Top 7 Best Hikes in Lake Louise

Hikes in Lake Louise

Lake Louise hiking trails have some of the most breathtaking landscapes you'll ever see. Summer is the prime time to explore these paths, and each trek presents unique reasons to lace up your hiking boots.

Beyond the well-trodden routes, Lake Louise hides secrets waiting to be uncovered by those willing to look a little closer.

In this article, we will discuss the best hiking trails and unexpected journeys that Lake Louise has tucked away.

Top 7 Best Lake Louise Hikes

1. Pika Trail

Length: 2.5 km roundtrip (1.55 mi)
Terrain: Gravel road and forest paths
Elevation Gain: Approximately 290 m (951 ft)
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Duration: About one and a half hours
Best Time To Go: From June to October (Temporary closures during summer 2024)

The trail is a favourite among hikers looking to experience the wild side of Lake Louise, offering the chance to enjoy peace and quiet, even on busier days.

It's not too long, just 2.5 km, but don’t let that fool you – it packs a punch with its moderate challenge, starting from the top of the gondola.

The hike starts on a steep gravel road that'll get your legs working immediately. Along the way, you'll walk through fields full of wildflowers, see cool little pika animals running around, and pass by two pretty ponds.

2. Kicking Horse Pass Trail

Length: 1.7 km roundtrip (1.05 mi)
Terrain: Steep and wide gravel road
Elevation Gain:
235 m (771 ft)
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Duration: About an hour
Best Time To Go: June to October

The Kicking Horse Pass Viewpoint Trail in the scenic Banff National Park offers a distinctive experience for those seeking breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies.

The trail begins just after you get off the sightseeing lift at a spot marked as the Hiking Trailhead, which you enter through a gate.

The initial segment of the trail is a steep, gravel path that demands some effort—perfect for those looking for a good lower body workout. As the path ascends, it transitions to a grassier, more level terrain, providing some respite as you near the viewpoint.

During the hike, the flora and fauna of the region are on full display. From wildflowers dotting the landscape to wildlife sightings such as mule deer and ground squirrels, nature enthusiasts will find plenty to appreciate.

3. Lake Agnes Trail

Lake Agnes Trail

Length: 7 km roundtrip (4.5 mi)
Terrain: Well-marked and wide paths
Elevation Gain: 400 m (1300 ft)
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Duration: About 3 hours
Best Time To Go: June through October

The Lake Agnes Trail is a must-do near Lake Louise, Alberta. It's 7 km there and back, with a climb that'll make you feel it, but it's totally worth it. You'll need around 2.5 to 3 hours to enjoy the whole thing.

Lake Agnes Trail is a pathway to one of the area’s popular spots, the Lake Agnes Tea House. It is a perfect spot to rest and enjoy refreshments after the invigorating climb.

Be aware that the Lake Louise trailhead often experiences congested roads and extremely limited parking. To avoid these hassles, take a shuttle from the park and ride at the Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola.

4. The Big Beehive Trail

Length: 10.4 km roundtrip (6.46 mi)
Terrain: Forest paths with steep switchbacks and rocky segments
Elevation Gain:  564 m (1850 ft)
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Duration: About four to five hours
Best Time To Go: Mid-June to mid-October

Starting your hike by the big parking lot at Lake Louise, you'll find the trailhead ready to kick off your adventure. The path leading up to the Beehive includes a series of switchbacks.

The hike to Big Beehive begins by following the Lake Agnes Trail, winding through the forest, and leading up to the lakeside tea house.

The trail is steep but doable for most hikers with a bit of determination. As you push toward the final stretch to Big Beehive, the trail becomes more challenging, but the panoramic view of Lake Louise at the top is a spectacular payoff.

5. Lake Louise Lakeshore Trail

Length: 4 km roundtrip (2.48 mi)
Terrain: Lakeshore path with partially paved and dirt sections
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Difficulty Level: Easy
Duration: About an hour
Best Time To Go: Open year-round, great any time

The Lake Louise Lakeshore Trail is your go-to for an easy, breezy walk with some of the most stunning views you can find near Lake Louise, Alberta.

The good news is that this trail welcomes visitors all year and is a fantastic spot regardless of the season. And yes, your dog can tag along on a leash!

If you’re here in the summer, you might see canoes gliding on the lake. However, be prepared for congested roads and extremely limited parking at the Lake Louise trailhead. To avoid these issues, it's advisable to take shuttles from the park and ride at the Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola.

The trail leads to the back of the lake, where meltwater flows down the mountainsides, filling this glacially carved basin. At the upper end of the lake, there is a silt beach you can walk on.

6. Plain of Six Glaciers Trail

Length: 14.5 km roundtrip (9 mi)
Terrain: Starts easy by the lake, then gets wild with glacier views
Elevation Gain: 588 m (1929 ft)
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Duration: Around four and a half hours
Best Time To Go: Mid-June to Mid-October (Not recommended in the winter due to avalanche risk)

It's a popular spot, so you'll meet lots of other people who love hiking, bird watching, and even horseback riding.

As you climb higher, you'll see amazing things like Mount Victoria and Victoria Glacier. There are benches where you can chill for a bit and just look around.

One of the best parts of this hike is the teahouse at the end. It's an old log cabin nestled in the woods below the Plain of Six Glaciers. The teahouse has been run by the same family since 1959.

