Lake Agnes Tea House
Lake Louise- Banff National Park
Time: 3 hours
Distance: 7.2 km (return)
Elevation Gain: 400 m
How To Get There: From the public parking lot at the Lake Louise Chateau, find the lakeshore trail near the Chateau, and walk along the paved trail for approximately 200m Keep an eye out for the Lake Agnes trail, which will branch off just as the Chateau grounds are ending, just past the bronze statue of a Swiss mountain guide. At this point, leave the lakeshore trail and ascend the right hand "fork" in the trail.
On our second day of camping in Banff National Park, Kim and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather on Saturday (the sky was clear and it was about plus 17 degrees) and go to the Lake Agnes Tea House. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone else had this plan as well! The traffic was very heavy and we ended up parking on the side of the road about 1 km away from the hotel. Once we got to Lake Louise, we walked around to the far right side and then turned onto the trail that veered off the right to begin the ascent to the tea house.
The entire trail up is a steady moderate series of very long switchbacks. The trail is lightly paved (though broken up from all of the hikers that have crossed the path over time) and passes through a lot of pine trees until about 1 km up where it switches back around. At this point you have a beautiful view of Lake Louise down below.
As you keep going up, the trail eventually intersects with a horse trail and they become one so there are quite a few presents left behind from the horses that you have to pick your way around. This is also where Kim and I spotted a cute little snowman that had been built up from the rain/snow the day before!
Finally, Kim and I reached Mirror Lake which is about 500 below the tea house.
The lake itself is very small with a small creek waterfall off in the distance filling the lake up. We stopped to have a snack (which turned into lunch because we were both really hungry) while watching a guy jump in the lake for a swim (he had to be crazy).
Kim and I then explored along Mirror Lake shore and then hiked over a small rock slide to get to the creek waterfall. I was able to get across by rock hopping but Kim isn't as sure footed so I hopped back to her and we went back the way we came.
The last 500m up to the tea house were a bit steep but they offered some amazing views of the mountains below.
There was a waterfall right beside a set of stairs that also offered some great photos.
Once we reached the teahouse, the place was incredibly crowded but we still managed to get some really good photos of Lake Agnes and also the tea house.
The place was so small that Kim and I ended up walking right into the kitchen without realizing it! The view from the tea house porch is awesome!
Then we walked up a small switchback to go to the washroom (there was an amusing man who clapped every time someone walked out of the outhouse so we gave him a loud ovation when he walked out) and then headed back down the trail the way we came. The day was beautiful but the trail itself was busy. Nonetheless, I would like to do this trail again but this time check out the little and big beehive. It was only 1 km away but we were a bit strapped for time so we decided to do that section of the hike another day!