Larch Valley

September 25, 2009

Larch Valley

Today, I hiked to a place called Larch Valley in the Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. We drove to Moraine Lake early in the morning, to the trail head, and strapped on our backpacks, and started off up the mountain with two guides. There were a great number of steep switchbacks, for over an hour probably, before the terrain leveled off and we arrived in the Valley. Once we got there, the views were stunning. A meadow of larches materialized on the top of this mountain, with other larger, craggier mountains all around — and a glacier. We ate a snack and walked up a low incline to a series of glacial lakes, the Minnestimma Lakes. Half the group continued up a steep trail to Sentinel Pass to see more views while the rest of the group had lunch and relaxed by the side of the largest of these lakes. I was one of the relaxers. After a few hours, we headed back down the trail.