Elevation: 1945 m (Lower Lake)
Elevation Gain: 60 m
Consolation Lakes were named by Walter Wilcox in 1899. Wilcox felt that the scenic lakes offered a consoling contrast to the nearby "desolation" of Moraine Lake. How Wilcox came to feel that Moraine Lake is desolated is somewhat baffling, however, the beauty of the two Consolation Lakes nestled below the steep glacier-covered cliffs of Mounts Bident, Quadra and Babel is beyond reproach.
June 28 2015.
Anyone who regularly follows this blog has probably noticed that my beautiful wife Brianne is uncharacteristically absent from most of 2015’s trip reports (does anyone regularly follow this blog?). Fortunately, her absence is not because she’s suddenly lost her love for the mountains (or her love for me)! Instead, this absence has arisen as a result of the fact that we’re happily expecting our first future peak bagger. While we had hoped to tackle some smaller peaks together with our little one (in utero) this summer, her pregnancy was deemed to be a higher than normal risk and the doctors quickly put the kibosh on her summer summits.
Just because she can’t summit, doesn’t mean that she can’t enjoy the Rockies, however! With her “condition” in mind, we decided to set out with her best friend Kaeli on a relaxed day hike to Consolation Lakes. Having passed by the lakes years earlier on my way up Panorama Ridge, I recalled them being absolutely beautiful and a worthwhile destination in their own regard; in short: the perfect destination to enjoy the grandeur of the Rockies without a grand effort!
This hike also granted me the opportunity to launch a new On-Top.ca feature: a growing gallery of hikes! With a little one on the way, I’m anticipating fewer summits in the years to come but just as many beautiful Rockies vistas with my family; this page will allow me to keep sharing those wonderful and wild mountain outings and will hopefully provide a forum to inspire other outdoor loving families!
The girls happily make their way past the “Rockpile” at the outlet of Moraine Lake as the Valley of the Ten Peaks towers overhead. While sandals might not be the most appropriate footwear in this area, the trail becomes much less rocky after this brief boulder field. As an added bonus, this rubble tends to dissuade the casual wanderer, preventing Consolation Lakes from becoming overly crowded!
After a short hike along a well-marked trail, the forest thinned and we arrived at our destination!
Brianne and Kaeli enjoy the scenery amongst the boulder pile at the end of the easy trail. Beyond this point, boulder hopping is annoying so I would recommend fording the lakes’ outlet stream and continuing on the opposite bank for anyone keen to venture further. For our part, we were happy with the views here and found comfortable boulder seats from which to enjoy them!
Views towards the Tower of Babel (left foreground) and massive Mount Temple.
Crux cools his paws in the outlet stream while Brianne tries to keep hers dry!
Consolation Lakes panorama. From left to right: Panorama Ridge, and outlier of Mount Bell, Mount Bident and Quadra Mountain. Mount Babel’s massive cliffs tower above to the far right. Click to see larger.
Crux and I wandered up the outlet stream to try to get a better view of the lower Lake and the beautiful glaciers on the Bident/Quadra massif.
Twin-toothed Mount Bident.
Four-tiered Quadra Mountain.
A comfy spot for lunch!
After lunch, it was time to carefully make our way back across the creek to the trail before easily making our way down to the trailhead and Moraine Lake.
Moraine Lake is a scenic place for pups to cool off on a hot day.
Come to think of it, that looks like a good idea! Let’s go for a swim Crux!
A cool end to a cool hike! ;-)