Larch/Sentinel Pass- Sept 20,2009

We went back to do Larch/sentinel pass in the fall as the first time we went ( in July- see July link on the Trips page) we were told how beautiful the colours were later in the year.....and that they were (you'll see the differences in the pics below). This time around we were much better prepared with our lighter back packs ( 15-18 lbs). It was cooler.. our day started with a temperature of 1 celsius. This time around we decided to hook up with the Calgary Outdoor Club as the "bears" were more active and there is safety in numbers. They were a great group of people. We had a ton of fun. This being our 7th hike of the year , we were in much better shape to do this hike. On the way down , a group of us decided to trail run. OMG that was a blast!!!!!! Our gps clocked us 13.2 mile per hour. When we reached the bottom we were exhausted...and thank god we missed a few Great hike, crisp werather, great group of people.!!!

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 be fined if you venture onto this trail with fewer than 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%