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Giant Steps Hike

Where:

  • Giant Steps

 

When:

  • September 23, 2020

 

Who:

  • Ed, Dave, Katie, Erin, Rod, Craig, Kelly, Gerard, Carolyn, Ian

 

Trailhead:

  • take Highway 1 west to Lake Louise and turn off the right-hand side and then left across the overpass up towards Chateau Lake Louise
  • a km before the Chateau, turn left onto the Moraine Lake road
  • the Paradise Valley parking lot is 2 km along this road on your right-hand side
  • the trail is well marked at a few intersections, so pay close attention to these turns

 

 

Degree of difficulty:

  • 600 meters elevation
  • 22 km out and back return on the same trail (we added a bit of distance to explore the marsh at the end of the valley)
  • 5.5 hours total time on the trail
  • moderate stroll through the trees for the first 4.5 km until you start a moderate climb to Annette Lake
  • after Annette Lake, there is a steeper (but not crazy) climb up to an avalanche chute, and then it rolls from here until you descent down to the Giant Steps
  • as a result of this descent, there is a steep 10-minute climb back up to the plateau on the return voyage
  • in general, this is a moderate hike elevation wise, but it is a longer journey

 

 

Interesting notes:

  • this hike is my favorite when done in the second half of September with the larch trees in their full yellow bloom as it was on this day
  • the Giant Steps are named after the huge boulders that form a spectacular waterfall on Paradise Creek
  • beautiful views of Mt. Temple, Pinnacle Mountain, Eiffel Peak, Wenkchemna Peak, Mount Lefroy, The Mure, Mount Aberdeen, Haddo Peak, Sheol Mountain, Saddleback Mountain, and Horseshoe Glacier
  • you can also access the trail from Lake Louise via Saddleback Mountain and Fairview, as well as from Moraine Lake via Sentinel Pass (both of these are longer and steeper routes but very picturesque)
  • we heard a few avalanches coming down on the slopes near the Giant Steps