Lake Louise is one of Canada’s top destinations for people from all around the world. Literally, people swarm the boardwalk around this lake throughout the entire year, and people covet a chance to stay on its glistening shores. There is a stereotype that people get out of their cars, walk along the path, take a photo and say goodbye; and in a lot of ways this is completely true. Some people make it a stop, when it could be an adventure! Others choose to explore the area and go further into the beauty of the area. This is one of those adventures, and the views will blow your socks off! The Lake Agnes Tea House hike is one of two competing tea house hikes from Lake Louise and is by far the more popular.
Getting to Lake Louise and Starting the Lake Agnes Teahouse Hike!
In the summer, Lake Louise is crazy busy! You have to get there either really early in the morning, or take the shuttle bus from the park and ride area 5 kilometers away. In the winter, it is more manageable, but still requires some planning, as the parking lot is often full of snow.
If you are coming from Calgary, Lake Louise is around a 2-hour drive, 2.5 if you are coming from the airport. Meanwhile, from Banff it is 45 minutes west. This is all done on highway 1, and it is easy to follow the signs and the people to Lake Louise.
Once you actually get to the lake, you can take a second to breathe in the view, and take a few snaps. After that you want to follow the boardwalk right along the lake, past the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Right after the hotel’s grounds you will find the sign that points towards Lake Agnes and the Beehive! This is the route you want to take!
History of the Lake Agnes Tea House
The Lake Agnes Tea House was built in 1901 by the Canadian Pacific Railway and served as a stop for hikers. It started to serve tea in 1905 where it is, nestled on the shores of Lake Agnes. Now, you can get pastries, refreshments and tea of course. According to their website there are over 100 types of tea available!
It is good to note, the Tea House is only open seasonally, so check hours of operation to avoid disappointment!
The Hike to Lake Agnes Tea House
The entire hike follows the same grade and difficulty; this hike is only 3.5 kilometers long but you gain over 400 meters of elevation gain so it is rated moderate. This hike is also constantly packed with people as they go through the switchbacks on the mountain. You can follow the well worn path easily, and there are numerous places to sit and take in the views!
Since the entire hike is fairly short, most people can complete it in 1-2 hours! You will know you are almost there when you pass a waterfall that you can almost touch, and one last set of wooden stairs. After the last few stairs you will arrive in a valley, and voila! Lake Agnes Tea House.
The Lake Agnes Tea House
Lake Agnes Tea House sits right on the shore of Lake Agnes. There are peaks surrounding it, and you can clearly see fish swimming through the glacial waters. The teahouse overlooks the valley below, and is the perfect place to take in the views while enjoying a nice cup of tea!
So go on! Enjoy a little adventure around Lake Louise!