The Lake Agnes Teahouse Hike in Banff National Park is popular for a reason! The scenery is gorgeous, and you start by the shores of the famouse Lake Louise.
The Lake Agnes Teahouse Hike begins on the shores of one of the most iconic lakes in Canada – Lake Louise. From there you climb moderately through the trees with a quick stop to view Mirror Lake. Right before you reach your destination, there’s also a waterfall next to the trail.
From there a set of steps leads up to the teahouse and stunning views of Lake Agnes. Then the sky really is the limit to your day since Lake Agnes is a fairly short hike, just 7km and 1,300ft elevation gain.
Since this whole hike usually doesn’t take any more than a total of 3 hours, exploring some other options in this area is a real possibility. And because there’s so many other options to do, you’ll want to be careful to follow the signs so you actually reach your destination.
Tips for hiking options past the Lake Agnes Teahouse Hike in Banff National Park:
There’s several other trails branching off from this one, so making sure to take a good look at the signs will be helpful. Right around Mirror Lake the Highline Trail branches off leading to the Plain of 6 Glaciers.
However our preferred way to do both hikes in one day, is to bypass the Highline Trail and hike all the way to Lake Agnes. From there you take the trail leading around the lake, (pictured above) and climb up the Big Beehive. On the other side of the Big Beehive, there’s a trail that connects up with the Highline Trail which will then take you all the way to the Plain of 6 Glaciers.
As you start the climb up the Big Beehive you also get to view Lake Agnes from a different vantage point. The teahouse sits off to the left as you make your way upwards, and more mountain views begin to emerge.
The other thing we loved about this route is that different angles on the lake reveals different colors. The above photo is the truest color of Lake Agnes, but depending on the time of day the colors change because it reflects the sky.
Even if you choose not to hike to both teahouses in one day, (the Plain of 6 Glaciers also has a teahouse) I still think it’s worth a stroll around the lake. I just love the way Lake Agnes looks as you begin to gain some elevation. The stunning teal color pictured above seems even more vibrant in real life than in photos.
And finally whether you add the Plain of 6 Glaciers or not, you’ll end up back on the shores of the beautiful Lake Louise. The second time we did this hike, we ended up doing all the extra add on’s. We started the day by hiking into the Plain of 6 Glaciers then took the Highline Trail to the point where you turn to climb up the Big Beehive.
After we wandered around the Big Beehive and saw all the views we could, we scrambled up Devil’s Thumb. Devil’s Thumb is one of the coolest views I’ve ever seen because you can look down on Lake Agnes and Lake Louise at the same time. It does require route finding skills however, so if you’re looking for normal hiking, don’t add this one to your list.
Finally if you want even more info about additional adventures, you can check out my 1st post about the Plain of 6 Glaciers. The 1st time we hiked in there, we took the scrambling route up to the toe of Victoria Glacier, which is one of the main glaciers you view on that hike. It only adds an additional 2 miles, but it does add at least 1,000′ extra elevation gain within the 1 mile up.
And I guess just one more thing, you can also add the Mount St. Piran scramble to Lake Agnes as well. The route that leads down the back side of Piran leads you right to the shores of Lake Agnes. Also if you can go in the fall, it’s extra stunning. You can check out the colors on my first post about Lake Agnes.