Night Photography/Sunrise at Moraine Lake

Rate this Adventure 0.4 miles 246.1 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Sachith Siriwardane

One of the most beautiful night skies I've had the opportunity to photograph, followed by one of the most amazing sunrises I've ever seen.

Getting There:

Getting to the viewpoint is super easy - the hike itself is less than a kilometer. The trailhead is connected to the parking lot, and you should have no problem parking at night (super different from the day). 

The Night:

From the top of the rock pile, there are plenty of places to set up your tripod to take photos. Depending on what time of year it is, wait a bit after the sun sets, then head on up there. We went in mid-June and headed up around 12:30 am or so. Depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to see the Milky Way, so I'd recommend looking up when/where it'll rise before you get there - it's an unbelievable experience to see it through your lens. 

I shot with my Sony A7 with a 16-35 mm F4 Zeiss on the following settings: ISO: 3200, F4, SS: 25s - you can play around with what works the best for you. Some of you have much better gear than what your broke college boy can afford.

Just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Take advantage of the sky while it's clear. We had short windows of time that the sky had no clouds in it and those'll give you the best pictures.
  • Give yourself time to admire the sky without your camera. At one point, my friend went to grab more batteries and I was left just staring at the sky. I was so preoccupied with getting the perfect photo I forgot to just enjoy the view.
  • Start with your classic view over the mountains than experiment with other areas, one of my favorite shots (Above) of the Milky Way was over a mountain and didn't even have the lake in it.
  • BRING WARM CLOTHES. If you're planning on taking photos up there at night (and especially if you're trying to stay for sunrise), it gets cold. Gloves, a sleeping bag, hot chocolate...whatever you  need to stay warm, bring it. You won't regret it.

Unfortunately, the lake has some ripples still over night, so the reflections of the stars on the water are a little to capture, but the stars of the mountains more than makes up for it. 

The Rise:

We weren't sure if we wanted to catch the sunrise, but it was already 3 am, and the sun rose at 5 am or so, so we figured why not? We hunkered down, bundled up, and just enjoyed the view. Around 4:30 am or so (Again this is in June), the sky started to brighten. As the light shone on the top of the mountains, we were treated to a beautiful view in front of us and an incredible sunrise behind us. 10/10 would recommend.

That's all I can think of, but reach out if you have any questions - more than happy to help!

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Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Lake
Romantic
Scenic

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