Lake Agnes tea house hike
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During my National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures: Discover the Canadian Rockies, I took all groups up hiking from Lake Louise to the famous Lake Agnes tea house. It was such a great experience for everybody that I decided to write about it. Here’s what you need to know.
Why do the Lake Agnes tea house hike
This is one if the hikes, the community would call “rewarding.” There are some lovely views of the turquoise colored Lake Louise, Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes. Also, you’ll see a waterfall along the way. And there is the tea house at the end, which is perfect rest stop. Even if you don’t like tea, you can bring your lunch at eat at one of the picnic tables or benches. The water for the tea is taken directly from the glacier fed Lake Agnes. Where else do get that?
What to expect on the Lake Agnes tea house hike
It’s a good 1.5h of uphill hiking. It is considered a moderate hike, covering over 400m of elevation gain. Now in June, there is still some snow in the higher elevations. So make sure to check the Lake Agnes trail conditions before you go. There are a few nice photo opportunities along the way. Those will be welcome as they give you a chance to catch your breath.
Once you are at Lake Agnes, you can either have tea and turn around or extend your hike to the Little Beehive or Big Beehive trails. They are named after the shape the mountain they contour. If you go down the same way you came up, it’ll be 45min to 1h descend.
How to get to the Lake Agnes tea house trailhead
Lake Louise is just off the Icefield Parkway, highway 93, which connects Banff and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies. Follow the signs to the Lake Louise parking lots. If the lot closer to the lake are full, park staff is yellow vests will direct to the lower parking lot from where you can take shuttle busses to the lake.
Walk along the shore of the lake and enjoy the views of the water and mountains to your left and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to your right. Where that path splits, you’ll find the trailhead, take the right path.
What to pack for the hike
Layers, layers, layers! Since it is an uphill hike, you’ll get warm along the way and will want to take some layers off. Once you reach the tea house, you’ll want to put them back on and keep them on on your way down. Bring at least 1l of water, there is nowhere on the trail you can refill your bottle. (Glacier water is boiled before consumption, I don’t recommend drinking it straight from the lake)
In addition, I always have sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, gloves, first aid kit, rain gear, tissues and of course my phone to take pictures. Personally, I did this trail without a map, because the trail is easy to find and busy. If you want one, collect a hiking map at the visitors center in Banff or at virtually any hotel in the area.
And if that’s not enough, let the picture inspire you to go 🙂 Check out the full itineray of the National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures: Discover the Canadian Rockies
This post I originally posted in June 2019 and updated in December 2020 to include relevant links and images.