10 Breathtaking Lake Louise Hikes, Banff National Park

Lake Louise hikes are a number of the finest you’ll discover in Banff Nationwide Park – and even Canada. Superlative mountain and alpine lake surroundings is the reward on your efforts. The draw back to most however not all the Lake Louise hikes are the sheer variety of folks on the favored trails – particularly Lake Agnes and the Plain of Six Glaciers. 

If you are able to do it, guide lodging someplace near Lake Louise so you may spend extra time mountain climbing than driving. Then over three or 4 days knock off any variety of these Lake Louise hikes however observe that there are some new insurance policies in place for summer season 2020.

With restricted parking at each Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, there’s a brand new reserving system for the shuttle service. It’s scheduled now to open on April 30th, 2020 although COVID-19 might play havoc with timing. For detailed data go to the Parks Canada web site. It appears such as you HAVE TO make a reservation and there’s no walk-on service. 

The Plain of Six Glaciers

It’s an exquisite although busy hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers which ends close to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. If you wish to keep away from the crowds hike early within the morning or late within the afternoon. 

The hike takes you alongside the shoreline of Lake Louise for the primary couple of kilometres. From there it gently climbs via the moraines – with some attention-grabbing views of Lake Louise from an angle you don’t typically see. As you get nearer to the tip of the hike admire the sight of the Lefroy and Victoria Glaciers riddled with crevasses. 

The hike completed in an otherworldly setting. Take pleasure in it with a picnic of your individual or benefit from the teahouse however observe the hours earlier than you head off.

Distance: 13.Eight km and 380 m elevation acquire

Time wanted: 3 – Four hours

Stage of problem: Straightforward

Learn: The Plain of Six Glaciers Hike close to Lake Louise 

Beautiful scenery at the end of the Plain of Six Glaciers hike
Lovely surroundings on the finish of the Plain of Six Glaciers hike

Huge Beehive

The path to the Huge Beehive takes off from Lake Agnes so comply with the instructions the lake. Then decide up the path because it curves across the west shore of Lake Agnes. Switchback up the gully on the finish of the lake to succeed in a 4 method intersection.

To succeed in the Huge Beehive go left and proceed on a straightforward path via fairly woods till it dies out at a viewpoint. Retrace your steps to return.

You’ll be able to really return to Lake Louise by way of the Plain of Six Glaciers however you’d go straight on the intersection on the high of the gully to succeed in the Highline Path. There’s additionally the choice to go proper and do the difficult Satan’s Thumb. It’s on my listing however beware that there’s a brief part on it with publicity.

Distance: 9.6 km return with 540 m of elevation acquire

Time wanted: 3 – 4.5 hours

Stage of problem: Average

Learn: The Lake Agnes – Huge Beehive Hike

Stellar views of Lake Louise
Stellar views of Lake Louise from the Huge Beehive in October

Fairview Mountain – one of many Lake Louise hikes with an enormous elevation acquire

It is a fantastic hike with plenty of elevation acquire however the reward is an excellent view of Lake Louise. We did it in October when there was snow on the bottom for the final 30 minutes of mountain climbing. You should definitely carry icers with you if that’s the case.

The hike initially heads via forest – with only a few views however that every one adjustments whenever you attain the Saddleback. Some folks might wish to flip round right here as that’s when the climbing begins in earnest. Be aware that in late September this space places on an awesome larch show.

It’s only one.6 km from the Saddleback to the highest of Fairview Mountain however the elevation acquire on this part is 414 metres. Nevertheless, inside minutes of beginning up from the Saddleback, the mountains fill the body. It’s an awe-inspiring sight for the following few hours. You should definitely take breaks – simply to revel within the mountain views.

The descent was quick. We had been again on the shore of Lake Louise in 2 hours! 

Distance: 10.6 km with 1014 m elevation acquire

Time wanted: 4 – 5 hours

Stage of problem: Average

Learn: An Excellent Hike to the Summit of Fairview Mountain

Looking down to Lake Louise from just below the summit
Wanting right down to Lake Louise from slightly below the summit

Little Beehive

The Little Beehive hike delivers a number of the finest surroundings within the Alberta Rockies – although to do it you need to stroll up many of the option to Lake Agnes and that a part of the hike is commonly ridiculously busy. 

Earlier than you attain Lake Agnes you’ll see signage pointing you to Little Beehive on the 3.zero km mark. It’s solely a couple of 20 – 25 minute hike in from right here. The views of the Huge Beehive and of Lake Louise itself are merely breathtaking.

Half method up in direction of Little Beehive you may flip onto the path that takes you up Mt. Saint Piran – however that may add hours of mountain climbing time to your day. (See under.)

Size: 8.2 km return and 490 m elevation acquire

Time wanted: 3 – Four hours together with a cease at Lake Agnes

Stage of problem: Average

Beautiful views on the Little Beehive hike
Lovely views on the Little Beehive hike
Beautiful views on the Little Beehive hike
Lovely views on the Little Beehive hike
Looking over to Lake Agnes and the Big Beehive
Wanting over to Lake Agnes and the Huge Beehive

Lake Agnes 

Lake Agnes might be the most well-liked of the Lake Louise hikes though it’s not essentially the most stunning. It’s a straightforward one although – with meals provided on the finish – and that in itself is compelling for a lot of.

The path heads up into the woods from Lake Louise, passing Mirror Lake on the 2.6 kilometre mark. Within the fall I’ve seen this lake totally dried up. From right here you may strategy Lake Agnes on considered one of two trails – with the path that goes left at Mirror Lake providing the steepest, most direct route.

From Lake Agnes you may hike the Little Beehive, Huge Beehive, Satan’s Thumb and even Mt. Saint Piran. However most individuals simply do it as an out and again hike.

