Tag: Canada

2019 In Review

2019 In Review

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd 2019 was a busy year for us and followed closely a pattern we developed in 2018. We spent many weekends during the summer months taking road trips to Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra. Early in the…

Columbia Icefield Tour: Athabasca Glacier Hike

Columbia Icefield Tour: Athabasca Glacier Hike

Words and Photos by Julie Boyd The first time I stood at the base of Athabasca Glacier was an unforgettable experience. To be in the presence of an ancient piece of ice is humbling, and to know that in my lifetime it will disappear is…

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail | Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Eiffel Lake is a hidden gem in the Moraine Lake region of Banff National Park. This is a popular trail leads to an alpine lake with gorgeous views of the Valley of the Ten Peaks along the way.

A moderate hike, you can expect most of the elevation gain during the first half of the hike before being rewarded for your efforts with views of the incredible Eiffel Lake.


Eiffel Lake Trail: Hike Details

Starting Elevation: 5,860 ft.

Distance: 7.67 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,345 ft.

Hike Type: Out and back, day-hike

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Permit: None required for day hiking

Date Hiked: July 24, 2019


Getting to the Trailhead

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

The hike to Eiffel Lake begins on the eastern shoreline of Moraine Lake as part of the Larch Valley trail. Moraine Lake is a popular destination within Banff National Park, and is 20 minutes from the Lake Louise Visitor Center, and an hour north of Banff.

From the town of Banff, take the Trans-Canada Highway (AB-1 W) for 55 kilometers (35 miles) and take the Bow Valley Parkway exit, following signs to Lake Louise. Continue to Moraine Lake Road, which you will then drive for 15 kilometers (9 miles) to Moraine Lake.

Because Moraine Lake is a highly popular destination, it’s important to get as early a start as possible. The road leading to Moraine Lake is closed periodically due to the parking lot being full. If the lot, is full in the morning, consider arriving later in the day after the first wave of visitors has left. On our trip we heard from others that the lot fills up by 6:30 a.m. with those who arrive early to capture sunrise. On this trip we arrived later in the morning, around 8:30 a.m., and were able to find parking.

Once you arrive at Moraine Lake, park in the main lot and walk towards Moraine Lake Lodge where you will pick up the Larch Valley Trail.

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks to Eiffel Lake

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Starting on the Larch Valley Trail, the hike to Eiffel Lake begins to climb from the moment your boots hit the dirt. It’s a steady incline through a lush forest as you switchback your way up. During our visit, the weather was not on our side as a light, but steady rainfall kept us wet throughout our hike. Julie and I remarked several times that we should have done the hike one day earlier when the sun was out and temperatures were around 80 degrees. The mountains can be funny like that; great weather one day and crummy weather the next.

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Around the two mile mark, we reached the junction for Eiffel Lake and Larch Valley/Sentinel Pass. If the weather had been better, we would have loved to also hike Sentinel Pass, but we’ll save that for another trip. At this point, we had taken several breaks as we contemplated whether or not it would be worthwhile to continue hiking. We figured at the very least, we would get to the junction and then decide from there, based on how much we were getting rained on. Once there, we had a snack and chatted with some other hikers who were intent on going up to Sentinel Pass, but were hoping for an improvement in the weather. Ultimately, after a short break, we decided to push on and get as close as we could to Eiffel Lake.

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

The nice part about the second half of the hike to Eiffel Lake is that it is almost entirely flat. You do about 1,000 feet of gain in the first couple of miles, and very little the rest of the way. This makes the hike much more manageable, particularly since we were getting consistently rained on throughout. As we continued along the trail, the wildflowers were out in full force and helped brighten our spirits up a bit. We caught some nice views of the end of a bright, turquoise-blue Moraine Lake as we got further along the trail.

