Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley Trail

HARD 174 reviews
#5 of 127 trails in

Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley Trail is a 10.5 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.5 km
ELEVATION GAIN
765 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

scramble

snow

hiking
18 minutes ago

One of the most wonderful hikes ever!

15 hours ago

Amazing.

2 days ago

June 17, 2018 - left the parking lot at 6:20am to an open trail and clear skies. The beginning is a good set of switchbacks up to the valley where is opens up to amazing views. The trail is completely free of snow until the approach of Sentinel on the east side of the ridge above the lake. We turned back before the switchbacks on the north due to the snow. Amazing hike and panoramic views. Do it early and have the valley to yourself.

hiking
6 days ago

Tried this one a couple of times. Weather changes quick up there and started up the pass (it looked like something out of the movie Alive, as almost no one expected the blizzard of snow -bring yaktrax). Larch Valley is stunning. This whole area has great views and sights to see

11 days ago

I hiked Sentinel Pass yesterday June 7, 2018. there was still a bit of snow at the foot of the pass, but it is manageable. I made it to the top and so did a few others, but if you aren't very sure of yourself in snow, you may need another week or so before it's accessible to you.

There are awesome views on both sides of the pass. I sat up there and watch/listened to avalanches from distant mountains. There is no avalanche danger on this hike anymore.

hiking
23 days ago

Sentinel is not reachable. We hiked through several feet of snow for 90 minutes before turning back. Still can reach Larch Valley and the views are quite nice.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice and easy to follow, the hike isn't that hard because the trail is in very good condition. If you are into scrambling, I'd suggest you look into the mount temple scramble. But go there prepared... We tried to follow folks that were going up but had no clue of the way, so we had to head back 1/3 of the way. Still gorgeous - we ended up going to eiffel lake and the Wenkchemna Pass following west crossing to BC. Big day but amazing. If you skip Mount Temple, and if doing both is too much, I'd suggest doing only Wenkchemna Pass

4 months ago

Hiked from Lake Moraine over Sentinel Pass all the way to Lake Louise. Beautiful but long. Saw wolverines and heard glaciers calving. Highly recommended.

5 months ago

Strenuous but worth it, once you get through the switchbacks there’s a nice level plain with stunning views of the 10 peaks

hiking
8 months ago

completed this hike on Sunday, October 8. Decided to head to Moraine Lake very early to make sure we got parking so we were at the lake by 6:45 am and the parking lot was already half full. We started our hike right around 8:00 am and were pretty much the only people on the trail, a few coming down from Larch Valley. The hike to Larch Valley I would consider easy, it took us just over an hour to reach. The ascent to Sentinel Pass took a bit longer mainly due to the snow, roughly 1.5 ft in parts. I would recommend crampons and poles for sure for the pass, and for the way down. So many hikers were not prepared for the descent and were slipping and sliding on their way down. Crampons were a life saver. By the time we were descending the trail was SO busy and I would never do this later than an 8:00 am start time. Overall the hike to Sentinel Pass I would rate more as a moderate hike compared to some others I've done but the views are absolutely incredible and I will definitely do this again.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike through the larches in the fall. It was incredibly busy though.

4 stars because the views are great but it is incredibly busy trail.

hiking
8 months ago

It's very beautiful trail, I did it on Sep.17, 2017. The 3 km in trail beginning is difficult, then flat, and finally climb a difficult steep big Z uphill to the summit.

