Mt. Temple
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Mt. Temple - Lake Louise - Moraine Lake

You can still take your vehicle to Moraine Lake and the actual lake at Lake Louise but parking is limited in the high season and you must get up the road very early to get one!

New in 2021: Parks Canada is offering daily shuttles from the Lake Louise Park and Ride (6km east of Lake Louise village) to the Lake Louise Lakeshore and Moraine Lake. Available from May 21 October 11, 2021. Shuttles must be reserved ahead of time to guarantee a seat. Walk up seats are not available.


From Moraine Lake its a fairly steep hike up into Larch Valley where the trail curves right and give you a view of Sentinel Pass. Hike up to Larch Valley/Minnestimma Lakes is about 4.3km and 1,750 ft of elevation gain to that point.

Good trail all the way to Sentinel Pass

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S - Sentinel Pass     

Photo from Larch Valley courtesy of Angela Ovens

The view from Sentinel Pass courtesy of Granticulous

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Upper slopes of Temple above Sentinel Pass, Photo taken from top of Eiffel Peak

After traverse around to the ascent point of the gray band

Gray band terrain, steep and loose, up to exit point above onto yellow band area

You can go this route but an easier but narrower slot is back to the left

Here is the narrower slot route to the yellow area above the gray band

More loose terrain up to the hands on climb through the yellow band rock outcrop

You can go around it to the right but leads to more faint trail loose footing

to gain the main trail again

A look at the terrain you climb through on the yellow band rock outcrop

A look at the terrain just above the yellow band rock outcrop

Looking back at yellow band area from above the rock outcrop

courtesy of Granticulous

Once above the yellow band rock outcrop it is only a short time before the final

long summit slope comes into view, go straight up keeping right

View of final summit slope courtesy of Granticulous

Watch out for cornices to your right on the summit ridge and the summit itself, be careful

These two obviously did not have enough elevation gain :-)

Enjoying the thin air and coffee. One of the guys said he thought he might upgrade

his skater shoes for his next scramble. Agreed!

Mountaineers doing the East Ridge approach the summit

Al heading home, albeit it is a long way down!

Finally back on stable terrain at Sentinel Pass!

Minnestima  Lakes sits below Sentinel Pass - Photo Courtesy of Marko Stavric


The North Face of Mt Temple from Mt Fairview

Mt. Temple- Lake Louise - Moraine Lake Area

Scramble: Class 2 – Steep Hiking, Use of hands, Route finding, Some exposure

Altitude: 3,543m (11,621 ft)

Elevation Gain: 1,690m (5,543 ft)

Ascent Time: 4 – 5 1/2 Hours

Best Season to Scramble: Mid-July to Mid-September, Ice axe and possible crampons depending on final slope conditions, Lake Louise Visitor Center can provide this info


This scramble offers a big mountain experience without the technical aspects usually associated with an 11,000-ft peak. It’s been said that this is "An unscary way up a very scary mountain." Nevertheless this is the "Classic Scramble of the Rockies". Ideal conditions are usually the second and third week of August. It is wise to check with the Lake Louise Visitor Center as to final slope conditions and the availability of the route. The area currently ie 2009 requires minimal group of 4 people to access this scramble. This has been due to bear activity and park impact policy.

Getting There

Head west out of Calgary on the TransCanada highway # 1 to the Lake Louise town-site 187km (116.9 miles). If your base is Banff head west on the TransCanada for 56km (35.0 miles) to the Lake Louise town-site. There is only one exit so keep your eye out for it. Go straight through the town-site and up the hill; watch for the Moraine Lake turnoff to the left. Drive to the Moraine Lake parking lot (approx. 12km). Washrooms are at the parking lot.

Route Description

From the parking lot walk along the right side of the lake walk past the lodge watching for the Larch Valley trail. Follow this switch-backing trail as it takes you high above Moraine Lake. As the trail levels off in the upper valley follow it around to the right to a couple of small lakes, then straight up more switchbacks to Sentinel Pass (col). From Sentinel Pass head right up a steep slope. Near the top of this slope traverse right on a path till you come to the third gully in the black/gray rock band. Ascend here and make your way up ledges to the gully, which breaches the upper band to the yellow section above. You can either continue up the gully or just right of it there is a spot behind a rock flake that affords access to the next level. From here the route is straightforward with some use of hands and takes you to a spot just below the final slope. Straight up the slope is the summit ridge with a short plod along it to the summit. The right hand side of the final slope steepens near the summit ridge so move a bit left as you near the summit ridge. Watch out for cornices on your right also. An ice axe is recommended if this slope has some snow on it perhaps even crampons depending on slope conditions. I have used an ice axe and kicked steps up this final slope when it had about 4-6 inches of crusty snow on it with verglass underneath. Verglass is ice on the rock underneath arising from daytime melting and nighttime freezing. I had to keep moving left and right to avoid the verglass. We successfully completed the slope but crampons would have lessened the degree of concern. Watching an apple my friend dropped speed its way down the slope and off a 4,000-ft drop also added food for thought. I have also climbed the final slope when there wasn’t a stitch of snow anywhere, which greatly eased any concerns. Anyway that is why it is wise to check with the Lake Louise Visitor center as to final slope conditions so you know ahead of time what to expect.