Mount St. Piran

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

 


Location: Banff National Park – Alberta, Canada
Destination: Mount St. Piran
Distance: 8.0 Miles / 13.0 Kilometers Round-trip from Chateau Lake Louise without taking the alternate route down the backside.
Elevation Gain: 2,700 Feet / 823 Meters
Difficulty: Moderate Day Hike | Class 1 – Hiking with a low chance of injury
Trail Overview Map
The trail for Mount St. Piran is shared with the Lake Agnes Teahouse hike, and begins at the stunning Lake Louise. We loved this hike enough to do it twice, the views are amazing and you can make loop down the backside and bag Lake Agnes and the teahouse as well (that’s my kind of day)!

As far as I can tell, Mount St. Piran is no longer an official trail, but we found the trail condition to be very good. As you follow the Lake Agnes trail, you will come to a sign for the Little Beehive. The trail for Piran branches off to the left as you make your way toward Little Beehive. You can find detailed instructions in Alan Kane’s book – Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies. Even though it’s now considered a scramble, there isn’t any actual scrambling involved, just non-technical hiking right to the top!

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!   Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!   Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

Everywhere in Banff seems to be lit up with golden larch trees during the fall. The fall color at Lake Louise was a little extra special due to the aqua color of the lake. As you leave the tree line in this hike, Lake Louise will emerge below, and the views will just keep getting better.

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

You’ll know you’ve reached the top when you come across all the big cairns. One of them is built like a shelter, and it’s a great place to eat your lunch.

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

We took the alternate way down the backside of Piran that creates a loop, leading you to Lake Agnes and the teahouse. We first attempted this on a whim a couple of years back when we noticed a trail off the backside, and we quickly lost the trail when we encountered boulders and what looked like cliffs. We did find our own way down the backside on that first attempt, it wasn’t quite as easy as it could’ve been, but there was some good scree skiing involved!

After that hike, we read up on where in the world this ‘alternate route’ was supposed to exist. This trip we decided to give it one more go – right where we lost the trail on the first trip was the actual route. It looks as though it’s going to lead you over a cliff, but as it turns out, appearances are deceiving. The route picks it’s way through the rocky rubble, (see above picture) and there were no cliffs encountered.

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

If you take the loop, you’ll come out right here at the end of Lake Agnes. If you look closely, you can barely see the teahouse at the end of the lake. From the lake, the trail leads you right back to Lake Louise. If you’re lucky the sun will be setting, creating the most amazing glow across the milky glacial water!

Mount St. Piran | Get Inspired Everyday!

See you next week for another a glacier adventure in the Lake Louise area!

4 Comments on “Mount St. Piran”

    1. Kari

      We must be kindred spirits because I can’t stand being away from the mountains for very long! You’d love Calgary because it has big city kind of things, but the mountains are only a 1 hour drive away on good roads. 🙂

  1. mountain girl heidi

    I hiked this with you guys!! Wooo!!! So you found a way down through the cliffs? Ha. I think our way was quite adventurous enough. Do you still go down that scree face for a while then?

    1. Kari

      No, there wasn’t much scree on the real way down – which was a total bummer because the trail was wicked steep packed dirt and I fell several times because the ground just slips out from under you. The way we took when you went ended up being better in a lot of ways than the actual scrambler’s trail!

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