Adventure Made Easy: Larch Valley Trail

Image of Brooke Davis

Brooke Davis, Guest Blogger

This blog is written by guest blogger Brooke Davis.

What better way to take in Canadian fall than being surrounded by the beautiful Larches in Banff National Park! Below is an account of a recent adventure to Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass just outside of Lake Louise Alberta.

Within Banff National Park, there a number of trails and amazing scenery to see! After a previously failed weekend of making our way to Moraine Lake, we found ourselves successfully at the shore front with a 4:30 a.m. wakeup call, arriving shortly after 7:30 a.m.

Image of Moraine Lake by Brooke Davis

From Moraine Lake, we decided to take our adventure to one of the many trails in Banff National Park: the Larch Valley Trail, also known as the Sentinel Pass. This was a great trail but below we have listed a few important things to keep in mind regarding this particular trail adventure:

  1. Make sure you check the trail report from Parks Canada. This trail frequently requires hikers to be in groups of 4 or more due to bear safety. During busy times, you don’t have to wait long for a group to come by and we found that by sticking between two larger groups (because we move at a reasonably fast pace) it was more than enough.
  2. If you are thinking to do this hike on the weekend, plan to be early otherwise you will have to take the shuttle from Parks Canada. We arrived around 7:30 am and the Moraine lot was nearly full and by the time we came down from the trail the road was completely closed.
  3. Parking for the trail is at the Moraine Lake parking lot. Walk on the main lake trail past the Moraine Lake Lodge and the canoes (or the dock if you do not see the canoes). The trail head will start to your right after that and it is well marked, including if the group size requirements are currently in effect.
  4. Parks officials will be located at the base of the trail during busy times- take advantage of this to gain some information regarding local wildlife and some interesting historical facts!

This hike is  very easy and accessible for the whole family, which makes it very popular among tourists and locals. We couldn’t have been more impressed with the Larches and overall views of Ten Peaks, this is a must to do during the fall for all hikers!

Image of Larch Valley Trail Photos

Larch Valley Trails. Photos by Brooke Davis

If you have been on this trail, share your comments below!

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