Little Beehive Hike

Difficulty
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Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3-4.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
9.0 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
535 m
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Directions to Trailhead
Little Beehive

Although the Little Beehive hike has its own destination, it begins at the world-famous Lake Louise. You’ll start the trail at the shores of the lake before winding through the forest towards Lake Agnes. After a few kilometres with elevation gain, Mirror Lake will appear before you with the Big Beehive looming above, creating the namesake mirror reflection on the lake. You have the option to stop at Lake Agnes and its historic teahouse before embarking on the final 0.8 km to the Little Beehive lookout.

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Route Description for Little Beehive Hike

Getting to the Little Beehive can be difficult during the height of tourist season. Summers in Lake Louise are very busy and see a lot of vehicle and foot traffic. This makes getting to trailheads a little more difficult than some remote areas. Don’t let the high volumes of people deter you from these world-renowned trails; there are ways around it. Starting very early in the morning or late in the afternoon into the evening is the best way to enjoy this trail without a parade of tourists. There is one trail from the Lake Louise Lakeshore to Mirror Lake, Lake Agnes, Big Beehive, and your destination, Little Beehive, so be aware that many people are likely to be travelling the same section of trail as you. If you can’t find any parking or you are turned around, there are shuttles from the Lake Louise village directly to the lakeshore.

The Little Beehive hike is perfect for families and those looking to see multiple landmarks and viewpoints in one short trail. Starting at the shores of Lake Louise is a highlight in itself. You’ll have the opportunity to see three hikes on this moderate trail, finishing with high-up views of Louise’s turquoise waters that will take your breath away.

Lake Louise is a destination on its own for many. However, viewing it from the Little Beehive lookout gives a whole new perspective. Take your photos and enjoy a moment with Lake Louise and the Victoria Glacier before following the paved lakeshore trail to the right. Continue along past the grand Chateau Lake Louise hotel. There is plenty of signage on this route, so don’t worry about taking the wrong trail.

From the lakeshore, you’ll be directed to the right by a sign leading to Lake Agnes, Big Beehive, and your destination, the Little Beehive. All of these routes share the same trail before veering off in different directions at Lake Agnes. Begin your ascent after the fork and climb through the forest, catching glimpses of Lake Louise below. The colour of the turquoise waters boldens as you gain elevation, so make sure you stop to enjoy the views.

Some switchbacks will bring you to the impressive Mirror Lake, which is the perfect spot for a quick rest. The Big Beehive stands tall above tiny Mirror Lake, leaving an impressive reflection in the water. You’ll be able to see the namesake beehive-like texture of the Beehive in the water of Mirror Lake. Continue on for a short distance where you will be able to take the Little Beehive trail or continue to Lake Agnes. If you choose to visit Lake Agnes, you will connect with the Little Beehive trail from there.

0.8 km from the junction, you’ll find yourself atop the Little Beehive taking in views of Lake Louise. The waters become an otherworldly colour from this height, creating an incredible contrast to the trees and mountains around. Make sure to spend some time here taking in the views and enjoying the solitude from the main Lake Agnes trail.

If you haven’t yet detoured to Lake Agnes, you may do so on your return. Head back the way you came until you quickly see a sign with a shortcut to Lake Agnes. You will emerge at the lake near the teahouse. Take in the views of the Big Beehive, Mount Whyte, Mount Niblock, and Mount St. Piran from the historic teahouse that has been standing since 1901. It can be quite the wait at the teahouse, but well worth the experience.

After taking in everything this hike has to offer, you will descend the same way you came. Following the same trail on the way down may seem like a bore. However you will gain a new perspective on the colours of the lake as you descend. Watch out for horses, as they also frequent this trail on their way to the teahouse!

Hiking Trail Highlights

Lake Louise

The main highlight of this trail is the trailhead itself. You’ll take in the grand landscape of Lake Louise and towering Victoria Glacier before you begin your hike. The lake will come into view multiple times throughout the trail and is, in fact, the highlight of the destination as well. When you reach the Little Beehive, you’ll be staring down into the mesmerizing turquoise colours of Lake Louise.

Lake Louise gets its famous colour from glacial silt that has run off from the Victoria Glacier, which was named after Queen Victoria. Lake Louise was named after Princess Louise, as the Victoria Glacier feeds Lake Louise as a mother and daughter relationship.

Want to find more amazing Lake Louise hikes? Check out the Plain of the 6 Glaciers, Sentinel Pass, Morraine Lake or the Skoki Lakes hike.

Insider Hints for Little Beehive Hike

  • Plan to arrive early morning or early evening to avoid crowds
  • Park in Lake Louise overflow parking or village to catch a shuttle
  • Check local maps for nearby connecting trails if you would like a longer hike
  • Enjoy a tea and snack on the deck of historic Lake Agnes Teahouse

Getting to the Little Beehive Hike Trailhead

To get to the Little Beehive hike, you will start in Lake Louise village. From the Trans-Canada Highway, exit into Lake Louise towards the village. Continue straight through two sets of four-way stops before driving up the hill to the Chateau Fairmont Lake Louise. You’ll turn left into the public parking area and follow signs to the lake. From the lakeshore, follow the paved path to the right, towards the hotel. You’ll notice signage that will take you to the right towards Lake Agnes and Little Beehive.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June-September

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Little Beehive Hike Elevation Graph

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