Panorama of the Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Trail of the Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

hikes Around Lake Louise

Region in Banff National Park, Alberta
Around Lake Louise Trail Map

Lake Louise Hikes

The beautiful blue waters of Lake Louise are a highlight of any trip to Banff National Park. Although this stunning region is perhaps best known as a ski resort, it’s also a wonderful place for summer hiking trips, with forested trails, glittering alpine lakes, and the imposing peaks of the Rocky Mountains. If you’re looking for your next outdoor adventure, put hiking in Lake Louise on your travel bucket list!

The region around Lake Louise is teeming with hidden treasures for you to discover on your hike. Whether you’re looking for high-altitude glaciers, craggy ridge walks, alpine meadows or peaceful lakes, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful part of Banff National Park. One of the most distinctive features of a hiking trip in the Lake Louise region is the abundance of tearooms, quaint and pretty establishments perched in picturesque spots on the trail, where you can stop for a drink and a snack, and enjoy the view.

Most Lake Louise hikes pass through lush forests or past serene lakes, home to many different species of mammals and birds. Look out for bighorn sheep or elk close to the trail, in addition to black and grizzly bears in some parts of the Banff National Park. You’re also likely to see plenty of deer and caribou, as well as red squirrels and beavers.

If this is enough to whet your appetite, start planning your trip to Lake Louise today! We’ve put together all the information you’ll need, together with our guide to the best trails in the region.

Types Of Hikes In Lake Louise

Thinking of going hiking in Lake Louise? There’s a trail here to suit all hikers, whatever your fitness level or ability. For beginner hikers and those travelling with young families, Lake Louise is an excellent destination. Not only are there plenty of easy trails at low elevation, there are also lots of family-friendly activities throughout the park. Take advantage of nature walks where kids can learn a little more about the magnificent ecosystems of this precious wilderness.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more strenuous hike, Lake Louise offers some wonderful routes over high passes and rocky ridges. You’ll have the chance to really stretch your legs in some of Canada’s most beautiful terrain, overlooking alpine lakes and glaciers far out in the backcountry.

Easy Hikes In Lake Louise

Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore Hike: This short walk along the shores of Moraine Lake is one of our favorite easy hikes in Lake Louise. The route is flat and easily accessible for all hikers, whatever their level, and the view from the rockpile provides a classic Rocky Mountain vista of craggy peaks reflected in the serene lake. This is an excellent option for a summer evening hike, when the crowds have dissipated and you can enjoy the beautiful light at the end of the day.

Lake Agnes Tea House Hike: This easy walk up to Lake Agnes Tea House offers plenty of rewards, even if you’re not an experienced hiker. The climb to the teahouse is steep in places, but is mercifully short, and the glittering waters of Lake Agnes make an excellent place for a rest to catch your breath. Hikers looking for a bit more of a challenge also have plenty of options to continue or lengthen the walk if they wish.

Family Hikes In Lake Louise

Consolation Lakes Hike: Looking for an easy, family-friendly hike near Lake Louise? This short trail is perfect for kids, who will enjoy walking alongside Babel Creek all the way to Consolation Lakes, which look magnificent against a backdrop of gray mountains. If you’ve got the energy, it’s also possible to pair this hike with the Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshire route.

Lake Louise Ski Hill Hike: If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with the kids, why not try the Lake Louise Ski Hill hike? The route begins with a gondola ride up the Lake Louise Ski Hill, where you’ll enjoy wonderful views over the valley. Then head for the Trail of the Great Bear – a wonderful short hike where kids can learn all about the grizzly bears in Banff National Park.

Day Hikes In Lake Louise

Redoubt Lake via Boulder Pass Hike: For a satisfying day hike through some of the most spectacular scenery around Lake Louise, don’t miss this oft-overlooked hike to Redoubt Lake. You’ll summit Boulder Pass and take in Ptarmigan Lake along the way, all whilst enjoying some of the finest larch forests in the region. Come in early autumn to enjoy the colors.

Hidden Lake Hike: Deep in the heart of the Skoki region, Hidden Lake occupies a wonderful location in the shadow of Mount Richardson. The trail is relatively easy, with spectacular views along the way, and you may even have the chance to spot some mountain goats! For those looking for a longer adventure, it’s also possible to camp near Hidden Lake and convert your hike into a backpacking trip.

