Hiking is as quintessential to the Canadian Rocky Mountains as swimming is to the ocean. It’s almost impossible not to feel the adventurous spirit of the west when you are surrounded by the landscape that ran wild not so long ago. 

Growing up in Alberta, the mountains have always been in my backyard. But it wasn’t until COVID-19 put a halt to my usual summer activities of festivals and travelling that I was left with no other option than to fully embrace the areas I had so often taken for granted.

The most outstanding hike I did in the summer of 2020 was the Plain of the Six Glaciers located in Lake Louise. Although my friends and I were there at peak season, we left most of the tourists behind as we began the trail on the backside of the lake. There were no shortage of other hikers, seeing as the weather was just about perfect for such a trip, but not as many as we first estimated. 

As is to be expected in Canada, nearly all of them offered words of encouragement as we passed them, and one couple, still awe-struck from a recent wildlife sighting, gave us detailed instructions for where to find a National Geographic-quality mountain goat hanging out on a cliff.

The steady incline is not easy by any means, but even those without extensive hiking experience (such as myself) will find it more than manageable. At 5.3 kilometres one way, you are looking at about a 4 hour trek there and back. The journey is more than worth it. Steeper and more challenging inclines are punctuated with flatter areas which allow you to recover and take in the views of the towering glaciers. Once you’ve reached the sloped bed of small stones you will be greeted with a stunning view of the mountains that surround Lake Louise, and a different, more zoomed-out take on the famous lake. Victoria Glacier sits behind you, slowly but surely running off into the Lake. This is where I would recommend bringing a Lifestraw (a device that filters out bacteria and makes water safe to drink) and taking a small sip of the most pristine water you’ve ever had in your life. 

If this is longer than you like, I suggest at least making it as far as the Lake Agnes Teahouse, which is about a 3.6 kilometre trail. 

The Lake Agnes Teahouse is the highlight of just about everybody’s trip, and stopping to rest there is a truly ethereal experience. The food and drink isn’t fancy (they have no power, and all fresh food is hiked up by the workers themselves) but it tastes especially good after an active day in the hot sun. Gentle Teahouse dogs roam around as you sip your beverage and relax in the shade and yes, you are allowed to pet them. If hiking is something you think you would like to do on your vacation with us, please let us know. We have extensive knowledge and experience in the area and we will be able to recommend an excursion for just about any length or skill level, as well as a suitable packing list. 

Cassandra Woods
Social Media Coordinator