Distance: 15.5 km
Elevation gain: 750 m
On the second day of our first trip to Banff National Park we decided to pay the Lake Louise area a visit. Wanting to make the most of our visit we decided to combine several of the popular hikes in the area into one longer one, visiting Lake Agnes, the Big Beehive, and Plain of Six Glaciers.
Thankfully this day turned out to be far more scenically rewarding than what we'd endured the day before on the Cascade Amphitheatre
hike. Lake Agnes was spectacular, and while we didn't order anything at the teahouse its presence was a pretty neat novelty.
We also experienced our first bit of non-ideal trail conditions heading up to the Big Beehive. We both had significant hiking experience out east, but we'd never been on anything steep before. The shaded and incredibly icy trail heading up from the lake was a shock and some pretty interesting footwork was needed to get safely up to the top! (So if you're reading my more recent reports and thinking I'm a bit timid on scrambly terrain, remember that I found LAKE AGNES too scrambly when I arrived!).
The view from the Big Beehive rivaled those from our earlier trips in Jasper and restored our confidence that there were indeed hikes with views in Banff too. The Plain of Six Glaciers trail also did not disappoint, but we didn't actually make it to the end, finding the area around the teahouse a bit confusing to navigate. On a cloudy day 8 years later
we made it the whole way, however, and it was kind of neat to re-experience this trip after so many intervening adventures.
We've since done many other hikes around Lake Louise, and while some of them are definitely more spectacular, this circuit - or any individual part of it - is definitely a great introduction to the Lake Louise area.