Helen Lake is a five-star hike in the Rockies and offers amazing views for relatively very little effort. It’s a moderate 12km hike (there and back) to Helen Lake and avid hikers can optionally summit Cirque peak for a somewhat harder additional 4km. It a really popular hike and all the people can make the trail rather crowded. Especially in the summer. So if you want to go, I recommend you get up early and hit the trailhead at 7am.
I also decided that I would try to capture what the view actually looked like from a very wide angle. So I shot panoramas ranging from 9 to about 32 pictures and stitched them all together. Below are the raw thumbnails of the resulting images I got. I was also really lazy and didn’t actually edit the pictures beforehand, so there is some vignetting and pincushion distortion I didn’t bother fixing, but it seemed to come out in the wash in most of the pics. Apparently I did a lot of them this day.
As one last special treat, I attempted to upload one of the largest stitches – specifically Bow peak, with the Crowfoot glacier and bow lake. The detail in Bow Peak is pretty good for a handheld pano. The nearby trees also have a crazy amount of detail. Zoom out to see the full picture. The scroll wheel on your mouse works best if you have one. You will need to install HD View if you haven’t done so already.