If you're lucky, you might spot a glacier calving or some Rocky Mountain goats chilling on the cliffs.

Just a heads-up: Lake Louise can get pretty busy, and parking's a bit of a squeeze. Catch a shuttle from the park and ride at the Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola. It’s way easier and lets you skip the parking hassle.

7. Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley Trail

Length: 9.33 km roundtrip (5.8 mi)
Terrain: Lakeshore path, forest trails, and open mountain passes
Elevation Gain: 544 m (1786 ft)
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Duration: About 2 to 4 hours
Best Time To Go: Mid-June to mid-October

The Sentinel Pass via Larch Valley Trail near Moraine Lake is a stunning but challenging hike, especially gorgeous during the Larch season in September and October.

It’s when the Larch trees, which are actually deciduous conifers, light up in brilliant gold hues. It's a real treat and a big draw for hikers looking to see the mountains in a whole new way.

The hike starts off easy along a flat lakeshore path, but don’t let that fool you. It quickly turns right and starts a tough climb.

Getting to the trailhead at Moraine Lake takes a bit of planning since you can't drive up there directly. You'll need to book a shuttle from Lake Louise Ski Resort & Summer Gondola. If you're feeling adventurous, you can cycle or walk to get there (keep in mind it’s about a 14 km journey).

If you want to make your hike even more special, consider booking a guided tour. They’re a great way to learn as you go and ensure you don’t miss a thing. Check out the options right here: Private Moraine Lake Hikes and Walks.

Guided Hikes in Lake Louise

Guided hikes in Lake Louise

Ever wonder what a guided hike is? It's like having a super-knowledgeable friend who knows all the best trails, stories, and secret spots in Lake Louise. They lead the way, so you can just focus on the fun and the beautiful views.

Here's what makes them awesome:

  • Explore Like a Pro: While not all beautiful spots are marked on maps, having a local guide means you'll get expert insights about the well-known sights around Lake Louise. Your guide knows the area inside and out, teaching you about the wildlife, the plants, and the mountainous terrain.
  • Learn Cool Stuff: Ever wondered why the trees bend the way they do or what kind of critters are watching you from the bushes? Your guide has all the answers! They can tell you about the wildlife, the plants, and the mountains around you. Plus, they'll show you how to stay safe and keep the animals safe too, so everyone's happy.
  • It's All About You: Many guided hikes can be just you and your guide (that's what we call a private tour). This means the trip can be tailored just for what you like.

Learn more about Lake Louise guided hikes here.

Tips for Hiking in Lake Louise

Tips for hiking in Lake Louise

Before you lace up your boots and hit the trails at Lake Louise, you should know a few things to make your hike safe, enjoyable, and memorable. Here’s a rundown of some top tips to keep in mind:

Plan Your Transportation

Remember, you can't just drive up and park next to the lakes during the summer—it gets super busy! So, save yourself a headache and book a shuttle ride in advance.

The Lake Louise Gondola runs a handy shuttle service to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake. Click here for more on how to book your spot and make getting there and back a breeze.

Bear Safety

It's bear country out there, which is kind of cool, but also something to take seriously. Hiking with a guide can really up your bear-smart game.

They know what to do if you bump into a furry local. Don't forget to swing by the Lake Louise Summer Gondola retail store to pick up some bear spray before you hit the trail.

To enhance your bear-smart skills, consider joining our Bear Awareness Program. It’ll teach you the ins and outs of what to do if you run into a bear.

Check the Weather

The weather in the mountains can change in the blink of an eye. Always check the forecast before heading out, and be prepared with layers you can add or remove as needed.

Even in summer, mornings can be cool and get quite windy at higher elevations.

Enjoy the Quiet Times

Lake Louise can get quite busy, especially at midday. Try to hit the trails early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the biggest crowds. Not only will you enjoy a more peaceful hike, but the lighting for photos is also usually better at these times.

Essential Gear for Your Lake Louise Hiking Trails

Heading out on the hiking trails around Lake Louise? Make sure you've got the right gear to enjoy every step safely and comfortably. Here’s what you should pack:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Breathable, waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight, quick-drying clothing
  • A backpack
  • Plenty of water and snacks
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Map and compass or GPS
  • First-aid kit
  • Bear spray
  • Camera or smartphone for photos
  • Extra layers for changing weather
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
  • Insect repellent


Lake Louise has some of the most amazing hikes you can find.

It's a good idea to get your tickets and passes sorted out before you go. This way, you can make sure everything is set for your adventure, and you won’t have to worry about it when you get there.

Click here to get your tickets now and get excited about your trip! See you at Lake Louise!



How hard are the Lake Louise hikes?

The hikes at Lake Louise range from easy strolls to more challenging climbs. You can choose a trail that matches your comfort level and hiking experience.

What is the most famous hike in Lake Louise?

The most famous hike in Lake Louise is the Plain of Six Glaciers. This trail offers incredible views and brings you to some stunning glacier scenery.

When is the best time to hike in Lake Louise?

The best time to hike in Lake Louise is from June to September. During these months, the weather is usually warm, and the trails are clear of snow. The longer daylight hours give you more time to enjoy your hike!

Where are the least busy hikes?

For those looking to escape the crowds, consider taking the Lake Louise Gondola to access less frequented trails (Kicking Horse Viewpoint Trail, Pika Trail, etc.) that offer equally stunning views and a more tranquil hiking experience.