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Eventually, as we neared Eiffel Lake, the trees began to fade away and it almost felt like we had stepped onto another planet. We were greeted by a sparse, rocky landscape and rain clouds hugging the peaks that sat just above Eiffel Lake. Unlike Moraine Lake, which is famous for being a brighter blue, Eiffel Lake is a dark blue that almost felt like the color of the ocean. Nestled at the base of snowy mountains, the lake was a welcome sight after spending the past couple of hours getting rained on. We stopped to snap a few photos and enjoy the solitude of being the only ones at the lake before we were ready to turn and head back. While Eiffel Lake is beautiful, there is no clear trail that leads to its lake shore, and we were certainly not of the mindset to try and climb down any slippery rocks in the rain.

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

The return hike was an easy one, as we quickly retraced our steps, anxious to get back to the car. We took a few breaks for photos, but as the rain was never really nice enough to let up for us, there wasn’t much to shoot. At the junction, we saw some of the same hikers we had chatted with on the way up, and they were deciding to call it a day and head to Sentinel Pass in the morning. We wished them well and made our way back down the Larch Valley trail.

Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail

Eiffel Lake was a nice day-trip, hindered only by the late-July rain. We definitely recommend the hike if you’re looking to explore a little more of the Moraine Lake area!


Check out these other awesome Banff hikes:

Hiking to Moraine & Consolation Lakes

Hiking to Lake Agnes & the Big Beehive

Peyto Lake Hike to the Bottom

Exploring Johnston Canyon

Lake Louise & Hiking Plain of the Six Glaciers


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Hiking The Valley of Ten Peaks: Eiffel Lake Trail


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you place an order after clicking through those links, Brian and I get a small commission (this does not cost you anything extra!). This is not a sponsored post, all of the gear we mention was purchased by us, and all opinions are our own.


 

2018 In Review – The Year of Weekend Road Trips

2018 In Review – The Year of Weekend Road Trips

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd After the life-changing year we had in 2017, with getting married and moving away from our childhood homes, 2018 was significantly more laid back. We once again stayed exclusively in North America, marking our second straight…

Peyto Lake Hike to the Bottom | Banff National Park

Peyto Lake Hike to the Bottom | Banff National Park

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd The first time Julie and I laid eyes on Peyto Lake in person, we were blown away. Like so many of the lakes in the Canadian Rockies, the striking blue water is captivating. Is the water…

Hiking Joffre Lakes | British Columbia

Hiking Joffre Lakes | British Columbia

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

One of the central appeals to staying in Vancouver, when planning our trip, was its close proximity to outdoor activities. As much as we enjoy visiting a new city, we find ourselves eager to get outside and into the mountains. Continue reading Hiking Joffre Lakes | British Columbia

Planning A Road Trip from Vancouver to Banff

Planning A Road Trip from Vancouver to Banff

Road Trip from Vancouver to Banff | Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd In 2016, Julie and I took our first trip to Canada, spending a week exploring Banff and Jasper National Parks. After seeing a seemingly endless stream of photos of…

Why We Travel and Why You Should Too

Why We Travel and Why You Should Too

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Without question, we live in a pretty incredible time period in human history. Thanks to technological advances, the world is at its most interconnected, making travel accessible to the masses. Much like it has been since…

5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Book Your 2017 Canadian Adventure

5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Book Your 2017 Canadian Adventure

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

We’re currently in the midst of a Southern California winter, which means short periods of rain mixed with the usual sunshine and cooler nights. While we have seen more rain this year than has come in quite a while, we know that many others are digging out of snow and much chillier temperatures. For us, it’s our favorite time of year, and an opportunity to break out the jackets, sweatshirts, hot chocolate, and snowboards! But if you’re ready to say goodbye to winter and already planning for a summer getaway, look no further than our neighbors to the north. Here are five reasons why you should visit Canada in 2017!

