Banff Day Hike

This day was supposed to be an early morning hike to Larch Valley, Sentinel Pass and Mt. Temple but when we arrived at the bottom of the entrance to Moraine Lake, the lot was full and they wouldn't let us up. If you desperately want to get up there to at least take a look at the lake or get dropped off, there is a way. Send me a private message for the passcode. 🤫

Our Timetable

  • 07:00 AM · Parking lot

  • 07:30 AM · Start hike

  • 08:20 AM · Mirror Lake

  • 09:00 AM · Lake Agnes tea house

  • 10:00 AM · Start hike to beehive

  • 11:00 AM · Top of beehive

  • 11:30 AM · Thuy & guys hike to Devil's Thumb

  • 12:00 PM · I make my way to Plain of Six Glacier

  • 02:30 PM · Second tea house

  • 03:30 PM · Bottom of mountain

  • 04:00 PM · Chill at Lake Louise

  • 04:30 PM · Time to head out and eat!

Preparing For This Hike

  • You need a park pass or to pay admission at the gate

  • Hiking boots with ankle support is highly recommended

  • Small bag for trash if you are eating at the tea house

  • USD or CAD $$ for the tea houses

  • Lots of water

  • Water filter device

  • Snacks

  • Sunblock

  • Go early

We arrived at the Lake Louis parking lot around 7 AM. The parking lot still had a decent amount of spots available but there were already a bunch of people in front of Lake Louis.

Our Route: Lake Louis 🌄 Mirror Lake 🔮 Lake Agnes tea house 🍵 Little Beehive 🐝 Devil's Thumb 👍 Plain of Six Glacier tea house 🚰 Lake Louis 🏔️

As we walked along the right side of the lake, we came across a split where we had to decide to start the hike with a more leisurely path around the lake or a more strenuous path up. We decided to do the more strenuous trail first so we could loop back the easier route. Which means we went to the right, uphill, then ended our day coming from the left side.

First stop: Mirror Lake. Small, simple, nice for a quick water break. Jack Jack got in the water and the Wyld Pack guys had a quick photo shoot 😆

Continuing on was a bit more of a strenuous hike before getting to Lake Agnes and the tea house. Tip: Walk a big dog that will keep pulling you forward! 🐶

Right at the bottom of the steps to Lake Agnes and the tea house is a nice little waterfall. We carefully got to the front of the waterfall for a pretty nice lookout view above all the trees.

Up the stairs is the tea house with a very peaceful view of Lake Agnes and the top of the waterfall.

We ordered two different types of tea and some scones at the tea house. The tea smelled really good but the taste was weak. The scones came buttered with some jam on the side. Nice little break and snack before continuing our hike. There aren’t many tables available so if you find one, sit. Someone will come take your order. This is also why you want to start the hike early. The line was pretty short when we arrived but as we were hanging out, we noticed the line getting longer and longer.

This is  also where the small trash bag comes in handy. There are no trash bins so everything you bring you take with you. The  cups for the tea and the paper cups for the jam goes with you too. It helps the workers. Imagine having to hike down with big bags full of trash every day. 🙅‍♀️ #lakeagneshelpers

If it’s not too crowded, take a look inside the tea house. It made me think of a cabin in the woods. You can also see the ladies taking fresh bread out of the oven behind the cabin. Bathrooms also available here.

If you don’t care to eat at the tea house, walk pass the tea house along the right side of the lake. Stop somewhere in the middle for a much more private space. Take a look back at the tea house. The lake looking like an infinity pool with all the trees along the sides was one of my favorite views the whole trip. 😌

We played one of our DOTA games: loser had to stick their head in the lake for 10 seconds. Birddog lost 😆 he said it was very refreshing though. 😝  

After everyone was full and ready to go, we did the walk along the right side of the lake to the other end and started our hike up to the Little Beehive. There weren't any other big stops along the way to the beehive.

At the top of the hike there was an open area where we could continue straight or go left. We went left to get to the very top of the Little Beehive for the view we were looking for.

Stopped along the right for a view of the other mountains around and of Lake Louis down below. 

Continued on to the gazebo/shelter. It was nice but we went around it for an even better view. We had Lake Louis and Mirror Lake right below us. Less people walked past the gazebo so we also had some quiet time.

Thuy asked a lady to take a group picture for us while we were up there. This was when we discovered a lesser known, not publicized hike, Devil’s Thumb. Apparently, it is not in official guides because it’s more dangerous. Because of that, if you are dedicated and want more information, you'll have to message me privately. And BE CAREFUL! 🙏

It is very close to where we were and the view is supposed to be breathtaking. I didn’t go but Thuy and the Wyld Pack boys did. 🙈 Regrets!

While Thuy and the guys went up to Devil’s Thumb, I made my way to the Plain of Six Glaciers. Just follow the signs. It’s easy to locate and follow. 

The hike down wasn’t too bad. Lots of shade that I was thankful for because it was getting hot.

After passing the third trail split sign that I saw, it became less shaded and much more open. A hat was very useful here. Certain parts of the trail looked and felt almost like a flower field. You could also start seeing some of the glaciers and can get up close to a snow section. The snow was really dirty though.

We didn't get to spend much time at the Plain of Six Glaciers tea house because a storm was rolling in. I didn't get anything from the tea house but Jojo & Marie did and said it was good.

By this part of the hike, my water supply was low. Luckily, Jojo had a water filter pump that really came in handy. We refilled our water from the stream running down from the glacier.

If you know there is going to be a reliable water source along your hike, I would recommend investing in one of these pump. It reduces the amount of water you have to bring and you get a refill of refreshing cold water. Be sure to do your research to make sure it is safe to drink in the area and it will be along your hiking path.

Now! After we refilled our water supply, we hurried down the mountain. It only started to drizzle a little and didn't last long. 

The hike down was easy and once we got to the bottom, the walk along Lake Louis to the parking lot was just a stroll. There was a section that looked like a beach where people were getting in the water. Kind of nice for a post hike swim. We didn't get in though. We were pooped and just wanted to get back.

We sat on the rocks at the front of the lake, dipped our feet in the freezing cold water and enjoyed the view for a bit before heading out. 

Got back to the parking lot around 4:30 PM making this a whole day hike with lots of stops, amazing views, some tea, no bears and tired feet.

If you've done this hike, let me know what your favorite part was. 😁 If you are planning to do this hike and have any questions about anything along the way, leave a comment or send me a message. I'd be happy to answer and chat!

Photos from Thuy, Wyld Pack & me - recap video coming one day!