Distance: 13 km
Elevation gain: 920 mView mapDownload GPS track
If you love the scenery of Lake Louise but despise the commercialization and crowds, this hike might just be for you.
The trail follows the broad and gently switchbacked trail towards Lake Agnes. If you want to have any chance of avoiding huge crowds on this section of trail, start very early. After a few kilometers, turn right off this trail onto the trail for Little Beehive. In a few minutes, reach a junction at the bend of a switchback. Left (down) heads to Lake Agnes - do this on the return trip if you want - but for now head right (up). Near the end of this switchback, shortly after re-entering forest, watch for a sign and a small boulder on the left. An obvious trail heading off into the woods here is the trail to Mount St. Piran.
Despite being an unofficial trail, the trail up Mount St. Piran is in excellent shape and very well switchbacked. There is no scrambling involved and the footing is excellent. The summit is always in sight (it has been since you began the hike) and it is just a matter of time until you reach the top. Flowers dotted the slope this time of year (early July) and patches of larch suggest this might be a nice fall hike.
The summit is huge and people have constructed many windshelters should it be windy. Views are also obviously spectacular, although much of iconic Mt. Victoria is obscured. A guide we met at the top mentioned that Mount St. Piran is far less crowded than Mt. Fairview and as he and his two clients were the only ones we saw on the trail all day, he is probably right.