Calling all hikers, outdoor enthusiasts and fall foliage fans! It's time to explore Larch Valley this fall.

What is Larch Valley?

A stunningly beautiful area of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, The Larch Valley to Sentinal Pass hike is one of the most spectacular scenic hikes in the world. The best time to go is right now! September brings breathtaking changing colours to Larch Valley. The Larch tree is the only evergreen tree that is not really evergreen. Its needles change to a golden yellow at this time of year.

Getting there

The drive from Trinity Hills to Larch Valley will take roughly two hours on the Trans-Canada Highway. The parking lot at Moraine Lake fills up by sunrise, but there are overflow lots and shuttle services to take you to the trailhead. During Larch season, and due to COVID-19, it is a good idea to check with Parks Canada in Lake Louise and consult the shuttle schedules before heading out.

What to explore

The view of Moraine Lake welcomes you. This vista alone is worth the trip. It is an image that has graced the Canadian $20 bill twice in the past -- as well as countless computer screen savers. The trail begins just past the Moraine Lake Lodge. It will lead you through the golden forests of Larch Valley, past babbling brooks and the shimmering Minnestimma Lakes to the spectacular views of the 10 Peaks and beyond to Sentinel Pass. The Larch Valley/Minnestimma Lakes trail is 4.3 kilometres, one way. It is a steady ascent through thick forest, past babbling brooks and surrounded by The Rocky Mountains. It reaches an elevation of 535 metres. Plan on at least 4 hours round trip -- more if you plan on savouring the scenery. It is not an easy hike, but the rewards are beyond description.

How to prepare

Proper preparation can make all the difference. Find information on hiking safety here. Remember, always follow all Parks Canada Visitor Guidelines.

We wish you a safe and memorable experience as you explore Larch Valley this fall.

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