Hike to the Larch Valley
Canada › Moraine Lake Parking Lot and Trailhead
Added by Andrew Lunt
- Distance: 4.3km each way
- Duration: 3.5-4 hour round trip
- Beautiful Scenery and fantastic fall colors
Starting at the Moraine Lake parking lot take, take the main trail the leads down past the cafe and lodges on the lake shore. A short way down the trail splits, to the left is just the lakeside walk. For Larch Valley take a right, it is clearly signed. Depending on the time of the year there are hiking restrictions. I would always recommend going with groups of 4-6 people. The area is frequently visited by grizzly bears. Please remember to take bear spray on this hike and know how to use it and when to use it.
One on the main trail follow the switch back up through beautiful pine forests, occasionally opening up to give you a view of Moraine lake below in the valley. There are a few trails that lead off the main trail to other areas which are all worth a visit, however make sure you stay on the main trail.
Eventually you begin to get into the larch trees, I highly recommend visiting in the fall when all the alpine larch trees needles turn a beautiful golden color. Continuing on this trail you will eventually arrive at a wide meadow overlooking one of the most beautiful valleys in the world. The towering mountains of the valley of the ten peaks, the sub alpine littered with golden larches, you could soak in this view for hours.
Once your here there are a couple of small lakes called Minestimma Lakes. They offer some stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains.
From here you can admire the views and return back the same way. Or continue to follow the trail up the Sentinel Pass. This trail requires some sure footing, but does offer some amazing views.
Either way head back down the same trail you walked up on back to your car at Moraine Lake and head into town for a well deserved drink.
- Bear Spray
- First Aid Kit
- Rain Jacket
- Sun Screen
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Enjoy the views without the crowds.
The thing about Moraine Lake is that it is swarmed with crowds. The other thing about it is that you can hike 0.5 mile away on any trail and feel like you have the place to yourself. Larch Valley was a totally doable hike to do in a couple hours and it gave us some incredible views with a little bit of solitude. I would love to come back and do it in the fall!
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