Hiking the Lake Moraine Area

October 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

On Sunday, September 24, Laura and I decided to take the shuttle to Moraine Lake, in spite of having to wait in line for about 1 hour. It was a partly cloudy day, again cold in the morning, but pleasantly warm later on in the day.

The Moraine Lake area is a very popular destination for tourists in Banff/Lake Louise. There are a number of trails that start there. The most popular in Fall is the Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass trail, about 12 km return, total elevation gain 732 m. We decided to ignore the crowd and hike it anyway. The trail starts at Moraine Lake with a series of forested switchbacks for about 2 kms. At the top there is a large area full with larches, all of them in peak colour when we were there.

It isn’t easy to make pictures of larches, at least for me. They are a funny tree. They are scraggly, almost ungainly looking, but just glow with colour. I couldn’t figure out how to do the feel of the place justice. So many trees! So much colour! What to do with it. I suspect it will take a few years of experimentation to figure out how to make beautiful images of larches.

The trail continues with sparser and smaller larches, to a rocky place, where you can see Sentinel Pass ahead. There are also a number of small lakes called Minestimma Lakes.

The mountains around are gorgeous! Harsh looking, yes, rocky, brown/gold, pewter, a bit of snow:

Peak by Sentinel Pass 3Peak by Sentinel Pass 3 Peak by Sentinel Pass 2Peak by Sentinel Pass 2 Peak by Sentinel Pass 1Peak by Sentinel Pass 1

We had lunch at the topmost and largest of the pools. We decided not to go up Sentinel Pass, but lounge around the lake for a while on the warm rocks. This is Sentinel Pass:

Laura decided to take a nap; I walked around to the far side of the small lake. From there, looking back over where we had hiked up, I could see the Valley of the Ten Peaks, which we could also see from the Valley of the Larches before.  The peaks reflecting in Lake Minestimma made for a surreal scene:

Minestimma Reflection 3Minestimma Reflection 3 Minestimma Reflection 2Minestimma Reflection 2

After a while we returned to Lake Moraine, same route as going up.  The larches and the peaks were, if anything, even more beautiful than before:

That evening we went out for pizza at Lake Louise Village.  It was a great day overall!


Comments

Subscribe
RSS
Archive
January February March April May (1) June July August (1) September October November December
January (2) February March April May June July August (1) September October November (2) December
January February March (2) April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March (1) April (2) May (1) June July August September October (2) November December