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

Hikes Around Lake Louise

Region in Banff National Park, Alberta

Lake Louise Hikes

Lake Louise hikes are the best way to take in the beautiful blue waters of Lake Louise and 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 are Lake Louise hikes 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 Lake Louise hikes, including those from the surrounding area!.

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 Lake Louise hikes. 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 many Lake Louise hikes 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!

Lake Louise Adventure Trips

Some of the best adventures you can experience in Lake Louise and Banff National Park are easier with a professional guide. For that, check out the best adventure tours in Banff National Park and Lake Louise.

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. Find out more about the National Park Pass on Parks Canada.

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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Best Hikes in Around Lake Louise

Open details for Skoki Lakes

Skoki Lakes

Very Hard
25.7 km
965 m
7-10h

Skoki Lakes is an epic hike in the Skoki region near Lake Louise. This route takes in Boulder Pass, Ptarmigan Lake, Packers Pass, the Skoki Lakes (Zigadenus and Myosotis Lakes) and then Deception Pass before coming back. This is a long day, though it is especially pretty in Autumn.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Moraine Lake Hike (The Rockpile and Lakeshore Trail)

Moraine Lake Hike (The Rockpile and Lakeshore Trail)

Very Easy
3.4 km
38 m
0.5-1h

The Moraine Lake hike through Rockpile and Lakeshore trail in Lake Louise provides one of the best views of the Canadian Rockies and the stunning Moraine Lake. This hike is best enjoyed very early or in the evening due to large crowds and limited parking.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Open details for Paradise Valley Circuit

Paradise Valley Circuit

Very Hard
20.3 km
1,045 m
6.5-9h

Quite simply, this is a top hike. On the Paradise Valley Circuit trail, experience spectacular clear lakes and waterfalls, beautiful views, a challenging scree ascent and a breathtaking descent. Once at Sentinel Pass get the stunning views of the Valley of the 10 Peaks and Moraine Lake.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Plain of Six Glaciers Hike

Plain of Six Glaciers Hike

Moderate
15.0 km
420 m
4-5.5h

Plain of Six Glaciers is a classic hike in Banff National Park, which guides you alongside Lake Louise, ascends past a lovely Tea House, and finishes with stunning glacier views. We also share a very special alternative route back, which goes along The Highline trail, up to Big Beehive and down to Lake Agnes.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Mount St. Piran

Mount St. Piran

Hard
12.5 km
970 m
5-7h

Mount St. Piran is a beautiful hike, taking you high above Lake Louise with spectacular views of nature below. Experienced hikers can choose an optional descent off-trail along the backside of the peak – providing an abundant sense of tranquil remoteness on the steep, rugged terrain.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
10.0
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass

Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass

Hard
17.1 km
720 m
5-7h

The Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass trail includes a stunning climb up from Moraine Lake with views of the incredible Valley of the 10 Peaks. From the pass enjoy a view into another solitary valley. The wonderful Eiffel Lake is midway through the hike – a destination itself.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Mount Fairview Summit

Mount Fairview Summit

Hard
9.3 km
955 m
4.5-6h

Get the complete Lake Louise experience from the summit of Mount Fairview. This trail is packed with incredible views of the lake, stunning scenery and nearby glaciers. Although the hike is short, it rises quickly on a challenging incline – so be ready!

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.7
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Redoubt Lake via Boulder Pass

Redoubt Lake via Boulder Pass

Very Hard
21.9 km
715 m
6-8h

The hike to Redoubt Lake is an underappreciated hike in the Skoki region near Lake Louise. Hiking to Redoubt Lake allows you to take in Boulder Pass and Ptarmigan Lake before along the way. Not only is this a wonderful hike, but it also showcases some of the best larches in the Canadian Rockies.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Advanced (Diamond)
Suitable for advanced experience level looking for a solid adventure.
Open details for Sentinel Pass Hike

Sentinel Pass Hike

Hard
13.6 km
925 m
5-7h

The Sentinel Pass hike offers the opportunity to spend a few hours with some of Canada’s most awesome natural wonders in Lake Louise. Start at the beautiful Moraine Lake and then head up through native larches to an alpine pass with astounding views – a truly unforgettable experience.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.9
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Open details for Consolation Lakes

Consolation Lakes

Easy
5.8 km
135 m
1.5-2h

The Consolation Lake trail is a favorite family hike near Lake Louise, and can be paired with the Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore hike. Hike along Babel Creek to Consolation Lakes, which are fringed with stunning glacier clad mountains.

User Ratings
Overall Rating
9.8
Technical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Physical Difficulty
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.

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