National Treasure #5: Moraine Lake

In 2005, a family reunion took us to Moraine Lake for an outing.  Having grown up in Alberta, I’d been there before, of course, and to Lake Louise (in my pre-digital-photography days).  Having been there before, I didn’t think that much about either of them.  Of course.

Pretty?  Sure.

Pretty dramatic? Yeah.

But, you know, just two glacier-fed lakes in the Canadian Rockies.

Glacier-blue water with craggy peaks and talus slopes as backdrop.
Moraine Lake

Today I try to rectify that casually dismissive acceptance by including them in my list of national treasures.

This is one of a series on Canadian national treasures – my sesquicentennial project. They reflect people (living and dead), places and things that I think are worth celebrating about our country, and are done in no order of precedence.



  1. I painted a picture of Moraine Lake from one of the photos I took when I visited in the mid-’60s. I painted the picture quickly — in lieu of going to church one Sunday — but something of the sublime and divine I had experienced when viewing that lake must have infused it. The friend to whom I gave it, who was on a mission in the location where he hung it, told me a student had dedicated his life to Jesus from looking at my little painting. To me, this “national” treasure celebrates transcendent forces I cannot name.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – Wow. And isn’t it wonderful that even we editors don’t always need to be able to find the right word – the experience is sufficient.

  2. Tom Watson

    Isn’t that a wonderful spot! We have a print of a painting of Morraine Lake. Not sure who the original painter was…maybe Laurna.

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