Going to bed early the night before allowed us to wake up before dawn on Monday to get to the Moraine Lake area at sunrise… along with a hundred other people! Our planning paid off though because we scored one of the last few parking spots at 7am.
We scaled the giant rockpile and hung out to watch the sunrise.
After an hour and a half, we tore ourselves away from this gorgeous view to start the hike to Consolation Lakes.
There were many people at Lake Moraine but only a small fraction on this trail, so nice!
After an easy 40 minute hike, we got the first views of Consolation Lake…
To reach the shore you must scramble across a large boulder field – the views were worth it. The scene changed a lot after sun crested the ridge so I am glad we got there when we did.
On the way back, Eric took a quick detour to Taylor Lake. It was quiet and very scenic.
Back in the crowds around Moraine Lake, the water was even bluer now that the sun was in full effect. We found a comfy spot on the rock pile and people watched / rested our feet for another hour.
Moraine Lake had truly stunning views and was well worth getting up early to see, a definite highlight of the trip.
Feeling like we made the most of our parking spot, we left for Marble Canyon in Kootenay NP. The short trail follows the sides of the narrow canyon with lots of crossings and pale blue rushing water. The trail terminates in front of a nice two-tiered waterfall.
The nearby Paint Pots were interesting as an add-on hike since we were in the area. It’s about a 25 minute RT with mostly muddy pits until the end where there were three green ponds with ochre rims. The trail was pretty exposed and hot in mid-afternoon but you need the sun to give the paint pots a worthwhile color.
After a quick shower back at the hotel, we walked to Sage Bistro across the street and ate upstairs in the Wine Lounge. I had a lovely Portuguese red (after the waitress talked me out of my original Canadian choice) and Eric went local-ish with the Blasted Church gewurztraminer. We split a creamy blue cheese plate ($8) and I had mussels with a tasty broth ($15) for my main while Eric choose the boar bacon mac & cheese ($16). It was plenty of food for us, everything was tasty. We weren’t even charged for extra bread, plus our waitress was super nice. Recommended.
Hot tub to end the night then some much deserved sleep after our early start!