Updated: Jun 7, 2019
If you are a Pinterest loving gal like me, you have probably saved a ton of pins involving Banff and Jasper. Canada boasts some of the most dramatic views in the world! I have been dreaming of visiting here for a few years and finally got to make it a reality with my brother who is currently on a road trip, living out of his Honda CR-V and taking photos. If you haven't, check him out on Instagram: @jaredqgunderson
One of the amazing photos I saw all over Pinterest was this one:
I knew I had to take the hike to the top to visit it! Here are my tips and tricks for visiting the Lake Agnes Tea House
History of Lake Agnes Tea House:
The tea house was originally built in 1901 by the Canadian Pacific Railway as a shelter for hikers. It started serving tea in 1905. Lake Agnes was named for the original First Lady of Canada. There is no running water and electricity. Supplies have to be transported up either by horses or helicopter and carry garbage down when they go.
All About the Hike:
Make sure you rent a car. If Banff is your hub, most places are within 1-1.5 hours.
Bring water with you. Hiking shoes aren't totally necessary if you go during the summer as you will walk a pretty paved path to the top.
This hike is fairly popular. If you are visiting in the summer, get there early. The parking lot to start the hike is at Lake Louise but if the parking lot fills up, there is an overflow parking lot about 3 miles from Lake Louise with a shuttle.
Take a few minutes to take photos of the infamous Lake Louise right at the Fairmont Lake Louise! I have see photos of either the middle of the summer with the striking blues of the lake as well as the dead of winter, however, I got to see it in it's state of defrost!
Your hike will begin to the right of the lake. The hike up is about 2.5 miles and you climb about 7,005 feet in elevation.
There is a point about half way up where a switchback reveals an amazing view of Lake Louise!
Take a breath at Mirror lake which is only about 1/2 mile from the tea house.
Check out that waterfall right at the base of the tea house stairs.
Head up the stairs and you have made it! When the tea house is fully operational, you can get...tea and any snacks that don't require refrigeration. We lucked out and were there the first day they got up there to clean for a June 5 opening. They were serving tomato soup which was delicious as well as various hot drinks.
I haven't hiked in a long time, but I felt inspired by all my brother's travels. The first mile I felt very out of shape, but it was my lungs adjusting! The rest of the hike I felt great! It was a great way to see something that I have wanted to see for a long time! Blisters suck. Do yourself a favor and don't wear brand new shoes on a hike, OR prepare yourself with some mole skin on your heels before. Wear layers. The weather changed multiple times! I wore a t-shirt, flannel and light jacket and found myself putting on and taking off the top light jacket. Also, if you slip and fall on ice like I do, you can take off that top layer and still be ok!