Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley Trail

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Banff National Park

Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley Trail is a 10.9 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, camping, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until August. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 10.9 km Elevation Gain: 792 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

scramble

snow

NOTE: The parking lot at Moraine Lake fills up early in the morning. Once it fills up, Parks Canada closes the road and makes people utilize the shuttle to reach the lake.

hiking
18 hours ago

I did this trail a few years ago (September 2018) and it did not disappoint!! We started out in warm weather, hiked through some beautiful landscape including small streams, stunning yellow larch trees and mountain views. Once you get to the clearing there’s some bodies of water surrounded by mountains. Disclaimer: it was a snow storm at the clearing. We layered up and completed the switch backs to the tippytop, the path on the switchbacks is narrow and lots of times we had to lay against the mountain to allowed hikers to go by(all part of the fun :)) .. the views at the top are incredible and this hike is definitely one of my favourites. You will not regret this hike!!!

hiking
3 days ago

One of my favourite hikes in the Rockies! If you go on the weekend you may not be able to park due to tourists visiting the lake. Go early or during the week.

hiking
18 days ago

If you need to see only one water color in Canadian Rockies, this is it !!

hiking
19 days ago

Best hike I’ve ever done. Switch backs for awhile that are difficult but once you get past them to the top it flattens out and is so worth it!! Recommend this to everyone I talk to and can’t wait for my children to be old enough to do it to take them on this amazing trail!

21 days ago

Absolutely the best hike I've ever done. 3 years ago and I still think about it every day. Also did the Eiffel lake branch too. Well worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail in August 2019. The trail is hard and switchbacks at the start and toward the end leading to the summit. Amazing views of the ten peaks. We started Wenchenkma Pass and decided to stop and hike Sentinel Pass halfway through. Very glad we didn’t miss this hike

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail in summer of 2018. Smoky due to wildfires, but incredible nonetheless. We actually went from Paradise Valley to Giant Steps to Sentinel Pass to Morraine Lake. 15 miles and difficult but worth it. It had an incredibly diverse landscape with our favorite noncommercial lake (Lake Annette). Spent about an hour there relaxing and skipping rocks. Had lush green forest, many beautiful lakes, many waterfalls at the Giant Steps, beautiful bog-like valley with mountains in the background, Rocky Mountains, very high overlook (essentially a summit), beautiful flowers in Larch Valley, and then obviously Morraine Lake. BEST HIKE IN BANFF

rocky
snow
4 months ago

Did this in late September. Easy enough hike, some beautiful larches. Left Calgary at 400 am to get parking, it fills up quick. Snow covered to the pass, but stunning otherwise. Juggling clowns need not apply.

hiking
5 months ago

I loved this hike! We only went as far as larch valley but it was beautiful. Try to go in the fall to see the color change.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Un classique, pas trop difficile et des vues magnifiques ! A faire ! Attention a arriver tres tres tres tot au parking pour avoir de la place, en aout 2019 a 5.40am nous avons eu le dernier spot !

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely loved this trail although it was pretty difficult at times. Larch Valley is stunning on its own and it was pretty empty when we made it up there (about 2pm on October 10). It was nice to sit for a while on the benches in the valley in complete solitude with no other hikers around. Made it to Sentinel Pass and the view from the top was absolutely stunning and worth the 1 hour-ish time that it took to scale to the top. We had poles which really helped keep our balance on the narrow, snowy path. Both of us are average-skilled hikers and were a bit apprehensive of the pass at first but were able to make it to the top with lots of hydration and taking our time.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail is absolutely stunning. Started off with no snow and definitely encountered ice and snow toward the top - but still SO worth it. Crampons would definitely be handy. We did it without but wished we remembered them... especially on the way down!

hiking
7 months ago

Got to the lot at 845am and there were parking spots available. Only went as far as larch valley. It was VERY ICEY near the top. If you don’t have crampons be extremely careful. It was also very muddy on the way back down which was a little slippery. It was worth it though! The larches are still in bloom and there’s a small frozen lake at the the base of the mountains at the top of the larch valley trail.

hiking
7 months ago

Only got to the larch valley view point on October 4, 2019. Trail was very icy once you were up at the valley. The view was very nice!

hiking
rocky
snow
7 months ago

Icey, but beautiful !

hiking
muddy
snow
7 months ago

Be sure to bring micro spikes for the better part of the last end of it. Only went as far as larch Valley

recorded Eiffel Peak Trail

hiking
snow
8 months ago

hiking
snow
8 months ago

Got to the parking lot today by 930, still had a couple spots available. Not too busy on the trail, last little bit was pretty icey cleats or microspikes recommended. Also a bit chilly but not freezing, did fine with three layers. Only did larch valley, stunning!!

hiking
snow
8 months ago

Amazing! Hiked this trail on September 30th - arrived at the car park at 8:00am and it was about half full. Stunning hike through Larch Valley - lots of snow which made it very magical. We attempted to cross over Sentinel Pass however by the second switchback the snow was nearly knee high and it was very slippery (we had no crampons) so hiked back down through the valley. Definitely worth it to get there early as the crowds were starting to come up through the valley as we were coming down. 100% must do hike though!

Made it to the parking

hiking
8 months ago

Trail was wet in sections also icy closer to the top , snow in the valley...hiking poles and hiking boots with extra traction for ice

hiking
snow
8 months ago

Challenging but doable switchbacks. After reaching the lake before the sentinel pass, the route becomes snowy and for experienced hikers or those with an expert guide.

hiking
snow
8 months ago

We got to Moraine Lake Parking lot by 630am. half the lot full. Checked out sunrise - what there was of it on this cloudy day - at the lake first then started trail approximately 8am. switchbacks to the bench were fine and easy to hike. little snow but no issues with regular hiking boots. Larches mostly had about 40% of their needles left but still beautiful. probably wont be there much longer. upper part of trail was snow covered and patches of sheet ice. not a problem going up regardless. We didnt do Sentinel Pass. We stopped right below the hike up to the pass. Total time up about 3hrs. We stopped to take a lot of pictures. couldve done it in 2hrs otherwise we wore microspikes on way down and had no issues. other people in sneakers and similar had a visibly hard time. hike down aprox 1hr.

hiking
snow
8 months ago

Hike this trail on Oct 1 and most of the trail was covered in snow/slush. We didn’t bring crampon so it was very slippery. Beautiful hike and also lots of fun, esp the last part! Many people said it was cold once you reach the pass, I didn’t understand it fully and wore 6 layers. Man it was hot on the snow. It’s a cloudless sunny day and I had to keep only 2 layers on. Yes once you reaches the top it’s cold but you’d only be there for a few minutes so it’s fine. We got to the parking lot by 6:30, and there was half the space left.

hiking
muddy
snow
8 months ago

beautiful after the snow fall. didn't do the full sentinel pass because the last bit looked a little treacherous. Bring crampons as it got icy and people were slipping.

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