June 7th 2016
One of my favourite hikes in the Lake Louise area. If you only have time for one hike this is the best bang for the buck. What could be possibly better than a six km hike along one of the most beautiful lakes in the world followed by stunning views of six glaciers. To top it all off you can reward yourself with a cup of tea at the privately owned Teahouse. Arrive early to get a spot in the parking lot and follow the tourist to the lake. Try not to get your head in too many pictures as you walk in front of the Chateau. Keep to the Lake Shore trail. The other goes up to the Lake Agnes Teahouse. Return this way to extend your day. Follow the trail passing rock climbers on your right at the end of the lake. Pass the creek and the small waterfall. Through the trees and the wild flowers. Hang onto the wire as the trail winds through a small cliff band. ( it is wide wire only for icy days ). Then great views of the Glaciers. One last push up the switchbacks to the Teahouse. There are lots of benches by the stream to relax or get your cup of tea now before heading up to the moraine to see the Abbot Hut built for climbers and run by the ACC. Most climbers reach the hut from Lake O’Hara not up The Death Trap. Keep the camera ready for avalanches. Return the same way or head up the Highline trail to Mirror Lake, Big Beehive and Lake Agnes. It would be possible to go over the col to the Big Beehive and back down the switch backs to Lake Agnes and the Teahouse but it would be a big day. We returned via Mirror Lake going across the Catwalk ( see photo ) which is above the Rock Climbing wall and gives great views of the Lake and the Chateau.
Distance return 16.8 km Time return 6 hrs ( inc 30 min lunch ) Elevation Accumulated gain 680 m Elevation to Summit 457 m Summit height 2145 m Elev loss 290 m Elev gain 130 m