Elevation Gain: 120m
Time Required: 2-3 Hours
Consolation Lakes is short but beautiful hike in one of my favorite areas of the Rockies. If you want a great rainy day hike or just a short jaunt in the mountains with high impact for little effort, this hike a great option. The hike is easy, with negligible elevation gain through a lovely forest, following a picturesque stream and finishing at a stunning mountain lake. It would make a family friendly adventure, with a little something for everyone.
Starting from Moraine Lake parking lot, first head up the rock pile to the left of the lake for a postcard-worthy shot over Moraine Lake. It is one of the Rockies most beautiful lakes, and the turquoise water and view of the snow capped 10 peaks is one of Canada’s most iconic scenes.
As you come down from the rock pile, head right at the junction and follow the path toward Consolation Lakes. The path weaves through lush forest along Babel Creek. There are some lovely photo spots along the stream to take your time and explore a bit.
Eventually, the path will open into a meadow filled with lovely wildflowers, and cross a large rockslide area where huge boulders lay along the lake shore. It’s a challenge to make your way over the rocks, but its worth it to get to the far lake. Spend time scrambling around here, and take photos in every direction. The towering Mount Babel and reflections over the lake are stunning, as is the Glacier situated hanging from Mount Quadra.
Find a large flat rock and enjoy lunch here, sometimes little chipmunks will come up and try to con food out of you. When you are ready to leave, just head back the way you came.
Just keep in mind that Moraine Lake is one of Banff’s busiest areas, so expect crowds on weekends, and also note that hikes in this area often have a minimum number of about 5 people, as grizzly bears frequent the area. Check trail reports before heading out.