The lake, being glacially fed, does not reach its crest until mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinct shade of blue. The colour is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis.
The area around the lake has several walking/hiking trails which are, from time to time, restricted. This is the one most commonly taken by tourists. The Rockpile Trail along the actual moraine is approximately 300 metres long, with an elevation change of 24 metres (79 ft). The view of the lake from the top of the rockpile is one of the most photographed locations in all of Canada. That view of the mountains behind the lake in Valley of the Ten Peaks is known as the Twenty Dollar View, as Moraine Lake was featured on the reverse side of the 1969 and 1979 issues of the Canadian twenty dollar bill.
Along the same trailhead, the Consolation Lakes trail starts, which is approximately 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) long, with an elevation change of 90 metres (300 ft). Upon reaching Consolation Lakes hikers may continue along to the upper lake, which is not visible from the end of the lower lake. There is, however, no clearly marked trail, and can often be a scramble over large rocky areas.
Near the canoe docks of Moraine Lake Lodge there is another trailhead. This trailhead is the start of two trails, one of which branches out into four different trails - so there are in total, five trails starting at that trailhead (Moraine Lake Lakeshore Trail, Eiffel Lake, Wenkchemna Pass, Larch Valley, and Sentinel Pass). The Lake Louise & Yoho Map provides information on these trails.