Larch Valley - Banff National Park - Hiking Alberta

 

A winter hike or snowshoe into Larch Valley is a unique experience above Moraine Lake.

 

 

Winter photographs are captured on a snowshoe of Larch Valley above Moraine Lake and south of the Community of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.  Larch Valley is commonly a habitual sojourn in the 3rd week of September for appreciation of the annual fall spectacle of golden larch trees.  The stark comparison between Autumn and Winter, is illustrated by reference to Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass.

 

Larch Valley in Winter - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

Larch Valley in Winter - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

Larch Valley in Winter - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

Larch Valley in Winter - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

Larch Valley in Winter - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

Larch Valley in Winter - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

Larch Valley in Winter - Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

 

Moraine Lake in Valley of the Ten Peaks - Banff National Park

 

Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks - Banff National Park

 

Mount Temple (11,626 ft - 3,544 m) on return to Lake Louise Village

 

During this snowshoe trek, a snow squall roars over Sentinel Pass from Paradise Valley on the approach to Minnestimma Lakes.  The approach to Sentinel Pass is completely obliterated by a sudden winter whiteout prompting a hasty retreat to avoid becoming trapped in the unpredictable winter anomaly. 

On the return hike from Larch Valley to Moraine Lake, the spontaneous snow squall ends at lower elevation within the hour taken for return to Moraine Lake nestled in the beautiful Valley of the Ten Peaks.  This is truly a magical and spontaneous place.

 

 

 

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Comments

Thank you for taking the time to visit, D. It is a beautiful valley, particularly on a sunny day about the third week in September when the Larch forests turn golden. The view of Larch Valley and Paradise Valley from Sentinel Pass is always exceptional and the scramble to the summit of Temple is always a draw. It is a full days work from Moraine Lake but the vistas on a clear day are life altering. It is not a season opener or for a beginner but it is worthy of the growth required to get there.

Just wandering through an Archive of yours Barry. 'Magical' place for sure... I'm just dreaming about some climbing up there today... D

June, In the third week of September, on a sunny day, it is absolutely amazing. Catch the early and late day sun if you can. A relaxing break at the top of Sentinel Pass, wedged between Pinnacle Mountain and Mount Temple, offers an expansive view of Paradise Valley on the other side of the Pass. There is a bit of a 1,500 ft grunt from Moraine Lake on excellent trail, but well worth it and the switchbacks up Sentinel Pass are not as bad as they appear. Laurel, No argument from me, and the left branch at the top of initial elevation from Moraine Lake leads you to Eiffel Lakes and on to Wenkchemna Pass. Much different but equally spectacular.

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