Snowshoeing to Lake Agnes Teahouse Above Lake Louise
Recently I spent a few very enjoyable hours snowshoeing by myself to the Lake Agnes Teahouse above Lake Louise.
I’d hiked the same trail in July. The experience was 100% different – though both were great.
In the summer the Lake Agnes Teahouse hike is known for its crowds. On the day I snowshoed to Lake Agnes I met one person at the very beginning of the trail (at 10:30 am) and I didn’t see another soul until I was on my way down.
I’m the only one on the trail
There hadn’t been any recent snow so the trail was hard packed and you actually didn’t even need snowshoes.
Frozen Mirror Lake with the Beehive in the back
Mirror Lake in July
It’s an easy three and a half to four kilometer snowshoe or hike one way starting right from Lake Louise. The elevation gain is 396 meters (1300 feet).
Spectacular mountain views along the trail
Views of the Lake Louise downhill ski resort from the Agnes Lake trail
Views of the Lake Louise ski resort in summer
The crux of the winter snowshoe or hike is the last climb up a steep set of stairs to Lake Agnes. They’re packed with snow, and very slippery. I made sure to have three points of contact (2 hands and a foot) at all times going up and coming down. This was no place to fall with no one around to help.
When I reached Lake Agnes – after just about an hour of steady snowshoeing – the silence was deafening. It was so peaceful, calm and still. Although it doesn’t pack the visual punch that it does in summer I think it’s still very beautiful.
I have Lake Agnes all to myself
The Lake Agnes Teahouse is still in the shade at noon on a late January weekend
Lake Agnes has got quite a different feel in summer.
Lake Agnes in the summer
Lake Agnes Teahouse on a July summer weekend
I didn’t spend much time up at the lake; I wanted a break but in the sun, not the shade and the Lake Agnes Teahouse is only open on a seasonal basis. I carefully made my way back down the steep stairs to the trail and about ten minutes later ran into people on the way up. I guess in winter people are just slow to get going. I passed about 20 people going up – on my way down. I think I was just lucky to have the trail and the lake to myself.
I finally meet a few people on my way down
If it hasn’t snowed in a while don’t worry about renting snowshoes at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. But if there is fresh snow I’d definitely recommend them.
Would you prefer snowshoeing or hiking to the Lake Agnes Teahouse?
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