Wenkchemna Pass Eiffel Lake Hike
7 to 8 hours / 20K return
Park in the Moraine Lake parking lot located at Moraine Lake 12kms west of
the Lake Louise town site. Banff National Park.
Moraine Lake Road
is not plowed during the winter months however it is an excellent cross country ski in.
Expect hordes of people here during the summer months.
Walk past the Moraine Lake lodge towards the Larch Valley trail head sign marker. This is the
start to Sentinel Pass, Larch Valley, Eiffel Lake, Wenkchemna Pass and Mount
Temple. Work your way up what seems like a never ending
amount of switch backs. As you gain
elevation the beautiful blue green color of Moraine Lake creates a stunning
color contrast behind the surrounding forest. The trail continues upward until you
reach the Eiffel Lake, Wenkchemna Pass and Larch Valley intersection. Take
the trail straight on towards Eiffel Lake and
Wenkchemna Pass. Eiffel Lake is a shorter
moderate day hike 5.8km
one way. To avoid
encounters in this area, Parks Canada has a
mandatory "Hiking in groups of 4 or more required".
If you're not in a group of 4 you
can hook up with the hordes of
people found on the switch backs,
the further you go the crowds thin
out. Views of the
"Valley of the 10 peaks" are
absolutely stunning and well worth
the effort. Possibly the most
scenic hike in this area. Once you
arrive at Eiffel Lake you can turn
back or keep going towards
Wenkchemna pass. Keep on the well
worn trail past Eiffel Lake towards
the large meadows below the pass
then work your way up the headwall to
Wenkchemna Pass. Once you reach the top of
the pass, you'll find yourself
standing on the continental divide
looking West towards British
Columbia. Keep an eye out for Grizzly's in this area. On our hike
we we're passed by a
Grizzly while eating our lunch at
the top of the pass. See Grizzly pictures below.
Wenkchemna Pass is a
narrow saddle with little room for a passing bear. We did not see the bear
earlier on in the meadows and couldn't see the bear while approaching below. The
Grizzly walked right by us within a few meters with no issues. Seems he was set
on crossing the pass and didn't mind the company. It was somewhat of a "Hey
There" experience, both ways. I'll never forget it and could not imagine the
Rocky Mountains without these majestic animals.
Local campgrounds include
Castle Mountain and
Plain of Six
Larch Valley & Sentinel Pass,
Mount Fairview, Mount Temple,
located near here.
You are in bear country.