Moraine Lake Closure to Private Vehicles

Bow Valley residents, business owners and recreational groups learned in January that Parks Canada will be permanently closing Moraine Lake Road to private vehicles. WE know that Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Road have been facing increased pressure from visitation over the last couple of years and Parks Canada has indicated in the Park Management Plan and the Lake Louise Area Plan that change would be coming. While AMPPE understands and supports Parks Canada’s decision we remain concerned over how this will roll-out this summer and continue to advice and support to Parks Canada to ensure this is implemented successfully.

After hearing this news break, AMPPE’s newly formed Executive Committee (Tracy Lowe of the Chateau Lake Louise, Alex Grant of Pursuit, Stavros Karlos of the Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance) and ED Debbie Harksen met with officials from Parks Canada Field Unit, including Francois Masse, to bring our questions and concerns forward.

First, we asked how this decision fits into the overall plan for the Parks. Parks assured us that this was in line with the Management Plan and the Lake Louise Area Plan and that they will start working on a broader transportation strategy.

As you know, AMPPE has been calling for an interconnected, comprehensive transportation strategy. We were optimistic when the Expert Panel was formed. Here is AMPPE’s feedback on the Panel’s Report.

While we support this decision, AMPPE notes: 

  • certain user groups will be excluded from visiting Moraine Lake, including mountaineers, early morning photographers and people with larger dogs. Parks assures us they are discussing this matter with the Alpine Club of Canada and with the Assoc. of Canadian Mountain;
  • the services remain divided between public and private transportation systems. Parks feels this will provide an opportunity for local providers;
  • the system still lacks interconnectedness. Parks plans to create a broader transportation framework.
  • wayfinding remains subpar. Parks plans to address this before the summer;
  • basic research on visitor preferences, barriers and expectations has not been conducted;
  • parking for those who wish to walk or bike into the lake has not been considered;
  • this brings us no closer to a singular system of transportation;
  • we are concerned that buses, vehicles with accessibility placards and private transportation providers will have difficulty getting through cyclists and walkers. Parks says they will have this managed through signage and brochures.

As this plan moves forward, AMPPE will continue to bring your concerns forward. We all have a vested interest in helping this run smoothly next summer.