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Everything about th Larch Valley as well as Guard Pass Walking (Finest Autumn Walking in Banff)

After living in the Bow Valley for a couple of years, we ultimately made it out this larch period to trek the well-known Larch Valley as well as approximately Guard Pass. I believed it may be overvalued, yet it was truthfully much better than I anticipated as well as among the most effective walkings in Banff.

Hiking via a sea of gold larches with the 10 tops behind you is incredible. The sights are hugely attractive, a few of the most effective in the park, as well as this is originating from somebody that goes out treking 3-5 times a week!

So just how can you trek Larch Valley as well as Guard Pass on your own, as well as what all do you require to understand about it? Allow’s dig in!

Larch Valley Walking Trick Facts

Continue to the Top of Guard Pass

Larch Valley Course Description

larch valley via sentinel pass
One of the tiny towering tarns you’ll see

The path approximately Larch Valley begins at Moraine Lake; simply past the canoe anchors you’ll see a join your right which notes the path for Larch Valley as well as Guard Pass. It’s a well-trodden switchback course approximately Larch Valley. It’s rather uninteresting, with practically no sights. We scooted via this area, as well as it took us regarding 40 mins to climb up 2 kilometres as well as over 300 meters of gain throughout of the switchbacks.

At around 3km, you’ll see an indicator where you can break short to the left for Eiffel Top as well as Lake. Advance approximately Larch Valley to your right.

Once you surpass the switchbacks, the sights open, as well as you’ll discover on your own amongst all the attractive larches. After the switchbacks, the altitude gain is really steady; you most likely will not also see due to the fact that it will certainly be so awesome. Do not fail to remember to look behind you at the larches as well as 10 Tops.

There’s a little towering tarn to your right that you can detour to for some attractive pictures with Mount Faye behind you or proceed up the path to Minnestimma Lake. As soon as you get to the lake, do not fail to remember to break pictures.

If you look right in advance of you, you’ll see the path approximately the top of Guard Pass. It might look high, yet I would certainly claim to go all out! It’s just one more 170 meters of gain as well as 1 kilometres of range, as well as on top, you’ll obtain astonishment sights over the valley.

You can make it to the top of the come on one more 20-30 mins, or if you are material, you can quit at Minnestimma Lake as well as take pleasure in the sights of the 10 tops.

Minnestimma Lake

Once on top of Guard Pass, evaluate Heaven Valley beyond. Though it might look alluring you ought to just trek via Heaven Valley if you intended it. As it’s an indicate direct you’ll require a 2nd automobile or to organize a shuttle bus in between the Heaven as well as Moraine car park.

larch valley via sentinel pass
Looking over Heaven Valley

If you have actually begun early sufficient, understand the path, as well as are well geared up, you can remain to Mount Holy place– yet just if you understand what you are doing as well as have actually prepared for it.

This is a significant shuffle as well as needs a safety helmet as well as clambering experience. Individuals have actually passed away clambering up Mount Holy place, as well as recognizing the problems ahead of time is vital.

Once you have actually delighted in the sights of the 10 Peaks enough time, return similarly you came. We did this walk at night, recognizing we would certainly capture night light back at Moraine Lake when we were ended up.

Gear We Recommend

Arc'teryx Cerium Hoody

Arc’ teryx Cerium

Arc’ teryx Cerium is our choice for the very best down coat. It’s unbelievably light, as well as we bring it on practically every walk in the Mountain ranges.

Peak Design Capture Clip

PD Capture Clip

This clever clip from Top Layout protects an electronic camera to my knapsack band for very easy reach. Say goodbye to excavating in the knapsack!

Hiking Poles

Hiking Poles

A set of long lasting as well as light-weight walking posts are a wonderful possession on the treking path.

Gregory Nano Backpack

Gregory Nano 20L

20L seems like the excellent dimension for fast walkings as well as shuffles. We like the Nano from Gregory with a hydration tank.

Garmin Inreach Mini

Garmin Inreach Mini

There is very little cell solution in the Canadian Mountain ranges. In situation of emergency situations, we bring an emergency situation sign with general practitioner.

Larch Valley Walking Duration

larch valley via sentinel pass
Mount Faye towering above us

Hiking up the switchbacks as well as making it to Larch Valley might take you anywhere in between 45 mins as well as 1.5 hrs. As soon as you get to completion of the switchbacks, you have actually climbed up a lot of your altitude gain (unless you prepare to raise to Guard Pass).

To make it to Minnestimma Lakes will certainly take you regarding 20-30 mins approximately. If you choose to copulate for Guard Pass, you have regarding one more 20-30 mins to go.

Completely if you are simply raising to Larch Valley as well as back, I would certainly approximate 2-3 hrs, include one more 1-2 hrs to make it to the top of Guard Pass. You’ll likely wish to take a great deal of pictures, specifically if you exist throughout late September/October to see the larches in all their gold splendor.

When Can You Trek Larch Valley?

You can raise to Larch Valley practically as quickly as the snow thaws in June as well as raise till the very first significant snowfall at Moraine Lake, usually in very early to mid-October. Parks Canada will certainly shut the roadway to Moraine Lake around this moment anyhow, noting completion of the period at Moraine.

However, the most effective time to trek via the Larch Valley is when loss strikes Banff, as this is just one of the most effective larch walkings in Banff. The larches usually transform a gold shade the last 2 weeks of September as well as right into the very first week approximately of October, relying on the period.


