Larch Trees

Is it worth it hiking there and back for about 20 kms and gaining about 1000 meters in altitude to see the larch trees in their fall colours. Yes! But there is always more to any hike. Got an early start to reach Harvey Pass. It started with a nice walk in the forest before views of the Bow Valley come into play, seeing the Sawback Range across the valley. Then enjoying a quick break to take a picture of the beautiful falls before the steeper switchbacks to reach the Bourgeau Lake. With an overcast sky, I decided to keep making my way up as I listened to the hoary marmot whistling on the far side of the lake. I saw one as well, up the slope about 200 meters away, running across the rocks. By the time I reached the spot it was long gone, I kept moving up and only stopping to enjoy the views behind me. 

Once I reached the pass, I took my time to decide what pictures I wanted to take and from what location. I decided to take several pictures and combine them into the attached panorama, going for an old panorama film camera ratio of 6x17. The larches were still about a week or more away from full fall colours, but not a bad view on an overcast day. Then it was time to sit and eat away from the cold wind, while I watched a pika cache away food for the coming winter. As soon as I got down from the pass, I removed some layers and made my way to the bottom of the valley. That day the wildlife viewing was limited to pikas, marmots, and a chipmunk for mammals and pipits, chickadees, juncos, kinglets, nutcracker and possibly a Golden Eagle high up in the sky for birds. It was a fun hike back to the trailhead, only stopping to have a quick chat with some of the 41 hikers and one dog heading up to the lake and or the pass.

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