The Lake Agnes Tea House hike is an enjoyable trip up to a charming lake with a lovely little tea house. From the tea house, there are options for what to do, such as hiking up to the Little Beehive, contouring around Lake Agnes, or simply just enjoy the picturesque scenery with a cup of tea.
Drive up the hill towards Chateau Lake Louise and park in one of the lots to the left of the Chateau. PARKING IS LIMITED and is often full by 8am. Parks Canada offers shuttles from the Lake Louise Overflow Parking Lot.
Total Gain: 353m
|Type of Hike||Out and Back|
|When to Do||June through October|
Get to the main Lake Louise (not the ski hill, the actual lake) parking lot early, as it fills up quickly, even midweek. When you leave the parking lot, head in the direction of Lake Louise. Once you’ve arrived, continue hugging the right-hand side of Lake Louise, passing the beautiful Chateau Lake Louise (1,745m).
Continue going around Lake Louise for a short while before a sign indicates the path leading off to the right towards Lake Agnes. This path through the forest rises steadily uphill and you will likely see many people on this path huffing and puffing if they aren’t used to the altitude.
During your ascent you will get flashes of Lake Louise through the trees. You will reach Mirror Lake (2028m) roughly 2.7km from the parking lot, having gained 275m of elevation. This is a lovely little lake, but is a mere appetizer for what will come later. At Mirror Lake you will want to head to the right, following the signposts to “Lake Agnes”.
After another 1km, you will be at Lake Agnes (2,130m), a beautiful mountain lake with a lovely little tea house. The Lake Agnes Tea House operates 9am – 6pm in the summer, and 10am – 5.30pm in September and October. If you arrive here after 10:30am, expect it to be crowded with other hikers. However, if you manage to get here early, you may be lucky enough to have the place all to yourself.
If time permits, it’s definitely recommended to take a break here. The delicious tea and fresh baked goods they offer will provide the energy you need should you choose to continue on to another trail.
While most hikers stop at Lake Agnes Tea House, we recommend that you consider one of the two very good short hikes possible from here. We show both excursions in yellow on the map.
- Contour around to the far end of Lake Agnes. It is only 800m to go to around to the far end of Lake Agnes to where the trail switchbacks up steeply to the Big Beehive. This short hike around Lake Agnes provides a great view back of the Lake Agnes Tea House as well as get a better view of the stunning valley. This route is also a very high avalanche risk, so don’t even consider this route if there is still snow on the mountains above.
- Hike up to the Little Beehive. The Little Beehive is a wonderful hike, and you get there by taking the path that goes up from the Lake Agnes Tea House past the washrooms. You follow this path as it passes the point where the trail on your left goes up to the summit of Mt St Piran. The hike to the Little Beehive is only 850m each way and gains 100m of elevation, so it is steep in place. That said, it’s a beautiful hike.
To get back head back to the Lake Agnes Tea House and then follow the signed route you came up on, descending past Mirror Lake and then to Lake Louise.
- Try to begin before 8am or after 4pm for fewer crowds and better access to parking at Lake Louise.
- If the Tea House is too crowded, walk to the end of the lake and you can usually have the place to yourself.
- There are lots of ways to extend this hike, such as up to Mt. St. Piran, up to Little Beehive or over to the other tea house at Plain of the 6 Glaciers via Big Beehive.