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Lake Louise and Lake Agnes - Trail Report

Written by Jenna Nodding on . Posted in Stories.
Lake Louise is a bucket list item, for good reason. The beautiful lakes, towering nearby mountains, and impressive network of trails are all great reasons to check it out. The Lakeshore can get busy during peak summer season, but once you get out and away from the hotel things calm down a lot.
Hiking Stats
  • Distance
    6.5km Round Trip
  • Elevation Gain and Loss
  • Starting Location

    Lake Louise lakeshore. There are outhouses and cell coverage is good.

  • Permit Info

    A National Park Pass is required.

  • Transportation Options
    • ROAM Bus Route 8X (Lake Louise Express) runs regularly every day year round.
    • ROAM Bus Route 8S (Lake Louise Scenic) only runs in summer. It has the same start and finish location as the 8X, but it takes the scenic Highway 1A through Castle Junction instead of the more direct Trans Canada Highway.
    • Private vehicle parking at the Lakeshore is possible, but does have a cost and can fill up fast in peak times.
  • Season

    This trail is not recommended from mid-October to Mid-June due to avalanche danger

Trip Report

Lake Louise offers many beautiful options to explore, all year round. While there may be more people around in summer, there’s also more terrain to spread out in. The trails are generally very well built, and head to some absolutely spectacular places.


Lake Louise gets its beautiful turquoise colour from the glacial silt that is suspended in the water. Looking across the lake we could still see the glaciers on Mt. Victoria, what an iconic sight! Even on the hottest days, the lake remains incredibly cold (it was solid ice until just recently). A quick toe dip can feel great after a long day of hiking, but a full swim will be closer to a polar bear plunge than a typical summer swim.

To get to the Lake Agnes hike we walked along the mail lakeshore trail for less than 100m before taking a branch that headed uphill to the right (West). It was paved for a short distance, and then quickly transitioned to a dirt path. We started gaining altitude right away, but the well defined trail with consistent grade allowed us to get a good rhythm going and the walk was actually more meditative than hard work. It’s amazing how fast it feels we gained elevation after steady efforts through the trees. It seemed like we were right beside the lake moments ago! Now the people down there were barely dots.


The trail continued on with just one large switchback, and we came upon the Lake Agnes teahouse. The tea house takes its tea very seriously, with 100 varieties! They also serve soup, sandwiches, and desserts. To avoid disappointment, bring cash.

From Lake Agnes, there are several options for additional adventures depending on energy and the weather. Shorter objectives include the Lake Agnes lookout, little beehive, or big beehive, all less than 2km out. For ambitious hikers and tea drinkers, there is a 6km trail that leads to the Plain of 6 Glaciers tea house, but note that it will be another 7km from that teahouse back to the Lake Louise parking lot so only attempt this if you’ve got lots of daylight and energy.

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