For one of the most authentic experiences available to travellers in Banff National Park, hike to your choice of two alpine tea houses at Lake Louise!
These historic cabins, nestled quaintly along some of the most breathtaking trails in the country, provide welcome rest and much-deserved refreshments to visitors. While the hike to just one of these provides a rewarding experience for hikers of many abilities, adventurous hikers can take on the “Tea House Challenge” and trek to both Lake Agnes and Plain of Six Glaciers in one day (see below).
Lake Agnes Tea House
Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901, the Lake Agnes Tea House is the closer of the two tea houses, and is situated idyllically on the shores of Lake Agnes. A great option for adventurers of all kinds, the hike to this cabin will take you along a forested trail, past Mirror Lake and the waterfall that cascades out of Lake Agnes. This now family-run tea house offers over 100 loose-leaf teas, as well as homemade soup, sandwiches, cookies, apple crumble and more.
From Lake Agnes you can hike to the top of the Little Beehive or Big Beehive. More Lake Agnes Teahouse Hike information.
Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House
As the name suggests, the hike to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House offers incredible views of the glaciers and mountains that surround Lake Louise. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway between 1924 and 1927, this tea house was originally constructed to house mountaineers en route to the popular objectives of Mts. Victoria and Lefroy. Hikers today can enjoy a wonderful menu of fresh lemonade, tea, pie, scones and more.
From the tea house enjoy a quick side-trip to the Abbot Pass Viewpoint (1.5 km one-way, 50 m elevation gain) and see if you can spot the Abbot Pass Hut, a stone shelter still being used by mountaineers and adventurous hikers. More Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse Hike information.
Tea House Challenge
For hikers eager to tackle the “Tea House Challenge” and visit both tea houses in one day, connect the Lake Agnes and Plain of Six Glaciers trails (via the Highline trail) to form a 14.6 km, 5-hour round trip loop.
Horseback Riding to the Tea Houses
Visitors wanting a less strenuous approach to the tea houses can enjoy the help of a four-legged friend and make the trek on horseback. Horses are available for hire at Brewster or Timberline Stables in Lake Louise.