Hike to the Larch Valley

5.3 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

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.

Read More

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

almost 4 years ago

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!

Nice Hike

Did this hike last octobre on a sunny day. What a beautiful place to visit in fall. Loved it

Can't wait!

Heading there this year, I am very eager to see this in person. So beautiful!

Nearby Adventures

  • Climb the Tower of Babel

    Fairly short approach that begins to the left of Moraine Lake on the consolation lakes trail. Follow a foot path until you see a faint trail in the scree that moves up towards the tower-would recommend wearing a helmet on the approach. This is act...

  • Scramble Mount Temple

    Mount Temple is a stunning iconic mountain in Banff National Park located in the Canadian Rockies. It overlooks the Lake Louise area and stands at a massive 3542m (11,624ft) , making it one of the many sought after 11,000ers.To reach the mountain ...

    12.4 miles 6430.4 ft gain

  • Scramble the Ten Peaks via the Perren Route

    A true adventure with lots of route finding, glacier travel, loose rock and high altitude views. This is not for the faint hearted or first timers.From the Moraine Lake parking lot walk down the east side of the lake along the well maintained trai...

  • Hike Eiffel Peak

    Starting from the parking lot at Moraine Lake follow the trail as it switchbacks up away from the lake. At a spot with two benches the trail will split, the majority continue on to Sentinel Pass and Mt. Temple, take the left fork, it will dip dow...