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The Lake Agnes Teahouse – Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

The Lake Agnes Teahouse – Little Beehive hike delivers some of the best scenery in the Alberta Rockies – though the hike up to the teahouse is often ridiculously busy. 

The locals often avoid the area like the plague because of the crowds – but if you’ve come from afar you need to see Lake Louise. Plan to be at the parking lot by 9:30 AM at the latest if you don’t want to park way down on the road – or worse – have to take the free shuttle from the Trans-Canada Highway. With larch season fast approaching, I’d bump the time up to 8:30 AM to be on the safe side.

From the western end of the parking lot walk around in front of Chateau Lake Louise to the northeast shore of Lake Louise. You’ll see a signed path here disappearing into the woods. It climbs steadily via switchbacks. At the 2.6 km mark you reach Mirror Lake – which at this time of the year looks more like a puddle. Stay right on the main trail towards Lake Agnes. In another 10 minutes the first of many fine views appears. At this point too, you’ll start to see larches. At the 3.0 km mark, take the signed trail on the right to the Little Beehive. It’s a moderate climb and within 20 minutes you should be on the summit. There is the opportunity to lengthen the hike by several hours if you climb Mt. Saint Piran. To find the trail for Mt. Saint Piran look for a sign with the name scratched and barely visible about 15 minutes up from the junction to Little Beehive. Hike up on a mossy floor even for a few hundred metres as its thick with larches and very beautiful.

Plan to spend some time at the Little Beehive. It’s a gorgeous area with a fraction of the crowds you’ll find at Lake Agnes.

To get to the teahouse retrace your steps to the first intersection but keep right or you’ll be descending all the way down to the main trail. Signs will lead the way. It’s only 600 metres between Little Beehive and the Lake Agnes Teahouse. You should know that you must sit down if you want anything to eat or drink at the teahouse.

Instead of joining the throngs on the descent from the teahouse, take the trail that goes along the lake directly in front of the teahouse that is signed for Lake Louise and the Highline Trail. It descends steeply to Mirror Lake where you then pick up the trail you ascended earlier in the day. You’ll be back at Lake Louise in just 2.6 kms.

All told you can do the hike in 2 – 3 hours – but it’s worth packing a lunch and lingering. Or bring your knitting like the person in the hammock did (pictured in one of the photos below) and get lost in the view.

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

The hike starts at Lake Louise

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

The trail starts with a long series of switchbacks

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

You can see Lake Agnes from the Little Beehive Trail

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

Playing around on the rocks looking for the best view en route to the Little Beehive

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

Enjoying the Lake Louise view; that’s Fairview Mountain across the lake

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

A hammock tucked in the trees with a view of Lake Louise

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

The top of the Little Beehive

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

There’s been some feeding in the past judging by the tameness of this Golden-mantled ground squirrel

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

Lake Agnes without a soul in the photo – but if you turn around its very busy

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

A less busy route down from the Agnes Lake Teahouse delivers this view

If you like solitude this loop hike is probably not for you – unless you’re prepared to get a very early start. I’m a fan of the hike – because it’s beautiful and accessible. And afterwards if you’ve got an hour and $85 to spend, you could rent a canoe and paddle to the end of Lake Louise for a great, albeit touristy way to finish off the day.

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

Canoeing on Lake Louise is a fun way to wrap up a day

Other posts you might enjoy relating to the Lake Louise area:

Do you have a favourite Lake Louise area hike?

The Lake Agnes Teahouse - Little Beehive Hike near Lake Louise

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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Author Leigh

Avid world traveler. Craves adventure - & the odd wildly epic day. Gardener. Reader. Wine lover. Next big project - a book on 100 Canadian outdoor adventures.

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Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Jennifer Berkey says:

    Lake Agnes is surreal! Just like your in a dream but definitely will add this on my bucket list!

  • Brooke Thio says:

    I’m finally starting to plan my trip for this summer and your blog has been incredibly helpful! Of course when I booked my flights last year I had no idea it was Canada 150, so I’m a little apprehensive about the crowds, but I’m looking forward to some rewarding hikes. Thanks for all the great guides!

  • Kathrin Diaz says:

    Now I’m planning to travel this coming summer and your post has been of great help for me to see possible views I wanna go. and this lake is one of a kind!

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