Have you ever shaken the hand of a larch tree? Would you know a larch tree if you bumped into it?

We have been staying at the Moraine Lake Lodge right beside the most beautiful lake in the world. Yes, it is Moraine Lake. If you have never been here, you are really missing out.  The lake has gorgeous turquoise water with ten mountains surrounding its shores. Here is a picture just after sunrise.

Moraine Lake just after sunrise - note how still the lake is before the tourists arrive.

Moraine Lake just after sunrise – note how still the lake is before the tourists arrive.

Right near the lake is the starting point for one of the most famous hikes in the Canadian Rockies, Larch Valley.  The hike starts with a steady climb up 1,500 feet over two miles of switchbacks.  Once you reach the “top,” there is a stunning valley surrounded by mountains and alpine lakes.  Best of all the valley is filled with larch trees. For you tree buffs the larch tree is known as a deciduous conifer because unlike other conifers, the larch drops its needles in the fall.  And that is why I am talking to you about larch trees.  Before the needles fall, they turn yellow and then a golden orange.  Between mid-September and the first of October, all the larches turn this color providing the larch valley with incredible scenery. A must day hike for anyone visiting the Lake Louise area.

Hiking through Larch Valley

Hiking through Larch Valley

Larch Valley in September, Glacier in the distance.

Now, back to my initial question: Have you every shaken hands with a larch tree?  Well, I have.  And it is really a nice experience.  The needles (when green) are very soft and the limbs are quite springy making for a completely unexpected experience.  Next time you bump into a larch tree – shake its hand.  You’ll be surprised how good it feels. They are the friendliest of trees, and I have made a new friend.

My new friend — the Larch Tree in September

Thanks for stopping by.