Day 3 – 8/20/2016
RockPile – 300m with elevation, short and easy, a Must!
Parking at Moraine Lake is a challenge. We arrived at 8:30 and had to park about half a mile away along the road. We walked hurriedly to the Lake, and climbed 300 meters to the top of the RockPile, where the the classic “20 dollar bill” look presented itself in front of us.
There were many people at the top of the RockPile so we decided to take a few steps and got on rocks below the viewing area. We marveled at the beautiful color and serenity of the lake. Minutes later, the wind died down, and we got to see this mirror like reflection of the Ten Peaks in Moraine Lake. The stillness only lasted a few minutes when slight wind picked up again and sent ripple across the lake.
Moraine Lake Lodge to Inlet – 1.2 km, very easy
One can never see enough of the lake, it seemed every minute it had a new look. Nonetheless, we had to move on. The trail from Lodge to inlet on the west shore of the lake was a very easy stroll, and it offered many different views of the lake. There were areas we could get to the water, there were also plenty of rocks and logs to sit on and watch the lake’s ever changing beauty and the rugged summits of the first 5 of the Ten Peaks. Peak #1 was the most impressive, with its summit glacier.
Moraine Lake to Consolation Lake – 2.9-km, beautiful lake with a surprise price to pay
The hike to Consolation Lake was relatively short and flat. There were small detours along the trail to enjoy some wild mushrooms, gushing water stream, meadows, and squirrels. Then we were faced with this sea of rock slides, which completely blocked us direct access to the lake.
It seemed to be an endless endeavor to climb across the rocks, I was on my fours, literally. Finally, there was this magnificent view of the lake and the glacier-capped summits of Bident and Quadra beyond. Water was very very clear and tranquil, it made you want to dip in, but then the water was actually icy cold, some splashes were all we could handle.
After coming back from Consolation Lake, Alex and I went on the Rock Pile again and saw Moraine and Ten Peaks with entirely different color. It was not as crowded any more in the late afternoon.
On the way back to Banff Townsite, we encountered 2 black bears, happily eating berries on the road side.
Bucket List: See Moraine Lake during sun rise while the east facing peaks showered in the golden ray.