenery, the views and the experience shifts from season to season. In spring and summer, the light shimmers on the lake, which becomes crowded with kayakers in colourful vessels, and in fall the glorious autumn colours light up your eyes as they mingle in front of the mountains. The beauty of Canada is boundless in this most magnificent of national treasures.

Next time you’re out and about exploring the country, send in a photo of your own — you just may win a travel prize if your shot is chosen as the Photo of the Week.


Do you want to be a Photo of the Week winner? Simply email your submission to (images should be sent as high-resolution JPEGs) and your travel photo could get chosen and publicized — and you could win a great travel prize!


A photographer who has worked in the largest media markets in Canada and the U.S., Julia’s travel photos and videos have been featured prominently in the Toronto Star and been exhibited in galleries in Toronto, New York and Vancouver. Her new line of photo jewelry was inspired by her travels. Even though she is an American, one of her favourite travel experiences was spending Canada Day 2000 on Parliament Hill, joining in a parade with then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien and others. Julia is’s Visuals Editor. See her work at

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