The Banff Chronicles: Hiking around Lake Louise

October 26, 2008


The night before we went to Lake Louise, I did a little web research to find out what we wanted to hike. Sara had let me plan the day activities. I found a helpful trail map with descriptions of the trails, so I was trying to decide what trails to do. This is where we encountered the first of our problems. I knew that Sara would want to take in the beauty of the surroundings. I wanted to do that to, but I also felt the need to conquer something. Isn’t this the quintessential difference between man and woman?

Well, I found the perfect hike. There was a teahouse about half way up a mountain… er…. hill. It was a good little hike, but probably not too terribly difficult for two out of shape flat-landers. The teahouse was perched right on the shores of a smaller lake, Lake Agnes. My true motivation was actually another destination. Big Beehive Dome. It was a short side trip from the teahouse. Perhaps there was a small chance that once we got to the teahouse, we’d feel like going for the gold. From Big Beehive Dome, hikers have a beautiful view of Lake Louise from 1500 feet up.

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So, when we got to Lake Louise, Sara asked, “so where are we going?” The idiot in me pointed directly at Big Beehive Dome and said, “right there is where we are going!” Although it was some distance away, it looked incredibly intimidating. Sara looked at me with one of those “you’re kidding, right?” looks. I explained that there is a beautiful teahouse situated on a beautiful little lake about half way up. If it seems too hard for us, we’ll turn around, no big deal.

So we started the hike and about ten minutes into it, I had a really bad feeling. We were out of shape. Sara wasn’t too happy with me at all. Not only was it harder than we were ready for, there was no view. Just trees. We stopped for a minute and Sara let me know how she felt. Yeah, my fault totally. I hadn’t really communicated my expectations of hiking and compared them with her expectations. She would have been totally happy with the lakeshore hike. I suggested that we could turn around at any point. She didn’t really consider that an option. Ha! Never surrender, never give up! So, we kept on going. At one point two ladies passes us, a girl and her mom (don’t let this sentence mislead you at all. On the way up, we did not pass anyone… but many people passed us). We asked if they knew how far along we were. They let us know that we were a little more than half way there. They really encouraged us to not give up and that the destination was totally worth it. We must have looked really bad.

So, we hiked a little further and made it to the top. Along the way we passed Crystal Lake (a little lake formed by the overflow of Lake Agnes) and hiked up several stairs beside Crystal Falls. It was beautiful. We made it to the Teahouse, a quaint little log cabin situated on the edge of Lake Agnes. We sat on a bench and ate our lunch. Many people hiked up here and had soup or a sandwich at the teahouse. We took our time, enjoyed the view and basked in our glorious accomplishment. Next we had to decide whether we would continue on to Big Beehive Dome or go back to the bottom.


The first half of hike. The view of lake Louise from the half way point.


Looking up at Big Beehive Dome. Lake Agnes from the teahouse.


The Lake Agnes Teahouse. Us basking in our accomplishment.

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