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

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 Skoki Lakes in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

01. Skoki Lakes
Difficulty

16.0mi 3,166ft 7-9h

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

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9.3Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Moraine Lake Rockpile and Lakeshore hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

02. Moraine Lake Hike (The Rockpile and Lakeshore Trail)
Difficulty

2.1mi 125ft 0.5-1h

The Moraine Lake hike through Rockpile and Lakeshore trail in Lake Louise provides one of… Read More

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9.4Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Paradise Valley Circuit hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

03. Paradise Valley Circuit
Difficulty

12.6mi 3,428ft 7-9h

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

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9.8Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Plain of the Six Glaciers hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

04. Plain of Six Glaciers Hike
Difficulty

9.3mi 1,378ft 4-6h

Plain of Six Glaciers is a classic hike in Banff National Park, which guides you… Read More

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

05. Mount St. Piran
Difficulty

7.8mi 3,182ft 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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9.8Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

06. Eiffel Lake and Wenkchemna Pass
Difficulty

10.6mi 2,362ft 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 Mount Fairview Summit hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

07. Mount Fairview Summit
Difficulty

5.8mi 3,133ft 3.5-5h

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

User Rating

9.2Overall 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

13.6mi 2,346ft 6-8h

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

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9.6Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Sentinel Pass hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

09. Sentinel Pass Hike
Difficulty

8.5mi 3,035ft 4-6h

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

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9.6Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Consolation Lakes hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

10. Consolation Lakes
Difficulty

3.6mi 443ft 1.5-3h

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

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9.5Overall 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

4.7mi 1,158ft 1.5-4h

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

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9.1Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Lake Annette hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

12. Lake Annette
Difficulty

7.1mi 1,060ft 3-4.5h

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

User Rating

9.4Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Fairview Lookout

13. Fairview Lookout
Difficulty

1.5mi 541ft 1h

Hiking to Fairview Lookout is a great way to see Lake Louise and the Fairmont… Read More

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Riverside Loop Hike Map

14. Riverside Loop
Difficulty

2.7mi 269ft 1-2h

The Riverside Loop is easily accessible from town and the many accommodations in Lake Louise.… Read More

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Tower Lake

15. Tower Lake
Difficulty

10.0mi 2,726ft 6-8h

The hike to Tower Lake is great for those who don’t have the time or… Read More

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Smith Lake

16. Smith Lake Trail
Difficulty

3.0mi 876ft 2-3h

Smith Lake is an often-forgotten lake that is nestled in the forest at Castle Junction.… Read More

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Heather Ridge Hike Map

17. Heather Ridge
Difficulty

14.1mi 3,615ft 6-8h

The Heather Ridge Hike in Lake Louise is a great way to get a taste… Read More

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Louise creek

18. Louise Creek Trail
Difficulty

4.3mi 843ft 2-3h

The Louise Creek Trail is the best way to get to Lake Louise without worrying… Read More

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Giant Steps Hike

19. Giant Steps
Difficulty

12.8mi 2,470ft 6-8h

This hike is often forgotten as it begins at a lesser-known trailhead on Moraine Lake… Read More

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Saddle Mountain Hike Map

20. Saddle Mountain
Difficulty

5.1mi 2,159ft 3-4h

Saddle Mountain Hike is a simple and quick add-on to Saddleback Pass trail. You’ll be… Read More

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Saddleback Pass Hike Map

21. Saddleback Pass
Difficulty

4.6mi 1,919ft 3-4h

Saddleback Pass hike is an excellent family-friendly trail that leaves the crowds behind. Starting at… Read More

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Taylor Lake Hike Map

22. Taylor Lake
Difficulty

8.5mi 2,976ft 3-4 h

The trail to Taylor Lake is a straightforward fire road type trail that ascends straight… Read More

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Twin Lakes

23. Twin Lakes
Difficulty

10.0mi 3,799ft 5-6h

The Twin Lakes hike at the edge of Banff and Kootenay parks is an incredible… Read More

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Lake Louise Lakeshore Hike

24. Lake Louise Lakeshore
Difficulty

2.9mi 331ft 1-2h

If you are making a stop to see the world-famous Lake Louise, you should take… Read More

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Silverton Falls

25. Silverton Falls
Difficulty

1.1mi 348ft 1h

This hike is more of a short walk than a hike, however it is worth… Read More

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Herbert Lake

26. Herbert Lake
Difficulty

1.0mi 138ft 0.5h

The Herbert Lake hike is a short loop around a beautiful roadside lake. Often bypassed… Read More

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Mirror Lake

27. Mirror Lake Trail
Difficulty

4.7mi 1,421ft 2-3h

This heavily populated trail leads up from the Lake Louise Lakeshore to Mirror Lake. It… Read More

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Arnica Lake

28. Arnica Lake Hike
Difficulty

8.0mi 2,470ft 3-4h

Do yourself a favour and save this hike for wildflower season—as its name suggests—you won’t… Read More

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Castle Mountain Lookout

29. Castle Mountain Lookout
Difficulty

4.0mi 1,831ft 2-3h

The Castle Lookout hike takes hikers up the frontside of the mountain, normally reserved for… Read More

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Rockbound Lake Trail

30. Rockbound Lake Trail
Difficulty

10.9mi 2,989ft 5-8h

Rockbound Lake trail is a less frequented trail along the Bow Valley Parkway in Banff… Read More

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Little Beehive

31. Little Beehive Hike
Difficulty

5.6mi 1,755ft 3-4h

Although the Little Beehive hike has its own destination, it begins at the world-famous Lake… Read More

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Trail of the Lake Louise Ski Hill hike in Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta

32. Lake Louise Ski Hill
Difficulty

1.3mi 361ft 1-2h

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

User Rating

9.8Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Tramline Trail Map

33. Tramline Trail
Difficulty

7.6mi 1,572ft 4-5h

Taking the Tramline trail to the central Lake Louise area is an amazing way to… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating
Scenery from the Hidden Lake hike near Lake Louise, Banff National Park

34. Hidden Lake
Difficulty

10.6mi 2,001ft 5-7h

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

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

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