Perched by the lake and amongst the peaks and glaciers surrounding Lake Louise are two historic Tea Houses perfectly positioned for your well-earned rest.
It’s worth the huffing and puffing to hike up to the Lake Agnes Tea House or Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House. With breathtaking views and delicious food and refreshments, hiking to the Tea Houses is a memorably authentic experience in Banff & Lake Louise.
Lake Agnes Tea House
An iconic Banff & Lake Louise experience, accessible to hikers of many abilities.
The Lake Agnes Tea House was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901 as a refuge for hikers. Climb steadily on a forested trail, past Mirror Lake and the waterfall that cascades out of Lake Agnes, before arriving at the idyllic alpine waters of Lake Agnes and enjoying speciality teas and delicious homemade baking.
The family-run Tea House has no electricity or running water. Some supplies (such as flour and sugar for the baking) are flown in by helicopter at the start of the season, but all fresh food is packed up the trail by the staff.
Trail information and opening times
The hike to the Tea House starts on the shores of Lake Louise near the Fairmont Chateau Hotel and climbs uphill on a wide switch-backed path for 3.6 kilometres (2.2 miles). It is rated as a moderate trail and takes most people around 1 to 2 hours, more or less depending on fitness level. The elevation gain is 400 metres (1,312 feet).
From Lake Agnes you can hike to the top of the Little Beehive or Big Beehive. Read more here.
The Lake Agnes Tea House is open from early June to October (Canadian Thanksgiving).
Read more about the Lake Agnes Tea House and trail through our member listings below.
Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House
The less-travelled to of the Tea Houses, the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House Trail offers stunning views of the glaciers and mountains that surround Lake Louise.
The Tea House was built in 1924 by Swiss guides employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Constructed to house mountaineers en route to Mount Victoria and Mount Lefroy, today the Tea House offers refreshments and food to hikers. Like the Lake Agnes Tea House, it has no electricity or running water. Supplies are flown in by helicopter at the start of the season, and additional goods are packed in by horses or staff.
The hike to the Tea House is moderately challenging, and can be accomplished by people of average fitness.
The Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House hike is 5.3 kilometres (3.4 miles) one way, with a 370 metre (1,215 feet) elevation gain. It takes most people around 4 to 6 hours for the round trip. It’s well worth making a short side trip from the Tea House to the Abbot Pass viewpoint, to take a look down into crevasses on the Lower Victoria Glacier.
The Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House is open from mid to late June or early July through to mid October (depending on conditions).
Tea House Challenge
For keen hikers up for a challenge, take on the “Tea House Challenge” and visit both Tea Houses in one day. You can connect the two Tea Houses via the Highline trail to form a 14.6 kilometre loop. It will take a minimum of 5 hours of hiking to complete.