Larch Valley Trail (Moraine Lake): Trail Report

Moraine Lake is a national gem, but have you ventured on the trails around it? Larch Valley is a trail leading into the valley with the Ten Peaks surround it while the path continues on to Sentinel Pass. The larch trees are gorgeous in the fall but trust me, it’s stunning at any time of the year.

Suggested Stops

We were literally contemplating our Trailhead Coffee order as we started the descent, because really, post hike = all-the-delicious-food. Plus the make a mean dirty chai latte with almond milk sooooo that won me over pretty quickly.

Important Insights

It is a very busy location, check with Parks Canada prior to arriving for driving, shuttle, availability.

Land Acknowledgement

These are the lands of the Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ (Blackfoot / Niitsítapi ᖹᐟᒧᐧᒣᑯ), Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis, Stoney, Tsuu T'ina, and Michif Piyii (Métis) people.⁠ It is important as avid hikers and stewards of the land, to acknowledge and understand the full story our surroundings along with the people that care for her, both past and present. As sourced from native-land.ca, if there are corrections please send to victoria@girlgonegood.com.

Land Management

Larch Valley Trail at Moraine Lake is managed by Parks Canada.

Suggested Stops

We were literally contemplating our Trailhead Coffee order as we started the descent, because really, post hike = all-the-delicious-food. Plus the make a mean dirty chai latte with almond milk sooooo that won me over pretty quickly.

GPS Coordinates

51.32790149975594, -116.18260327254868

Street Address

1 Moraine Lake Rd, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0

Directions

Straight talk – the traffic and parking for Lake Louise is a wee bit of a nightmare. Not quite sure what is planned for the future, but when trying to get some answers and advice, we received nothing by inconsistent messaging from staff. This required a little patience and a lot of adaptability. So here’s how we see it:

a) If you’re not staying in Lake Louise Village and only making it in the afternoon or would like to also see Lake Moraine then it is best to park at the designated overflow parking outside and take the shuttle bus in to Lake Louise and Lake Moraine. There are early bird hiker’s shuttle schedule starting at 6am ish. Check online for updated information.
b) If you’re not staying in Lake Louise Village and coming early then driving in is an option as long as you hit the Lake Louise parking early. Like really early. Maybe around 6am, and no later than 7am.
c) If you’re staying in Lake Louise Village and wanted to go hiking from Lake Louise (Lake Agnes, Little Beehive, Big Beehive, Devil’s Thumb, etc) then catch the Roam Transit bus for 2$ cash from the little bus station near the corner of Village Rd and Lake Louise Dr (on the same side as Samson Mall). Check online or at the Parks Info Centre (co located in the Samson Mall parking lot) for more info.
d) If you’re staying in Lake Louise Village and wanted to go hiking from Lake Moraine…good luck. Check with staff for your best options…we risked it and woke up ridiculously early to drive up to Lake Moraine by 5am to snag a spot and go hiking. Yet when we came down by 10 am there were spots. It’s not consistent.

Parking

See directions

Cell Reception

No

Washrooms

Outhouses located at the parking lot.

Accessibility

No

Trail Details

Entrance Fee

Hours of Operation

Spring, summer, fall. Open dawn to dusk daily.

Trail Map

Available from the Parks Canada.

Trailhead

Located past the Moraine Lake Lodge

Number of Trails

1

Total Distance (km)

10

Elevation Gain (m)

535

Cell Reception

No

Features

Activities

Hiking

Dogs