Tower of Babel, Lake Louise AB

It’s nearly summer, which means camping and hiking seasons are back in full force. I was scrolling through the camera roll on my phone and came across these photos. I completed this hike back in 2019 and just realized that I have never written about it!

The Tower of Babel is a 2.9km out and back hike (may be better classified as a scramble) located by Moraine Lake that is rated hard. Because of the popularity of Moraine Lake, if you want to find a parking spot for this hike you need to get there EARLY (4-5am) or plan to take the shuttle up. We were up bright and early and managed to score one of the last available parking spots.

A helmet is a very important piece of gear to have on this hike and I would not recommend trying it without one. Also consider wearing long pants and bringing trekking poles to help keep your balance (we didn’t have any, but looking back I think they would have been good on the boulders and going down). When using trekking poles on boulders, don’t put your hands through the loops, you don’t want to break your wrist if you take a tumble.

I started off by accidentally navigating up the wrong side of the mountain. Instead of going for to the left, you actually want to scramble up right through the center. Fortunately, it was a fairly easy to fix to get back around and on track again.

Once back on track, we enjoyed the challenge of climbing up the steep rocks, and the amazing views behind us. I have always enjoyed a bit of scrambling mixed in with a hike as a new challenge and change of pace.

Finally ,we made it to the top! Even though we had an early start, there was already one other man up there who had hiked up at 3am to enjoy the sunrise.

The top of the Tower of Babel is host to an unnatural rock formation. A carefully crafted rock couch and television, complete with a coffee table. I channel surfed for a minute and then we decided to have a bite to eat.

Lindsay packed cheese, crackers, and some extra cute heart shaped salami. Snacks taste better when they’re adorable, right?

We took plenty of photos and enjoyed the views for an hour or so as more hikers started making their way to the top. Eventually, as it got busier, we decided it was time to head out and let someone else have our parking spot.

The scramble down is often trickier for me than the way up, it’s also a little more nerve wracking when you can see the path you may potentially fall down if you aren’t careful on your feet. We made it slow and steady though until we got to the loose scree.

We ‘scree skiied’ down the last section, which is a combination of running and sliding down the loose rock. It’s truly a blast and the thick layer of loose rock allows you stay upright.

We stopped for a few minutes at the bottom to admire the mountain before heading back to the car, what a wonderful way to spend a sunny morning.

These cute flowers look like saxifraga tolmiei to me, but I am not 100% sure. If you know what they are, please comment!

Happy scrambling!


8 thoughts on “Tower of Babel, Lake Louise AB

  1. I wish I knew about this scramble years ago. I’m not sure if I could do it anymore. It looks like a fantastic trip other than the need for such an early start due to crowds.

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  2. This is such a fun scramble. I did it in 2020 and we biked in because the road was closed a bit later for construction. Can you believe I got up and down with no one else on the trail??? Magical! So glad you got to go and enjoyed it.

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  3. Gorgeous views from the top! We have tried to climb the Greenwood Route a few times, which is a climb up the main tower. We arrived very early and each time there were 3 or 4 groups ahead of us. Your scramble shows how bad the rock is and the rock fall hazard is so bad that we don’t like to climb under so many people so each time we turned around. Maybe this summer we’ll do the scramble instead. It sure gets you to a nice view. Maggie

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