Eiffel Lake
Date hiked
August 1988
Total distance hiked
approx. 11.2 km
Elevation gain
approx. 368 m
Maximum elevation
2255 m
Topo map
Lake Louise 82 N/8
UTM coordinates (trailhead)
11UNS569865 (NAD 83)

The trail to Wenkchemna Pass from the Moraine Lake parking lot is 9.7 kilometres long and climbs 733 metres to an altitude of 2620 metres. My father and I didn’t make it that far when we hiked this trail in the summer of 1988. Instead, we turned around somewhere above Eiffel Lake, where we ate our lunches on the talus slopes of Eiffel Peak and kept an eye an utterly corrupted hoary marmot with aims on our food. All the while, gawking at the number-one reason for hiking the trail: the Wenkchemna Peaks, standing sheer across the valley — so massive they seem close enough to touch.

The trail begins at Moraine Lake and switchbacks through trees to the junction with the trail to Larch Valley and Sentinel Pass — another trail I ought to do at some point — then contours left until the trees disappear and the talus begins. At that point, so do the unobstructed views.

We hiked this trail just before Moraine Lake Lodge was redeveloped into something decadent, and before the needs of the resident grizzly bears required restrictions on hiking activities. Even for a trail as popular and as busy as this one, it was a more innocent time.

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