FATMAP by Strava

Devils Thumb

Banff National Park

A steep scramble to the top of a rock tower, overlooking Lake Agnes and Lake Louise in a picture-perfect panorama.

Hiking Severe

12 km
766 m
766 m
3-4 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2.4 km
Devils Thumb Map

Devil’s Thumb is a rock formation high above Lake Louise, and it makes a striking feature of the skyline above the backcountry teahouse on Lake Agnes. Though its sides look sheer, the summit is attainable by a trail and relatively easy scramble. The view on top is incredible–high above the lakes, with an unobstructed view at surrounding peaks and across the Bow River Valley.


To get there, follow the trail to Big Beehive, which goes around Lake Agnes and up a set of switchbacks. At the junction atop the switchbacks, turn right for Devil’s Thumb instead of left for Big Beehive. The route mapped here begins at said junction. Note that you can alternatively get there using Highline Trail, from the other side of the ridge.

The trail to Devil’s Thumb is well worn but quite narrow, cutting across a steep slope. It’s safe when dry and free of ice, but should be avoided in slick conditions unless you have the right equipment and experience. This traverse soon leads to a gully full of loose scree, which you must ascend carefully, and then comes a rock scramble where you may need to use your hands. These sections are intimidating but manageable in good conditions if you use caution. Once on top, simply walk along the rock-strewn ridgeline to the edge of the summit. You’ll gaze upon Lake Agnes and Lake Louise below, with Big Beehive in between, Lake Louise Ski Resort across the valley, and a horizon of more mountains beyond.

Sources: https://thisadventurelife.com/hiking/hiking-devils-thumb-big-beehive-lake-louise/ https://getinspiredeveryday.com/adventure/devils-thumb-scramble-in-banff-national-park/



Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between June and September


  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area