After that amazing hike to Lake Agnes, I just could not get enough of the parks larch color. There was another recommended larch hike, this time to the aptly named Larch Valley that I really wanted to explore and photograph. The weather promised to be wonderful and this time I could convince my husband to come with me.
We stayed at the Moraine Lake Lodge and after a beautiful sunrise over the lake and a good breakfast, Oliver took off to play the Banff Springs Golf Course and I headed to the trail head.
The hike starts at the shore of Moraine Lake, but due to a big grizzly population in the area a minimum of four hikers is required to do the hike.
Since I wanted to go in the morning and the majority of the people tend to go up in the afternoon, I was a bit nervous if I would find some hiking companions and who they would be.
But all worries were in vain since I met a fun foursome from Germany and an enjoyable couple from Calgary.
The beginning of the trail leads through dense forest with the occasional peek down to Moraine Lake. After a few final switchbacks though Larch Valley opens up with a big bang!
Absolute stunning views all the way around. The larches were past their peak and instead of a bright yellow they now showed a more saturated orange...beautiful none the less.
Most of the hikers took a break here and then went back, luckily our group was a bit more ambitious!
We went farther up to a second plateau, to the crest of an ancient lateral moraine of the Wenkchemna Glacier
From here one can continue to Sentinel Pass.
Or rest at a clear little lake at the bottom of the trail. Since it was not windy at all the lake nicely reflected the surrounding mountains and I was in photo and panorama heaven.
Please click on the panoramas to see them in their full size.
Another hike I will have to do again...;-)