Lake Agnes and Plain of Six Glaciers Loop

Banff National Park

A full-value loop combining the best of Lake Louise's scenery, and both of its famous teahouses.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
14 km
Ascent
699 m
Descent
699 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2.1 km
Gradient
10˚
Lake Agnes and Plain of Six Glaciers Loop Map

A trip to Lake Louise is incomplete without a hot drink and cake at a teahouse set high in the mountains. Inspired by inns of the Swiss Alps, two classically styled teahouses are unique fixtures of Banff National Park. You can hike to one or the other, or you can link them both in a long day hike that captures the best of Lake Louise’s subalpine scenery.

Description

This loop begins from the main trailhead area near the chateau. If you go first to Lake Agnes, you’ll confront a steep hill on a well-kept, wide path through the forest. You’ll pass a small lake, Mirror Lake, before continuing up to Lake Agnes and the teahouse, both dramatically framed beneath sheer rock walls. Stop here for your first refreshment. Next, a flat walk around the lake leads to very steep switchbacks on a rougher trail, soon reaching a saddle where you can choose to make a side trip to the panoramic summit of Big Beehive.

From there, a quick descent through thick forest leads to Highline Trail, which then makes a gradual descent to the Plain of Six Glaciers. Along the way, you’ll enjoy constant views over berry bushes that cover the slopes, toward snowy summits of surrounding peaks and glaciers clinging to their sides.

The Plain of Six Glaciers lies just ahead, as does another stop for tea. This teahouse is set back in the forest, but near a meadow overlooking the plain. The rock-strewn expanse collects meltwater and debris that cascades from the cirque of glaciers visible above. You can continue along the trail, past the teahouse, for more elevated views over the plain, looking back at Lake Louise. To return, take the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail, which loops back to the chateau at lower elevation, joining the ever-popular Lakeshore Trail along the way.

Sources: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/activ/randonee-hiking/lakelouise#plainofsix https://www.awalkandalark.com/highline-trail-to-big-beehive-and-lake-agnes/

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area