Distance: 7.zero km round-trip with 390 m elevation acquire 

Time wanted: 3 – Four hours

Stage of problem: Straightforward

Learn: The Lake Agnes Tea Home Hike close to Lake Louise 

Lake Agnes in the summer
Lake Agnes in the summertime

Mt Saint Piran

Mt Saint Piran is described as an excellent hike by the authors of Don’t Waste Your Time within the Rockies.

Comply with the path as if you had been going to Little Beehive however half method alongside – about 400 metres earlier than the Little Beehive summit, search for a beat up path signal within the woods on the left. The trail takes you up via larch bushes after which onto a rocky slope.

When you dispatch with the bushes, the path is straightforward to comply with however be warned that the final 15 minutes of mountain climbing is on a backbone atop unfastened rocks. From the highest a number of the most attractive picture-postcard surroundings in Banff Nationwide Park unfolds. You’ll be able to see so far as the Waputik Icefield to the north and the Bow Valley to the east.

Distance: 13 km with 910 m elevation acquire

Time wanted: 4 – 6 hours

Stage of problem:

On the summit of Mt Saint Piran
On the summit of Mt Saint Piran – photograph credit score: John Johnston on Flickr Artistic Commons

Comfort Lakes

Begin from the Moraine Lake parking zone and head over a big rockslide and into the forest. After 1.6 km of mountain climbing head proper to succeed in a boggy meadow. Then it’s simply one other 1.5 km to succeed in the north finish of Decrease Comfort Lake. To proceed to Higher Comfort Lake, it’s one other 30 minutes or so of mountain climbing,

This doesn’t are typically a busy hike nevertheless it does provide a wonderful effort – reward ratio.

Distance: 6 km with lower than 100 m elevation acquire

Time wanted: 1.5 – 2.5 hours

Stage of problem: Straightforward

Lake Louise hikes – Sentinel Cross is without doubt one of the premier hikes

The hike to Sentinel Cross is without doubt one of the most spectacular day hikes in Banff Nationwide Park. On this hike it’s required, by regulation that you simply hike as a good group of 4 between July 12th and October Eight as a result of the path traverses prime grizzly bear habitat. 

Begin simply previous Moraine Lake Lodge. Steeply climb for two.5 km by way of a collection of switchbacks to succeed in Larch Valley. In late September, that is most likely the most well-liked space within the park because it’s a examine in yellow because the larch bushes needles flip color. 

Cross Minnestimma Lakes and proceed up right into a craggy, austere atmosphere by way of extra switchbacks. At Sentinel Cross – 2611 m – you may be on the highest level reached by a maintained path within the Rockies. Views are elegant in each course you look.

Distance: 11.6 km return with an elevation acquire of 726 m 

Time Wanted: 4 – 5 hours

Stage of Problem: Average

John and my son at Sentinel Pass
John and my son at Sentinel Cross
Looking down towards the Valley of the 10 Peaks
Wanting down in direction of the Valley of the Ten Peaks

The Eiffel Lake path shares the identical trailhead because the extremely standard hike to Larch Valley. When you do the hike in summer season you may anticipate to see an unimaginable array of wildflowers together with golden mantled floor squirrels, pikas, and whistling marmots.

The large purpose to do the hike – at the very least so far as Eiffel Lake – is the close-up views of the 10 peaks. When you’re brief on time don’t really feel like you need to go to Wenkchemna Cross, although when you do benefit from the hike in what has been known as “intriguingly desolate moraine.”

Distance: 11.2 km return and 405 m elevation acquire to the lake, 19.Four km return and 725 m elevation acquire to the cross 

Time wanted:  5 – 6 hours

Stage of problem: Average

Eiffel Lake, Banff National Park
Eiffel Lake, Banff Nationwide Park – Picture credit score: John Johnston on Flickr Artistic Commons

Lake Annette and Paradise Valley

The hike to Lake Annette is fairly sufficient and Lake Annette is beautiful – particularly as you may admire the north face of Mt. Temple. However the actually distinctive surroundings lies after the lake. Put aside a full day so you are able to do it. 

After Lake Annette head up Paradise Valley. There are a few choices whenever you attain the intersection signed for Sentinel Cross.

You could possibly proceed as much as Sentinel Cross after which again to Moraine Lake – however you would need to hitchhike or prepare a automobile shuttle again to the Lake Annette trailhead. You could possibly go up and again from the cross after which onto the Big Steps – the place Paradise Creeks streams over quartzite slabs. Or you possibly can nix the cross and easily do the loop that features the Big Steps.

There’s the choice too of tenting in Paradise Valley. You should definitely reserve a backcountry allow.

Distance: 11.Four km return with an elevation acquire of 250 m to Lake Annette; 20.Three km return and 400 m elevation acquire for the complete circuit

Time Wanted: 4 – 5 hours or 7 hours for the circuit

Stage of Problem: Average

It's an easy hike to Lake Annette
It’s a straightforward hike to Lake Annette
Beautiful Lake Annette
Lovely Lake Annette

The place to remain in and close to Lake Louise

If you wish to be on Lake Louise it would price you. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise enjoys the very best views of the lake however with a worth. 

Deer Lodge is a extra reasonably priced possibility and only a brief stroll away from the lake. Their up to date rooms are nice.

Paradise Lodge and Bungalows, a kilometre from the lake can be an alternative choice.

In Lake Louise Village the Submit Lodge and Spa is beautiful and the meals is nice nevertheless it’s not on the lake. 

If it’s cozy log cabins you’re after try Baker Creek Mountain Resort.

An reasonably priced hostel possibility is that this one in Lake Louise.

Additional studying on hikes which are a brief drive from Lake Louise

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10 breathtaking Lake Louise hikes

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