Continue reading 5 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Book Your 2017 Canadian Adventure

Seven Photos to Inspire you to go to Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Seven Photos to Inspire you to go to Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Written by Julie Boyd | Photography by Julie Boyd Jasper National Park in Alberta has a rugged beauty that calls to be explored. It is Canada’s largest National Park, and is home to some pretty epic scenery, including giant glaciers, thundering waterfalls, and quiet alpine forests. Brian…

The Best Places to Visit in Banff National Park | Alberta, Canada

The Best Places to Visit in Banff National Park | Alberta, Canada

The Best Places to Visit in Banff | Words and photos by Julie Boyd There is no shortage of beautiful scenery in Banff National Park. Before flying up to Alberta, Canada, I spent a fair amount of time researching the best places to visit, and what…

Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier | Jasper National Park |  Alberta, Canada

Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier | Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Mt. Edith Cavell Hike| Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

One of Jasper National Park’s easiest trails and most scenic views lies along the Mt. Edith Cavell Hike. The Mt. Edith Cavell hike will take you to breathtaking views of Angel Glacier, one of the iconic spots in the park.

For this adventure, you have two options: A short hike to a viewpoint just above the Cavell Pond, or an extended hike to Cavell Meadows. Trail details, as well as our trip report are detailed below.

Continue reading Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier | Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Exploring Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Exploring Jasper National Park | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd After completing a full day of driving along the Icefields Parkway, (read: part one and part two) it felt amazing to drop our bags off at the hotel, shower, and head into town for dinner. While the…

Driving the Icefields Parkway | Part 2: Jasper | Alberta, Canada

Driving the Icefields Parkway | Part 2: Jasper | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd With Banff squarely in our rearview, we continued our journey along the Icefields Parkway, headed for the town of Jasper.  If you’re a fan of stunning mountains and breathtaking waterfalls, then this is the place to be.…

An Afternoon in Yoho National Park | British Columbia, Canada

An Afternoon in Yoho National Park | British Columbia, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

Fresh off an awesome hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers, we still had several hours of sunlight left to explore the area before sunset. Julie had come across Takakkaw Falls while researching the trip, and suggested a quick visit to fill in the rest of our afternoon. While not an original part of our trip plans, we decided to make our way to nearby Yoho National Park to explore.

Continue reading An Afternoon in Yoho National Park | British Columbia, Canada

Lake Louise & Hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail | Banff, Canada

Lake Louise & Hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail | Banff, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd After our visit to Moraine Lake, we made the short drive over to Lake Louise and were promptly greeted with an overwhelming traffic jam. Cars arriving in the parking lot were quickly directed to the exit, and…

Visiting Moraine Lake | Banff, Canada

Visiting Moraine Lake | Banff, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd As we planned out our Canadian adventure, Julie and I each had a long list of “must visit” locations. Many of these destinations were shared, and that was especially true of Moraine Lake. If you spend any time…

An Afternoon in Kananaskis | Alberta, Canada

An Afternoon in Kananaskis | Alberta, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd

As mentioned in our last post, while visiting Banff, we opted to stay outside the park in Kananaksis Country. We spent most of our first day in Calgary, but after checking into our hotel, we decided there was enough sunlight left to explore our home for the next three nights. Kananaskis, and the area it encompasses, is named after the river which runs through it. If we had more time, this is definitely somewhere we would loved to have explored further. There are supposed to be some great hikes in this area, though several of the places we stopped at were closed and warned of bears in the area. For that reason, and because it was later in the day, we only made a couple of brief stops to check out the scenery.

Continue reading An Afternoon in Kananaskis | Alberta, Canada

Our Canadian Adventure Begins! | Calgary, Canada

Our Canadian Adventure Begins! | Calgary, Canada

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Off to Canada! Julie and I had been attempting to make a plan to visit Canada for what seemed like the past few years. We previously had reserved hotel rooms in Vancouver a couple winters back, but ended…

2016 Trip Plans – More Adventures!

2016 Trip Plans – More Adventures!

Written by Brian Callender | Photography by Julie Boyd Summer has officially made its way to Southern California, so we have our fans and air conditioner working overtime. All this heat has us daydreaming of cooler locales, foggy mornings, rainy afternoons, and snowy weekend getaways.…