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    Lady MacDonald Tea House

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    9.2 km
    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.
    905 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Overall Rating
    This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
    Physical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Technical Difficulty
    This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Read Reviews
    Directions to Trailhead
    Panorama of the Lady MacDonald Tea House hike in Canmore, the Canadian Rockies

    Hiking to the Lady MacDonald Tea House is a great hike in Canmore, but beware, you won’t get a Tea House, as it was never built. The Lady MacDonald Teahouse Trail gives great views of Canmore and has wonderful views almost the entire way.

    View Lady MacDonald Tea House on Map

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    Route Description for Lady MacDonald Tea House

    This parking lot can get pretty busy, so try and start this hike early.

    From the parking lot, head up, walking with Cougar Creek on your right. This area was devastated by the 2013 Alberta Floods, and you’ll notice a lot of work has been done trying to ensure future floods won’t cause the same level of destruction.

    After ten minutes or so of walking along Cougar Creek (and just as the creek trends right), take a path off to the left. You’ll be hiking on a dirt trail that starts to rise.

    The hike up Mount Lady MacDonald is short and steep, so you will find yourself zig-zagging up the mountain. Great views will peek out regularly, so be prepared to stop and enjoy these wonderful views.

    As you rise, you will notice smaller paths go off at times. We don’t follow these smaller paths, preferring to stay on main trail.

    Eventually you enter a rocky area, where the trail gets much harder to follow. The best bet here is to keep on the look-out for orange tape put on tree branches and follow these.

    Soon you will reach a split in the path. You can go either way here, but we usually go right on the way up and left on the way down. There is no real reason to do this, so the choice is yours!

    After roughly 2.5h you’ll come to a weather station and a place where a concrete tea house once stood. The site was leased in 1986 for a helicopter-supported teahouse, however by 2002 the teahouse had been abandoned. Up until 2013 there was still an abandoned wooden helipad, incomplete wooden structure for the teahouse with a wooden platform and railings and a gazebo. All this was demolished for public safety

    This is the perfect place for a break, with a large wooden platform to enjoy the stunning views. From here you can look west into Banff National Park, down towards Canmore and across the valley towards Rundle, Ha Ling and Grassi. The mountains are truly all around!

    From this break point you can see a path going up higher. The route to the first bump is steep but doable, but right after that the route gets very steep. Our GPS doesn’t show the route past the tea-house.

    From the break point, descend the way you came. After 15 minutes the path will split. You can take the path to the left (you came up on this one) or go right and continue along the ridge, which is much steeper. If you take the ridge, then make sure to follow the blue and white arrow pointing to the left back to the main trail.

    Once back at your car, wander over the Iron Goat Pub & Grill for a pint and one of the best patio’s in Canmore!

    Looking for more amazing hikes near Canmore? Check out the Grassi Lakes hike, Grotto Canyon hike or the Ha Ling Peak hike.

    Insider Hints for Lady MacDonald Tea House

    • The parking lot gets very busy on weekends and holidays, especially if it is nice out. Get there early to get a parking spot.
    • The Iron Goat Pub & Grill is a great pub and is home to one of our favourite views in Canmore. Consider a late-afternoon hike and finish with dinner and drinks at the Iron Goat.
    • This is a great shoulder-season hike, as the snow and ice melt very early. Consider trying this in Spring and Autumn, once the snow has melted.

    Getting to the Lady MacDonald Tea House Trailhead

    From Main Street in Canmore, cross the Trans-Canada Hwy and follow Benchlands Trail as it snakes uphill. Just before the Iron Goat Pub, take the left onto Elk Run Blvd and park in the Cougar Creek / Mount Lady MacDonald parking lot just before Cougar Creek.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      When dry

    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Toilets

      At trailhead

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Lady MacDonald Tea House Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Lady MacDonald Tea House Reviews

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