Larch/Sentinel Pass- July 24,2009

Larch Sentinnel pass was our very first hiking trip in the rockies.....ever. We both brought our 65 liter backpack filled with the kitchen sink....I mean we brought first aid kits, change for this and that...probably weighed in at an easy 35-40 lbs per pack. Now, we work out a lot in the gym, so we thought this would be easy for us....LOL....  Not so.... Hiking at an incline steady pace is so different than working out at the gym with weights.... ( hence our workouts have now been modified for better conditioning). We went with Chico and George. They were awesome, patient and a lot of fun to hang out with. We;d love to do more hikes with them. They recommended we return in the fall to view the colour changes of the larch trees ( we did return again in the fall ). The views were spectacular.. the weather was crisp and sunny. Thank you for a good time Chico and George!

This trail has restricted access due to the area being active grizzly bear country. You are required to hike in a tight group of minimum 4 people.

You will need a Banff national park pass to use this area.





Turn of the Trans Canada high way at Lake Louise Village and follow Lake Louise drive 3 KM to the Moraine Lake Road, turn left. Follow this road for 12 km to its end at Moraine Lake. The trailhead is on the Lakeshore, south of the lodge.

Trail Details

Near the trails start take a right at the first junction. The trail begins to switch back and gain elevation rapidly before gaining Larch Valley. The trail then levels out a bit as it meanders through the thick forest of Larches, golden in late September. The trail exits the larches as it begins to gain elevation once more. After passing a rest area the trail leaves all vegetation behind and then passes a picturesque alpine lake before dramatically rising to Sentinel Pass. On this perch, views open up Northward and southward, a faint trail beckons the hiker further. This trail is the beginning of the Temple Mt. climb.


Total Distance; 12.0 km return ( 7.5 miles)
Elevation Gain- 723 meters ( 2350 feet)
Time; It took us about 5 hours
Start Elevation : 1888 meters (6136 feet)
Max Elevation- 2611 meters (8486 feet)
Average grade- 12.1%