Project Description

The Best Lake Louise Hikes (for All Experience Levels)

Lake Louise is one of the most spectacular places in the world, offering pristine untouched wilderness, incredible wildlife and countless lakes, rivers, streams, picnic spots and recreational areas.

One of the most popular activities is hiking, with the area filled with an almost limitless number of trails to explore. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start, we’ve broken it down for you offering the very best Lake Louise hikes for all ages and experience levels.

Easy Lake Louise Hiking Trails

These are trails that are perfect for first-time hikers, families or anyone looking for a quick adventure. Most can be completed in 1-2 hours and are relatively easy to complete with no difficult terrain.

The Lake Louise Lakeshore Hike.

Lake Louise Lakeshore (Easy)

Description: This family-friendly hike is perfect for visitors of all abilities. As you follow the shore line of this beautiful lake you’ll eventually reach a milky white creek that gives the lake its magical colour.
Length: 2 km one way
Hiking Time: 1 hour (round trip)
How to Get There: You can find parking in Upper Lake Louise (about 4 km from the village of Lake Louise). The parking lot is also accessible by transit from June to September.

Fairview Lookout (Easy)

Description: Starting at the boathouse on Lake Louise, this short, all-ages hike offers a unique view of both the water and the world famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Length: 2 km
Hiking Time: 45 minutes (round trip)
How to Get There: Parking is available in Upper Lake Louise (roughly 4 km from the village of Lake Louise). The parking lot is also accessible by transit from June to September.

Bow River Loop (Easy)

Description: Travel on a pleasant interpretive trail in the rich riparian zone of the Bow River. These waters travel across the prairies to their ultimate destination in Hudson Bay, over 2500 kilometres downstream of Lake Louise.
Length: 7.1 km (round trip)
Hiking Time: 2 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Parking is available opposite the Lake Louise Train Station Restaurant. Transit may also be available from June to September.

Louise Creek (Easy)

Description: This hike leads through a unique sub-alpine forest and follows the entire length of Louise Creek before it connects Lake Louise to the Bow River.
Length: 2.8 km one way
Hiking Time: 1.5 hour round trip
How To Get There: Park near Samson Mall in Lake Louise Village, then walk along Lake Louise Drive to the bridge crossing the Bow River. Once you cross the bridge you’ll see the start of the hike downstream.

Moraine Lake Lakeshore (Easy)

Description: This stroll allows visitors of all abilities to explore Moraine Lake. Along the trail you will gain a magnificent view of Mount Fay and the Fay Glacier.
Length: 1.5 km one way
Hiking Time: 45 minute round trip
How to Get There: Take transit to Moraine Lake. The hiking trail begins just beyond the Moraine Lake Lodge.

Consolation Lakes (Easy)

Description: While a little more difficult than some of the other Moraine Lake trails, this unique hike offers spectacular views of high alpine meadows and the Quadra Glacier.
Length: 2.9 km one way
Hiking Time: 2 hour round trip
How To Get There: Take transit to Moraine Lake. Start at the bridge near the Rockpile at Moraine Lake. Transit Info

Moderate Hiking Trails

These are trails that are somewhat more difficult (usually taking 2-4 hours) and are generally steeper and recommended only from late June to September. These may be challenging for people with little hiking experience or equipment, but are a good option for those who have a few trips under their belt and no what to expect.

The Lake Agnes Hike near Lake Louise.

Lake Agnes (Moderate)

Description: Reknowed for its local tea house, the Lake Agnes hike offers stunning views underneath towering peaks. You can also take a side trip on two adjoining trails known as the “Big Beehive” and “Little Beehive” which offer even more panoramic views of Lake Louise and the Bow Valley.
Length: 7 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 2.5 to 3 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Parking is available in Upper Lake Louise (roughly 4 km from the village of Lake Louise). The parking lot is also accessible by transit from June to September.

Plain of Six Glaciers (Moderate)

Description: Located just beyond Lake Louise, this hike offers views of some of the areas most impressive peaks and glaciers. Along the trail you can relax and enjoy the view or rest at a quaint Swiss-built tea house (open seasonal seasonally). You can also take a slightly longer side-drip to the Abbot Pass Viewpoint which looks down into cravasses on the Lower Victoria Glacier and offers a great view of Abbot Hub, one of the highest buildings located in all of Canada.
Length: 11 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 4 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Parking is available in Upper Lake Louise (roughly 4 km from the village of Lake Louise). The parking lot is also accessible by transit from June to September

Tramline (Moderate)

Description: This unique hike follows the same journey that visitors took over a century ago when they travelled via railway to the to station located at the Chateau Lake Louise. The trail starts at Lake Louise and follows the old train tracks for a stunning view of the area.
Length: 9 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 2.5 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Parking is available opposite the Lake Louise Train Station Restaurant. Transit may also be available from June to September.

Lake Annette (Moderate)

Description: This challenging hike takes you through picturesque sub-alpine forest before ending up at Lake Annette, one of the most beautiful and lesser-known lakes in all of Banff National Park.
Length: 12 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 4 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Follow the Moraine Lake Road for about 3 km. The road will take you to a parking lot that’s visible on the right hand side.

Eiffel Lake (Moderate)

Description: Located near Larch Valley, this hike will take you through deep woods and into panoramic views overlooking Eiffel Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks.
Length: 12 km (round trip)
Hiking Time: 4.5 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Take transit to Moraine Lake. The hiking trail begins just beyond the Moraine Lake Lodge.

