The Lake Agnes tea trail is one of the most popular trails in Banff National Park, partly due to its location above the iconic Lake Louise and partly because it is a beautiful trail in it’s own right, with stunning spots all the way up.
The Lake Agnes Tea House was built as a refuge for hikers in 1901, and still has no running water or electricity, meaning that all the supplies are brought up the trail by the staff who work there – now, that’s dedication to your job!
The trail starts from the Lake Louise shoreline
The trail starts along the shore of Lake Louise, near the Fairmont hotel and immediately climbs uphill on a series of wide switch-backs through the forest. Between the trees, you can get glimpses of Lake Louise and the turquoise-blue colour looks even brighter the higher you ascend.
Catching glimpses of Lake Louise as we climbed the forest trail
The trail is 3.5km one way to the Tea House and suitable for most with a reasonable level of fitness and is officially rated as ‘moderate’. It will take most people between 1-2 hours to reach the Tea House, depending on fitness level and break stops.
The route will take you along forest tracks until you reach Mirror Lake, with a view of the ‘Big Beehive’ rockface in the distance. This is a good spot for a break – we stopped for lunch here, on the shores of the Mirror Lake, which is really beautiful.
Check out those colours at Mirror Lake!
Continuing along the track, you will also pass the waterfall which cascades out of Lake Agnes, just before reaching the Lake and the Tea House itself. The Tea House serves speciality teas and a range of home baking, however it is very small and the queues can get very long!
Lake Agnes Tea house on the edge of the lake
Beautiful reflections at Lake Agnes
From Lake Agnes, either re-trace your route back to the shores of Lake Louise, or you can continue an extra 1km onto the Little Beehive, then a further 0.6km to the Big Beehive. If you want an even longer hike, you can take the High Line trail, which is 5km from the Lake Agnes tea house to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House.
If you enjoy hiking, I would really recommend this trail when visiting Lake Louise, the views are really worth it and both Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes are stunning in their own right. Another great hike which I've written about in this post is Johnston Canyon.
For other recommendations of the best things to do in and around Banff, see my post, here
My Two week Canadian road trip
Two weeks is not a lot of time to see Canada but I managed to squeeze in three main destinations in my two week road trip. See my itinerary for two weeks in Canada, travelling from Toronto to Banff and then onto Vancouver.
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