Before heading off into the hills, make sure you savor the beauty of Moraine Lake from two spots—from the top of the high rock pile at the lake’s outlet and from along the paved lakeshore trail. Now you’re ready to tackle one of the many surrounding trails, such as to Larch Valley (2.9 km/1.8 mi, 60 minutes one-way), which gains 400 meters (1,300 feet) of elevation from just beyond the canoe dock.
In fall, when the larch trees have turned a magnificent gold and the sun is shining, few spots in the Canadian Rockies can match the beauty of this valley. But don’t expect to find much solitude (and don’t be too disappointed if trail restrictions are in place due to wildlife movement). Although the most popular time for visiting the valley is fall, it’s a worthy destination all summer, when the open meadows are filled with colorful wildflowers.
The trail to Eiffel Lake branches off the Larch Valley Trail after 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles), by which time most of the elevation gain has already been made. The lake itself soon comes into view. It’s small, and looks even smaller in its rugged and desolate setting, surrounded by the famed Valley of the Ten Peaks. Total trail length from the parking lot is 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles); allow two hours each way.