Challenging Hikes In Lake Louise

Paradise Valley Circuit Hike: This challenging trek is, quite simply, one of the best hikes in Lake Louise. You’ll experience picture-perfect lakes with crystal waters, tumbling waterfalls crowned with rainbows, and stunning views over Paradise Valley and the neighboring mountains. At a distance of 20km, with some challenging scree scrambles, this is not a hike for the faint of heart, and you’ll need to be fit and well prepared to complete it in a day. However, we think the effort is well worth it – there’s no better way to experience the splendor of the Rocky Mountains.

Skoki Lakes Hike: This epic route is one of the best challenging hikes in Lake Louise, taking in a number of lakes and passes along the way. If you’re fit, attempt the trail in autumn, when the larch trees show off their dazzling colors at their best. With plenty of variation and some of the best views in the region, this is a fabulous day out for experienced hikers.

Best Hikes In Lake Louise

Plain of the Six Glaciers Hike: This classic Banff hike takes in the shores of Lake Louise and then climbs to the Plain of the Six Glaciers teahouse, where you can stop for a break and a hearty lunch. The trail culminates at Abbots Pass for some staggering mountain views. This is a manageable hike for most walkers, and is an excellent way to experience some of the most beautiful scenery around Lake Louise.

Mount St. Piran Hike: Want to escape the crowds and experience some real Rocky Mountain tranquility? Try this Mount St. Piran hike, which circles around to the further side of the mountain and will give you a real sense of remoteness. The trail rises steeply through the trees from Lake Louise, before emerging onto a ridge where you’ll enjoy a remarkable view over Mount Niblock.

Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass Hike: Beginning at Moraine Lake, this beautiful trek takes you up a steep, forested trail to the incredible Valley of the 10 Peaks. Passing by Eiffel Lake, the path then rises to Wenkchemna Pass, where you can enjoy a stunning view over the valleys and peaks of this untouched part of the Rocky Mountains.

Mount Fairview Summit Hike: Although this hike is fairly short, you’ll need plenty of energy to reach the summit! The trail ascends steeply through the forest all the way to the top of Mount Fairview, where you’ll enjoy a magnificent panorama over Lake Louise, Mount St Piran and Mount Niblock. Arrive early to secure a parking space and enjoy the trail all to yourself.

Sentinel Pass Hike: The epic hike to Sentinel Pass is one of the best hikes in Lake Louise, with breathtaking views. The trail passes alongside Moraine Lake and rises steeply through the thick forests before emerging at a magnificent alpine meadow with three pristine lakes. The view from the top of the pass offers stellar views of the valley below, and is a welcome reward after the steep climb.

Lake Annette Hike: Want to get off the beaten track? Head for Lake Annette, in one of the lesser-visited spots in Banff National Park. This relatively easy trail passes through fragrant forests and past pleasant creeks before reaching a viewing point for the fabulous azure waters of Lake Annette. Continue a little further to see the Giant Steps Waterfalls, where you’ll have a fantastic view and a good spot to stop for lunch.

When Is The Best Time To Hike In Lake Louise?

Want to know when is the best time to hike in Lake Louise? In short, Lake Louise operates on a similar timetable to other Rocky Mountain destinations, restricting the hiking season to a few short months in the summer. Lake Louise itself is usually completely frozen by mid-November, and doesn’t usually thaw until early June, and the higher-elevation trails around the lake are only accessible for hiking between June and September. Although you may run the risk of early snows, our favorite time to visit Lake Louise is mid-September to mid-October, when you’ll have the chance to see the forests in a final blaze of autumnal glory before they shed their leaves, and the waters of the lake glow with an intense turquoise color. This is also a good time to avoid the crowds and enjoy the trails all by yourself.

Other Outdoor Activities In Lake Louise

While summer hiking often tops the list, there are plenty of other outdoor activities in Lake Louise. Outdoor adventurers will love the chance to do some road or mountain biking, and there are also plenty of opportunities for horseback riding. Backcountry backpacking is an ever-popular choice, and you’ll find lots of multi-day treks in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rocky Mountains. Watersports fans can get out on the water for some canoeing or rafting, and fishing aficionados also have plenty of options on the rivers and lakes. However, perhaps the most popular sports in Lake Louise are found in the winter season – downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are all popular activities when the snows hit.