Larches are conifers that are belonging to cooler temperature levels. Although they are conifers, they are deciduous as well as shed their needles in the fall.

Right prior to they shed their needles, they transform a gold shade for a couple of brief weeks, producing a fantastic breathtaking landscape that individuals group from around the globe to see.

larch valley via sentinel pass

Larch Valley is called for the countless larches in the valley. That suggests come completion of September, the entire valley transforms gold. It’s an enchanting time to trek this path, as well as I very recommend waiting up until this moment to see it when possible.

22 UNREAL Alberta Larch Hikes

What’s the most effective Method to Prevent Groups on the Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass Walking?

larch valley via sentinel pass

Being among one of the most attractive walkings in Banff as well as one of the most widely known larch walk suggests that Larch Valley as well as Guard Pass obtain exceptionally active come late September.

If you struck it at the incorrect time, it’s mosting likely to be a congested path. Nonetheless, it can never ever be also crowded like some tracks enter the USA, as reaching Moraine Lake has some difficulties.

Still, the most effective time to have Larch Valley as silent as feasible is either truly very early or at night. Indicating dawn as well as at night after 4pm. If it’s throughout the larch period, there will most definitely still be a lot of individuals on the path, yet much less than there would certainly be lunchtime. We began our walk around 4pm, as well as captured one of the most attractive gold hr late as the sunlight began to decrease.

Read extra regarding checking out Moraine Lake

How Hard is the Larch Valley Walking?

AllTrails prices Guard Pass using the Larch Valley Walking as a tough walk, yet I think both Larch Valley as well as Guard Pass are modest walkings. At under 800 meters of gain in 5.5 kilometres up, it’s not insane steep. A lot of the altitude gain comes with the really starting as you climb up apparently neverending Switchbacks from Moraine Lake to Larch Valley.

After this area, it is rather level as well as carefree up until you reach Minnestimma Lakes as well as begin going up to Guard Pass, one more collection of switchbacks. Both collection of switchbacks, although laborious as well as a little bit uninteresting, are uncomplicated.

Should You Bring Dogs & & Children on the Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass Walking?

Yes! Larch Valley as well as also Guard Pass are both modest walkings without clambering entailed. Any kind of doggo or youngster accustomed to treking will certainly have the ability to finish this walk!

Other Moraine Lake Hikes

Tower of Babel at Moraine Lake
Tower or Babel Scramble

Consolation Lakes

This is a family members favored as it can be coupled with the Moraine Lake Rockpile, as well as it’s rather very easy with a little altitude gain. It’s a great action up from the Lakeshore Path as the surface is harder with better altitude gain as well as a brief area that goes across over a stone area.

Along the walk, you obtain sights of the scree inclines from the Tower of Babbel. The walk goes through the old-growth woodland prior to coming to a towering area as well as marshes with the alleviation lakes at its end. From the lakes, you obtain significant sights of the behind of the 10 Peaks Mount Babbel as well as Mount Fay, covered by glaciers.

  • Trailhead: Starts from the Rockpile Trail
  • Distance: 5.8 km
  • Elevation: 255 meters
  • Time: 1.5 to 2 hrs (return)

Eiffel Lake Trail

Witness outstanding sights of the Valley of 10 Tops as you reach 2 exciting antarctic lakes on the Continental Split. The path from Moraine Lake is rather very easy to adhere to up to the fork for Eiffel Lake or Guard Pass.

The path approximately the fork is rather requiring as it climbs up 350m at a fairly high quality for around 40 mins. From the fork, you take the less-traveled course to the Eiffel Lakes. Previous the lakes exists Wenkchemna Pass Path that goes through the hills right into Yoho National forest. From the top of the pass supplies sensational sights of the 10 Tops.

  • Trailhead: Begins at canoe docks
  • Distance: 11.7
  • Elevation: 570 meters
  • Time: 3 to 4 hours

Tower of Babel

This is one of the most widely known shuffle in the location, as well as it’s proper for entry-level scramblers. You’re assured some remarkable sights also of Moraine Lake, Alleviation Valley, as well as the Bow Valley. Tower of Babel is a sub-peak

The path directs a gully straight off Moraine Lake as well as has a high, constant reach the top. It’s a little a scree celebration (loosened rock), yet it’s a rather well-worn path with the appeal. It’s a challenging exercise for amateur walkers that might ignore the 518m reach the top.

The largest hazard on this path is a loosened rock dropping the gully from a celebration over; I highly advise using a safety helmet! Do not take this gently, yet because it’s a fast path, you can go with a light knapsack, like a path jogger pack.

The benefit on top is some outstanding sights of Moraine Lake as well as Mount Holy Place. It’s most likely among the most effective sights to initiative called for in all of Banff.

  • Trailhead: Begins at Rockpile Trail
  • Distance: 2.9 km
  • Elevation: 518 meters
  • Time: 2.5 to 4 hours

Moraine Lake Tips

Moraine Lake

It’s difficult to discover a much more stunning as well as amazing area worldwide than Moraine Lake. Still, there are some points you require to understand about Moraine Lake prior to checking out, specifically if you are intending to make use of the shuttle bus. Review every one of our ideas below.

Strategy Your Journey to the Canadian Rockies

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The Banff Blog Site Facebook Group is your head office for the Canadian Mountain ranges’ traveling guidance as well as details. Consisting of walk details as well as off-season traveling details. This is additionally where you can fulfill each other when you require journey pals.