8 months ago

Be prepared - gaters, crampons are essential. Did this yesterday on a windy, mostly cloudy day with constant light snow. View was partially obscured. Getting up the pass from Larch Valley was fine with crampons as the trail was very visible. However, we saw many ill-prepared hikers sliding and falling in runners - renting crampons will make your hike much more enjoyable. Going down the other side of the pass was very challenging. We saw only 1 couple coming up, so it was not trafficked enough for there to be a visible trail over the snow. We did a lot of guesswork, dodging rocks and ice patches, and ending up scrambling down knee-deep.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike, definitely not considered hard. I would consider this easy/ moderate. It’s laid out beautifully, nothing to intense. Slow and steady climb at first before reaching the valley and then a nice flat walk through with gorgeous views. Then another accent to the top. Trail is smaller and it was very very windy when we did it. The wind did play a big factor while going up. Big gusts made it difficult to ascend at times. We headed out very early with the fact in mind of how busy Moraine lake gets.. we started the hike at 8 am and the parking lot was half full but the trail itself wasn’t too busy - a lot of people were on the big rock at the start watching the sunset. Overall it was a beautiful hike, nice views and didn’t take to long which is always nice too, considering the drive from Calgary is a little longer ! 5.5 km up and took us 1.22 hours to reach the top !!

8 months ago

Seeing the Larch's turning was beautiful, and the view from the pass was very neat. Very crowded though, but definitely still worth it!

hiking
8 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous trail in Autumn. VERY hard to get into Moraine Lake parking lot though. We tried on three different occasions and parking was full - at 8:15am then 8:00am and then finally after being told by a staff member to come before 7:00, we came back in darkness at 6:30am and stayed in our car until sunrise. Seems insane to do that, and what made it more frustrating was that 95% of the people going to Moraine Lake to see the larch trees are not going past the lakefront and won't really experience the larch trees since you need to gain some elevation to see them up close. The first hour or so of this trail is a slog up switchbacks through the forest with no views to break the monotony but once you get to that first opening where you can see the 10 peaks in all their glory, you realize it was worthwhile. In Autumn the larch trees absolutely glow and the peaks in the background just make it such a unique experience. The Sentinel Pass extension was fairly straightforward - just a couple long switchbacks to gain some significant height and scenic views over the valley and lakes below.

hiking
8 months ago

Lovely trial, well maintained but tends to be quite busy.

8 months ago

Great view from the top we sat up there for a bit it's also lovely walk through the larches on the way. I wouldn't rate this as a hard walk yes it's a constant incline most of the way from Moraine Lake but it's not very steep. We did up and back in 3.5hrs with 30mins at the top.

8 months ago

mix between moderate and strenuous depending on fitness levels. make sure you get to morraine lake before 10am otherwise you could be forced to use the overflow parking 35mins bus drive away!

8 months ago

Stunning fall hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Spectacular views. Go check on the beutiful larch trees in the fall.

hiking
8 months ago

went there in September, there was quite some snow and crampons might be recommended (though I did get up there without them).
the view at the top is definitely worth the hike!!

hiking
8 months ago

This should be downgraded to a moderate hike. It was a challenge in some aspects but more on the moderate side.

hiking
9 months ago

Larch valley is beautiful. Sentinel pass is worth the extra hike and offers great views

9 months ago

Great scenic views and easy peasy Hike.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike, and great views! I wouldn't call it a hard hike, more like moderate. If you can do Ha Ling, I feel like this one is easier, switchbacks aren't so bad.

9 months ago

Did this hike today with my 32 year old girlfriend and 35 year old lungs. Moderate to start, then hit switchbacks not that far in that are more challenging. The larch valley is gorgeous and the views of the 10 peaks are amazing. Steep ascent onto the Sentinel Pass at the end, with a narrow path covered in loose rock. Maybe sketchy if you have a fear of heights, but very easy to navigate overall.

hiking
9 months ago

So much switchbacks at the beginning but when you reach Larch Valley, it's so rewarding!! just went up to Sentinel Pass with my 2 Chihuahuas, there was a patch of snow but nothing difficult, view at the top was amazing!!

hiking
9 months ago

Nice hike with amazing views of a glacier. The initial ascent is steep, but totally worth it once you reach the plains about halfway up. We had to turn around before the top because of a lightning storm while being above the tree line, but the hike was totally worth it. Parking is crowded, so it's best to arrive early in the morning (8-9am).

Load More