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How to hike Lake Louise, Alberta in two absolutely incredible days

Updated: December 21, 2012
By: Ian Yacobucci

 

Lake Louise View

View of the plains of six glaciers from the front of the Fairmont Lake Louise – Lake Louise, Canada

Lake Louise, located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, is a resort designed to impress. At the foot of the mountains is the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise with spectacular hiking just outside its doorstep. If you’re visiting, there are two hikes that you won’t want to miss out on, and both of them are easily accessible day hikes.

Day Hike 1 – Lake Louise, plain of the six glaciers, and so much more

To be perfectly honest these hiking trails in front of the Fairmont Lake Louise are quite easy. While I was hiking I often passed families with young children, people in crocks, and older couples who were meandering up the mountain trails at a leisurely pace. You do not need any experience for these hikes.

To make this a full day hike you can start by walking along Lake Louise towards the Plain of Six Glaciers and one of the famous Lake Louise tea house. The lookout located at 2, 195m offers a spectacular view of the glaciers, is surrounded by waterfalls, and should take you 1.5 to 2 hours to get to depending on your pace.

On your way to the lookout you can stop at the Lake Louise Tea House for a snack or a drink. It’s a popular site and on the main trail to the Plain of Six Glaciers so it’s usually pretty busy. You should also know that they don’t have running water to fill your water bottles however, you can fill up in the creek alongside the tea house if you’re feeling adventurous. I certainly did!

Tea House

Lake Louise Tea House – Lake Louise, Canada

From the Plain of Six Glaciers there’s an uphill trail that will take you to the top of Big Beehive, which overlooks the Fairmont Lake Louise Resort and the surrounding area; a great place to take pictures. From there you can head down to Lake Agnes on your way back to the Fairmont Lake Louise.

six glacier look out

View of the Canadian Rockies and the Fairmont Lake Louise from the Plain of Six Glaciers Look out

At Lake Agnes, I battled the cold water and took a swim. If that’s not your thing you might prefer some lunch at the scenic Lake Agnes Tea House, located at the foot of the lake. Outside there is also a sitting area and benches along Lake Agnes where you can relax and enjoy the view.

Mirror Lake

Mirror Lake – Lake Louise, Canada

After Lake Agnes you should be ready to head back to Lake Louise. On your way you’ll get a chance to stop off at Mirror Lake where you can enjoy the waterfall that joins Lake Agnes and Mirror Lake.

Depending, this hike should take you between 5-8 hours and should not be missed if you’re visiting Lake Louise.

Day 2 – Mount Fairview

Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies from the top of Mount Fairview

A much more technical hike Mount Fairview has one of the best views in the surrounding range and all you need to successfully summit this mountain is time. For an experienced hiker it should take around 1.5 to two hours to summit and close to the same to descend.

The hardest part of this hike is the last quarter where you are climbing up a rocky cliff face. Don’t be discouraged that this hike is too hard. Anyone, who takes his or her time, will be able to make it to the top but be aware that it is not as easy as the Plain of Six Glaciers hike and you need to be cautious.

I planned to eat my lunch when I got to the top of Mount Fairview and enjoyed the view, as I looked across the wooded valley below and the fast expanse of the rocky mountain range that streatched into the distance. One of the most unique things about this place is the view of the glaciers that caress the surrounding mountaintops and are a unique feature of the Rockies.

I hope you enjoy these hikes, have fun, and hike safe.

Yak

 

Ian Yacobucci

Traveling the Trans-Siberian, mountaineering the Himalayas, or teaching in Tokyo I'm always trying something new. As a someone who's worked, studied, and traveled to 40+ countries around the world I'm here to share my experiences so you can do the same!

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2 thoughts on “How to hike Lake Louise, Alberta in two absolutely incredible days

    1. Ian Yacobucci Post author

      It’s an amazing place in the summer but as a snowboarder part of me can’t wait until I can hit the slopes there!

      Reply