How To Plan A Trip To Lake Louise

Want to know how to plan a trip to Lake Louise? This beautiful part of the Banff National Park is perfect for a hiking adventure, and there’s an excellent infrastructure to welcome visitors in both summer and winter. Check out our comprehensive guide to planning a trip to Lake Louise, complete with tips on how to get there, where to stay, and some of our favorite hikes in the region. Happy hiking!

Frequently-Asked-Questions About Lake Louise

Where does the name ‘Lake Louise’ come from?

Lake Louise was originally named ‘Lake of Little Fishes’ (Ho-Run-Num-Nay) by the Stoney Nakoda nation, but in 1884 it was renamed after the daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Louise Caroline, wife of the Governor General of Canada, John Campbell.

Why is Lake Louise so blue?

The lakes in Banff National Park are famous for their striking blue-turquoise color, which comes from glacial sediments in the water.

Do I need a permit to hike around Lake Louise?

Lake Louise is located in Banff National Park, and all visitors are required to purchase National Park Pass, available online or at the visitor centers. You’ll also need a permit if you wish to go camping in the backcountry.

Are there bears in Lake Louise?

Lake Louise is home to a wide range of wildlife, including black bears and grizzly bears. Although incidents involving bears are very rare, it’s important to take precautions (such as carrying bear spray) and to follow advice from local park authorities.

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The best hikes Around Lake Louise

Trail of the Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

01. Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore
Difficulty

3.4km 38m 0.5-1h

The Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore trail in Lake Louise provides one of the best… Read More

User Rating

8.7Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Paradise Valley Circuit hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

02. Paradise Valley Circuit
Difficulty

20.3km 1,045m 7-9h

Quite simply, this is a top hike. On the Paradise Valley Circuit trail, experience spectacular… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Plain of the Six Glaciers hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

03. Plain of the 6 Glaciers
Difficulty

15.0km 420m 4-6h

A classic hike in Banff National Park, the Plain of the Six Glaciers guides you… Read More

User Rating

9.6Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Mount St. Piran hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

04. Mount St. Piran
Difficulty

12.5km 970m 4.5-6.5h

Mount St. Piran is a beautiful hike, taking you high above Lake Louise with spectacular… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

05. Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass
Difficulty

17.1km 720m 6-7h

The Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass trail includes a stunning climb up from Moraine Lake… Read More

User Rating

9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Skoki Lakes in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

06. Skoki Lakes
Difficulty

25.7km 965m 7-9h

Skoki Lakes is an epic hike in the Skoki region near Lake Louise. This route… Read More

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9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Mount Fairview Summit hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

07. Mount Fairview Summit
Difficulty

9.3km 955m 3.5-5h

Get the complete Lake Louise experience from the summit of Mount Fairview. This trail is… Read More

User Rating

8.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Redoubt Lake via Boulder Pass hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

08. Redoubt Lake via Boulder Pass
Difficulty

21.9km 715m 6-8h

The hike to Redoubt Lake is an underappreciated hike in the Skoki region near Lake… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Sentinel Pass hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

09. Sentinel Pass
Difficulty

13.6km 925m 4-6h

The Sentinel Pass hike offers the opportunity to spend a few hours with some of… Read More

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9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Consolation Lakes hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

10. Consolation Lakes
Difficulty

5.8km 135m 1.5-3h

The Consolation Lake trail is a favorite family hike near Lake Louise, and can be… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

Yes, there are more than 10

Around Lake Louise is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Around Lake Louise that you should take a look at as well

Trail of the Lake Agnes Tea House hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

11. Lake Agnes Tea House
Difficulty

7.5km 353m 1.5-4h

The Lake Agnes Tea House hike is an enjoyable trip up to a charming lake… Read More

User Rating

8.9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Hidden Lake hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

12. Hidden Lake
Difficulty

17.0km 610m 5-7h

Hidden Lake is a very pretty lake in the Skoki Region. There is also a… Read More

User Rating

8Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Lake Louise Ski Hill hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

13. Lake Louise Ski Hill
Difficulty

2.1km 110m 1-2h

If you have kids, taking the gondola up the Lake Louise Ski Hill is a… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Lake Annette hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

14. Lake Annette
Difficulty

11.4km 323m 3-4.5h

Although the least frequented valley in the Lake Louise area, the Lake Annette trail is… Read More

User Rating

9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

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