Calling all adventurists, want-to-be adventurists, outdoor enthusiasts, and nature lovers. In one of the most famous national parks in the world, Banff National park, is a hikers playground, Lake Louise. From expert scrambles to meandering strolls to teahouses, Lake Louise has a day hike for any adventurer. Keep reading to find out the top routes in the area…
Tips for Hiking Lake Louise
I recommend starting all these hikes before 9am for three reasons
- So you can get a less crowded and well-lit view of Lake Louise early in the morning
- You are more likely to get a table at Lake Agnes Teahouse (see the Teahouse’s summer hours here) and
- The sun won’t beat down as hard while, if you choose to partake, hiking the toward the Plain of Six Glaciers on one of the more strenuous routes.
4 Best Day Hiking Routes in Lake Louise
- Lake Agnes
- Lake Agnes + Big Beehive
- Lake Agnes + Big Beehive + Plain of Six Glaciers
- Lake Agnes + Devil’s Thumb + Plain of Six Glaciers:
Without further ado, here are the descriptions and highlights of each hiking route. We’ve included distance and difficulty so you know which hike is right for you…
Lake Louise Hiking Route A: Lake Agnes Teahouse
Distance roundtrip: 7 km (4.5 mi)
Elevation gain: 400 m (1300 ft)
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
If you want to see the beauty of Banff without intense physical exertion of the strenuous hikes, this is your hike.
The easy 3.5 kilometer hike is a steady incline through a lovely forest and stops at the pretty Mirror Lake before finishing at Lake Agnes Teahouse.
The small hike is greatly rewarding when you sit and have tea at the Teahouse while taking in the gorgeous ridges of mountains reflecting on the lake. Snack on tea and desserts before returning down the way you came.
Note: Lake Agnes Teahouse only takes cash (US or Canadian)
Lake Louise Hiking Route B: Lake Agnes + Big Beehive
Distance roundtrip: 10.5 km (6.5 mi)
Elevation gain: 550 m (1800 ft)
So you’re ready to move outside your comfort zone a teensy bit, I like it. This is perfect for someone who wants a few hour hike, slightly strenuous but not too difficult.
After the directions from Route A to the wonderful Lake Agnes. Continue around the right shore of the lake upon which you’ll reach some steep switchbacks. Don’t worry, they won’t last long.
After .7 km (.4 mi)—only 15 minutes, you’ll finish the climb and go left at the saddle, following signs for Big Beehive. Feast your eyes on noteworthy views out to Banff Valley and toward the towering mountains behind you.