Larch Valley & Minnestimma Lakes (Moderate)

Description: This hike takes you into a lush forest of larch trees that live high above Moraine Lake. This is a particularly great hike if you’re looking to check out the trees in the Fall during Larch Season and also offers some breathtaking views of the Ten Peaks.
Length: 9 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 4 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Take transit to Moraine Lake. The hiking trail begins just beyond the Moraine Lake Lodge.

Difficult Lake Louise Hiking Trails

These are trails that are only experienced hikers should attempt with proper equipment and planning. Most of these hikes are between 4-8 hours and the elevation can be extremely steep and should be attempted only between the months of July and September (in order to avoid avalanche hazard).

The Fairview Mountain hiking trial near Lake Louise.

Saddleback (Difficult)

Description: This hike begins at  the boathouse on the shore of Lake Louise and rises steadily up to offer jaw-dropping views of Mount Temple and Paradise Valley. This is another must-see destination if you’re looking for larch tree viewing in the fall.
Length: 8 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 4 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Parking is available in Upper Lake Louise (roughly 4 km from the village of Lake Louise). The parking lot is also accessible by transit from June to September.

Fairview Mountain (Difficult)

Description: Originally explored by Swiss Mountain Guides in the early 20th century, this famous peak offers an incredible birds’ eye view of the Bow Valley. The terrain can be quite steep, but the view at the top is 100% worth it.
Length: 10 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 6 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Parking is available in Upper Lake Louise (roughly 4 km from the village of Lake Louise). The parking lot is also accessible by transit from June to September.

Sheol & Paradise Connector (Difficult)

Description: This challenging hike connect the Saddleback and Paradise Valley trails and offers experienced hikers the chance to test their skills. Please note that a car or shuttle may be needed depending on your route choice.
Length: 4 km (connector only)
Hiking time: 2 hours (one way)
How to Get There: Parking is available in Upper Lake Louise. Alternatively, you can follow the Moraine Lake Road for about 2.5 km to the Paradise Valley parking lot, which is located on the right hand side.

Boulder Pass (Difficult)

Description: This hike is a little more difficult to get to, but definitely worth it, offering a spectacular view of some of the most pristine lakes and alpine meadows in Banff National Park. More adventurous hikers can also take a side trip to Baker Laker or Deception Pass
Length: 8.6 km (to pass)
Hiking time: 7 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Parking is available near Fish Creek, which is located off Whitehorn Road about 3 km north of Lake Louise.

Paradise Valley and Giant Steps (Difficult)

Description: This hike offers one of the best places to get an up-close view of Mount Temple.  In the summer it’s also full of wildflowers and offers pictureqse views of the Giant Steps Waterfall.
Length: 22 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 8 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Follow the Moraine Lake Road for about 2.5 km to a parking lot located on the right hand side.

Wenkchemna Pass (Difficult)

Description: Travel the entire length of the Valley of the Ten Peaks, wandering steadily into a high alpine environment to reach this spectacular pass on the Continental Divide.
Length: 20 km (round trip)
Hiking time: 8 hours (round trip)
How to Get There: Take transit to Moraine Lake. The hiking trail begins just beyond the Moraine Lake Lodge.

Hiking Safety Tips

Like any outdoor activity, there’s always a risk when it comes to hiking. Even short trips can have serious consequences if you’re not prepared. Here are a few tips to help you safely enjoy your next hike in the Lake Louise area:

A woman hiking a Lake Louise trail.

  • Check the weather forecast and trail conditions before you go
  • Be prepared for emergencies and changes in weather (dress in layers and bring extra food and warm clothing)
  • Check maps before heading out and always choose a trail suitable for the least experienced member in your group
  • Bring your own water. Do NOT drink water from any rivers, streams or lakes
  • Carry a first aid kit and bear spray and keep it within reach at all times
  • Make sure someone knows where you’re going and when to expect you back
  • Check yourself and your pets for ticks after your hike (these insects can carry lyme disease)
  • Be alert at all times and avoid wearing earbuds or headphones
  • Remember that cellphone coverage is not reliable in Banff National Park

Trail Etiquette Tips

To help ensure that people coming after you enjoy your hike as much as you do there are a few tips you should follow:

A man looking out over a Lake Louise hiking trial.

  • Leave what you find. It is illegal to take any flowers, fossils, rocks, insects and animals you may encounter
  • To prevent damage to vegetation, stay on designated trails at all times
  • Yield to others and maintain social distance at all times
  • Leave no trace and no garbage or litter behind. Pack out everything you pack in

Wildlife Tips

The Lake Louise area is home to a wide variety wildlife including elk, wolves, cougars, grizzly bears and black bears. While this diverse range of wildlife is one of the best parts of Banff National Park, it’s also important to give these creatures their distance and admire them from aware. Here are a few additional safety tips on what you should be aware of when you run across wildlife during a hike:

A Lake Louise grizzly bear on a hiking trail.

  • Always carry bear spray, ensure it is accessible, and know how to use it before heading out
  • Make noise. Being quiet puts you at risk for sudden wildlife encounters
  • Be alert through shrubby areas and when approaching blind corners
  • Travel in tight groups and always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Report bear, cougar, wolf and coyote sightings and encounters to Parks Canada Dispatch when it is safe to do so
  • Do not approach wildlife or attempt to feed them (especially if there are young animals present)

Come Stay at Baker Creek

Looking for a place located in the very heart of Lake Louise? Check out Baker Creek Mountain Resort. We offer cozy and authentic log cabins far from the hustle and bustle of the city and right next to some of the very best hiking trails around. Contact us today to book a room.