Lake Louise Hikes
Drive four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the TransCanada Highway up to Lake Louise to access the following trails. Probably the busiest trail in all of the Canadian Rockies is the Louise Lakeshore Trail (two km/1.2 mi, 30 minutes one-way), which follows the north shore of Lake Louise to the west end of the lake. Here numerous braided glacial streams empty their silt-filled waters into Lake Louise. Along the trail’s length are benches to sit and ponder what English mountaineer James Outram once described as “a gem of composition and of coloring…perhaps unrivalled anywhere.”
Continue beyond the end of the lake to reach Plain of the Six Glaciers (5.3 km/3.3 mi, two hours), which is a little more strenuous (370-m/1,215-ft elevation gain), where you can reward yourself with a snack from the teahouse.
The trail to Lake Agnes (3.6 km/2.2 mi, 90 minutes one-way) is a short, steep ascent to another teahouse (homemade soups, healthy sandwiches, and hot drinks); this one picturesquely sited on the edge of an alpine lake. From the teahouse, a one-kilometer (0.6-mile) trail leads to Little Beehive and impressive views of the Bow Valley.
Another trail leads around the northern shore of Lake Agnes, climbing to the Big Beehive, a total of five kilometers (3.1 miles) from the chateau. This is a great place to admire the uniquely colored waters of Lake Louise directly below.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition