Moraine Lake, Consolation Lakes, and Larch Valley Hike.

Having too much to write about in a weekend recap is a sure sign of a fantastic weekend. I split up a few of the things I did this past weekend in order to not overload you with hiking excitement and mountain selfies. I had the best first experience hiking solo this weekend in Canmore and Lake Louise area. I drove to Airdrie with my mom on Thursday after work, then my Aunt and I headed to Canmore on Friday morning. I dropped my Aunt off at her conference and made my way to Peyto Lake.

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I explored Peyto Lake for a bit, then made my way to Moraine Lake. I arrived just after 11am, luckily beating out most of the tourists and finding a parking spot in the main parking lot. I grabbed some snacks sitting by the lake, or at least I tried to while my new friend attempted to steal my chocolate chip Clif bar.

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Once I had fueled up, I headed up, up, and up, towards Larch Valley. There are about 793 switchbacks (give or take) heading to Larch Valley but every time you turn around you get a glimpse of the infamous blue of Moraine Lake peeking through the trees. It was a grueling climb but as someone who loves that feeling of burning legs and lungs, I loved it!

Once you reach a fork in the trail, with the right path leading to Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass and the left path leading to Eifel Lake, the trail flattens out quite a bit and you get to stroll through Larch Valley and get an incredible view of the Valley of Ten Peaks. It is beyond beautiful. There is a creek flowing passed this trail for water (FYI).

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I was planning to make the trek to Sentinel Pass but it was FREEZING and the slushy three feet of snow blanketing the trail made this a tad difficult so I spent time wandering around Larch Valley (and throwing ALL of my layers on) and then heading back down the trail to Moraine Lake. The round trip to Larch Valley is about 9km (about 2000ft elevation gain) and it took me under three hours.

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Once I made my way back to Moraine Lake I did the little lakeshore walk to the river that feeds the lake and back. I don’t even think I know how to describe how gorgeous the colour of this lake is, but it’s no wonder so many bus loads of tourists show up every day in the summer to see this beauty. I debated heading back to Canmore but saw the trail to Consolation Lakes and went for it. It’s a short 6km round trip (300ft elevation gain) and it took me about an hour and a half. It was completely worth it because there were very few people on this trail and I got to spend time jumping around these huge rocks and exploring with the marmots!

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The trail continues to some backcountry camping and a few mountain passes but I had a sip of water, sat and admired the lake, then wandered back to the Moraine Lake parking lot. If you want a super quick hike with very little climbing, and a rewarding endpoint, this is it! You also escape most tourists. 😉

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I reached my car just after 4pm, exhausted, dirty and sweaty, and ready for a shower! I drove back to Canmore, showered and then went for dinner to the Iron Goat with my Aunt. This restaurant has an amazing view and the food was pretty good too. I had the roasted veggie pizza and a Fernie Brown Ale… I ate and drank them too fast to actually take a photo but you’ll just have to take my word for it – perfect post-hike meal.

How was your weekend?

Best post-hike, post-adventure meal?

Do you ever hike solo? 

6 Comments

  1. I hike alone a lot mostly with my dogs. When I’m alone I stick to well travelled trails and pack the bear spray. I will say that thanks to Alberta Adventure Girls I haven’t had to do a solo hike in a while now!

  2. Your pictures are gorgeous and you’re giving me some ideas of where to hike this summer. I’ve always worried about hiking solo – do you worry about wildlife? Take bear spray? I know the bears are out there, I’m just hoping they stay hidden :0

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