Consolation Lakes - Banff National Park - Hiking Alberta

 

Consolation Lakes rest beneath glaciers near Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

 

Consolation Lakes, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Beginning at world renowned Moraine Lake, near Lake Louise in Banff National Park, the two small and pristine Consolation Lakes are accessed by a short, 2.9 KM (1¾ mile), one-way, easy hike past the Rockpile and along Babel Creek to boulder fields beneath Mount Babel, capped by the Fay Glacier.  

This hike is the planned, early morning pause en route between Calgary, Alberta, Canada and the David Thompson Resort east of Saskatchewan Crossing in Banff National Park.

The winding road from Lake Louise to Moraine Lake consistently gains elevation before cresting into a short descent to the very busy and overflowing Moraine Lake parking area.  A lucky parking spot is located near the picnic area for hiking the short link to the Rockpile Trail.

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada 
 
 
The left turn at the Rockpile trail crosses a short bridge over a beautiful babbling brook to stone steps ascending the Rockpile.  A trail junction to the left is clearly signed as restricted to hiking parties of four or more persons to combat potential wildlife encounters by the legitimate and simple principle of risk reduction by numbers.  The rocky trail curls in descent to a scree field beneath the Tower of Babel.  Next, the trail continues on a short section of large boulders over running water.  The path is well defined by legions of past hikers.
 
 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Stone steps ascend the Rockpile to the trail junction for Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The restricted trailhead for Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Rocky path at the beginning of the Consolation Lakes trail near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Scree slopes below Tower of Babel along the trail to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Crossing the boulder field on the Consolation Lakes trail near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The short boulder field passes crystal-clear ponds and transitions from rocky path to well-groomed trail for the excellent hike through old growth forest adjacent to Babel Creek

A trail junction to Taylor Lake crosses a sawn-log bridge over Babel Creek.  This Taylor Lake access trail is poorly defined and best done by experienced hikers with well-developed route finding skills.  A formal, recently updated, and expanded Taylor Lake trail begins from the TransCanada Highway west of Banff.

On the trail to Consolation Lakes, short sections of trail are protected from wet hiking conditions.  Scenic, open areas announce the final approach to Consolation Lakes.

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Rocky sections follow the boulder field on the trail to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Pristine, clear-water ponds on the trail to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Hiking on grand trail through old growth forest on the way to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Dense evergreen forest with moss borders along the trail to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Platform path to provide protection in wet conditions on the hiking trail to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Old growth forest along the hiking trail to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Open landscape on the approach to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The Consolation Lakes trail passes through open water wetlands and expanding scenery until it exits forest directly into a massive boulder field beneath massive Mount Babel capped by the blue, glacial ice of the spectacular Fay Glacier.

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Open, still-water wetlands on the approach to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The Fay Glacier on Mount Babel above Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada At the edge of the west shore of the first of two Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The massive boulder field at Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The route to the second Consolation Lake, at the far end, past a drainage through scree, is over the large boulders along the west shore or over more forgiving, but potentially wet terrain, via the potentially wet route on the east shore.  The decision is to gather photos of this idyllic location from nearby large boulders before returning to Moraine Lake with the intent to potentially create time for a second short hike.

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada 
 
 
This whole area is predictably quite crowded here on an August weekend day and taking unencumbered photographs of the area's natural beauty can be challenging.
 
 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Turning about from Consolation Lakes on the return to Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada Babel Creek adjacent to the Consolation Lakes trail near Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The Valley of the Ten Peaks shrouded in mist past the rockpile above Moraine Lake from the Consolation Lakes Trail in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The Valley of the Ten Peaks shrouded in mist past the rockpile above Moraine Lake from the Consolation Lakes Trail in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The crowded trail leads to the top of the Rockpile for traditional photographs of Moraine Lake from long-established viewpoints.  The color of the lake is surreal and compositions of water, mountains, glaciers, forest and sky are naturally profound and moving.  WOW!

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The traditional view of Moraine Lake from the Rockpile in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

Consolation Lakes, Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada The traditional view of Moraine Lake from the Rockpile in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

This quick return hike back has created the time to hike the Moraine Lakeshore trail along the east shoreline of this incredible, world-famous landmark from Moraine Lake Lodge to the far end of the lake to see cascading white water emanating from Eiffel Lakes beneath Wenkchemna Pass.

Photos for this hike to Consolation Lakes near Moraine Lake east of Lake Louise are taken on August 17, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

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