There is a special time of year in the heart of the Canadian Rockies when the needles of the forest-green larches turn to a beautifully bright gold. In mid to late September, hikers flock to the mountains to experience the spectacular display of golden larches across Banff National Park’s trails. Lake Louise is one of the premier locations for larch spotting in the Rockies, so we’re breaking down some of the best tips for hiking in the golden season.
What are the best trails for larch spotting?
Larch Valley & Sentinel Pass
It should come as no surprise that the most popular hiking trail during larch season is Larch Valley at Moraine Lake. Guests of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise can book onto our Moraine Lake Shuttle (bookable through our booking engine) and hike up to the famed golden trail with minimal fuss. The trail is rated as difficult, but the reward is worth the work!
Get the inside track on the famous Larch Valley trail when you join one of our Mountain Adventure Guides on a tour and make the most of this short but spectacular season.
If you want to hike around Moraine Lake but are looking for a hike that is a little more low-key, Consolation Lakes is perfect. This 5.8 km out and back trail is a great family-friendly hike that offers amazing larch and lake views with minimal elevation gain.
The Lake Agnes trailhead is to the right of the hotel, only minutes from your room! It is rated as moderate difficulty and is about 2.5 – 3 hours round trip. The views from this trail will leave you in awe, and the larches make the already-spectacular Lake Agnes even more jaw-dropping.