Hiking along the beautiful Canadian Rockies at the Alberta and BC border on June/July 2022 we went to Moraine Lake.
On this overcast day we decided to travel to Moraine Lake. We had a couple great hikes along the way. after watching the sunrise on Lake Louise, we went canoeing on Moraine Lake, then hiked the Sentinel Pass. Complimenting this was having tea at the top of Lake Agnes, you can tell there’s no shortage of amazing things to do and beautiful wilderness to see.
For our Moraine adventure we decided to forego the parking issues we had heard about and booked the shuttle. The shuttle leaves from the ski lodge which is located across the highway from Lake Louise. There is ample parking at the ski lodge, but also a shuttle which does round trips from the ski lodge parking lot to the lake Louise parking lot, so you can leave your car there as well and have no troubles accessing the connector bus.
A short bus trip later and you’re at the parking lot for Moraine Lake, the buses park right next to the pit toilets, but trust me the adventure beyond this is spectacular.
Canoe rentals are a very fun thing to do on this lake. It cost us $110 CAD for a one-hour rental. The lake is easily paddled and easily admired during the trip. I suggest you get there early as their rental spaces fill up quick, otherwise you’ll be in a long lineup waiting your turn. If you’re in line, send someone up to visit the coffee shop get some coffee, tea, water or enjoy some sweets while you wait (CASH ONLY).
After paddling the beautiful lake, we decided to hike Sentinel pass. This is an 11.1 km hike that begins at the lodge at Moraine Lake. As you steadily climb upward you advance along a peaceful well-groomed switchback trail for much of the beginning. Keep trucking for a total 799 meters of elevation with amazing views of the lake along the way. The lake turns from a turquoise blue to blue green to brilliant blue again as you hike upwards. Along the sentinel trail is a fork in the trail with a nice sitting bench, now its decision time. If you go right, you will be taken through to the Sentinel pass into the Larch valley, or stay left and go to the Eiffel Peak, and can then loop around to the Sentinel trail near the bowl, either way you’ll be amazed at the sheer beauty of these hikes.
Larch valley hike is full of beautiful life. You will see no shortage of small chipmunks, ground hogs, marmots (in a well-established rock home) and many types of birds. The views all the way along this trail is amazing and snow covers the valley, even in July. The lake at the top was frozen near the final grind of the hike, with open parts. Again, a translucent blue color we saw in the lower lakes.
We suggest you take your time and enjoy this amazing hike. Bring a lunch, something warm to drink and sit back in the wilderness. The buses leave every 20 minutes until 6pm, its a hop on (return fee is included in your trip) but they suggest you make sure you have your slip they give you when you begin. I would try not to leave too late since towards 4-6 the busses are full, and lineups get quite large. I doubt they would leave you there, but who knows?
A bunch of pictures below for you to enjoy.