Day 8 — Sentinel Pass & Little Beehive - Lookout Point
Sentinel Pass View

This was my last day in Lake Louise - I was moving to Banff next. Before that though, one of the hikes I was really looking forward to was this day: Sentinel Pass and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. This being the Lake Louise area, there were crowds particularly at the Moraine Lake trailhead but even at Sentinel Pass too. There were older folks hiking up the switchbacks too (and there were a lot of switchbacks at the beginning).

Past the initial ascent, the crowds thinned out a bit, but this was still the most people I've seen on a trail so far this trip. In some ways that's reassuring, but it's not as quiet as on the other trails. In the end, that doesn't really matter because the scenery was incredible.

Day 8 — Sentinel Pass & Little Beehive

  • Morning-Lit Lake Louise

    Lake Louise, Banff National Park Bright and early. A beautiful day to head out to Sentinel Pass.

Sentinel Pass

Gallery
  • Plank Crossing to Sentinel Pass

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park After a long series of switchbacks, the Sentinel Pass trail flattens out a bit. A stream crossing with the aid of a man-made bridge.

  • Valley of the Ten Peaks

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park A great view of the ten peaks that make up the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

  • Approaching Sentinel Pass

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park Sentinel Pass within sight. The pass is immediately to the left of Mt. Temple (the big mountain on center-right). The zig-zag switchbacks to ascend to the pass are visible.

  • Ten Peaks

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park Looking back towards the ten peaks. There are larch trees here, which supposedly turn golden in the fall.

  • The Route to Sentinel Pass

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park Finally near the base of the final ascent. The last part of the trail is a zigzag upwards. But first, have to trek through the snow which was interesting because the whole trail was always on a slope.

  • Sentinel Pass View

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park After the climb up, the view from atop Sentinel Pass is really something. This is just one side of the pass, back towards the Valley of the Ten Peaks.

  • Paradise Valley

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park The other side of Sentinel Pass descends into Paradise Valley. It looks a bit more lush. Apparently bears are frequent visitors of this side.

  • Trekking Through Snow

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park The snow made the trail more interesting - you didn't want to lose your footing on the slopes. This shot also gives a sense of scale with the other hikers making their way along the trail.

  • Sentinel Pass Zig Zag

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park Looking back as I descended from the pass. The switchbacks are sharply carved against the slope.

  • Valley of the Ten Peaks River

    Sentinel Pass, Banff National Park On the way back, I stopped by this stream as it flows into the valley.

Little Beehive

Gallery

It was late afternoon by the time I returned back to Lake Louise after Sentinel Pass. But I was restless and still energetic, so I considered if there was something else that I could do with the time left in the day.

As it turns out, there are quite a few trails around Lake Louise itself. One of them was Little Beehive. From the shoreline in front of the Fairmont, this mountain is visible and it seemed like it would give an interesting view of Lake Louise, so I decided to go for it.

  • To the Little Beehive

    Little Beehive, Banff National Park On the way up to Little Beehive, which was essentially a pure ascent. Along with a different angle on Fairview Mountain, the water of Lake Louise has a distinctively different colour from this vantage point.

  • Lake Louise from Little Beehive

    Little Beehive, Banff National Park Atop the Little Beehive, the views of Lake Louise and the Fairmont are pretty impressive. The size of Lake Louise is much better appreciated from this angle.

  • Mountain Goat Passing

    Little Beehive, Banff National Park There were other hikers atop Little Beehive, but the more surprising visitor was this mountain goat. It seemed to be missing some of its coat, maybe because it was shedding since it was summer? In any case, it didn't pay the human visitors much attention.

  • Curious Mountain Goat

    Little Beehive, Banff National Park After taking in the view, the mountain goat was still in the area. Here it seems to at least notice my presence. Nonetheless, it proceeded to climb along the mountain edge - they're clearly not afraid of heights.

The impromptu Little Beehive hike was worth of all the of leg workout it took. The views were great, but the mountain goat close-up was really memorable.

After descending back to Lake Louise, I departed to Banff and checked in to lodging there for the last leg of my trip.

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