The essential Lake Louise experience
Go tea house touring on the Highline Trail
Ask any hiker and they’ll tell you it’s best to have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – something to keep you motivated when the trail gets steep and the going gets tough.
Sitting on the larch-lined shore of an idyllic little lake, the Lake Agnes Tea House near Lake Louise is the perfect payoff. For that matter, so is the nearby Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House. Both of these historic teahouses, privately owned and operated, are moderate half- or full-day (if you linger, which you will) hikes, easily accessible from the trailhead near the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. From the public parking lot by the hotel, it’s 3.5 km (one way) to Lake Agnes and 5.4 km (one way) to the Plain of Six Glaciers. Or, if you’ve got the gait, you can do what’s known as “The Tea House Challenge” and hike to both in one long day. This 14.6 km circuit via the incredibly scenic Highline Trail, traverses flower-filled slopes at the south end of the lake.
What the teahouses lack in electricity, they make up for in rustic charm, delicious treats (the chocolate cake at Plain of Six is killer good and the homemade hummus sandwiches at Lake Agnes are delish) and, yes, tea, steeped in a gorgeous setting. -A.P.
3 more amazing summer experiences in Lake Louise
You don’t have to be a guest of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to rent one of the red canoes from the hotel boathouse. Feel extra Canadian as you glide lazily across the turquoise-blue water and enjoy striking views of the Victoria Glacier from below.
Timberline Tours, located near the Deer Lodge, offers a half-day trail ride up to the “Little Beehive” rock formation overlooking the lake that is suitable for all levels of riders. Brewster Adventures also offers summer trail rides in the area.
Summer offers a different perspective on the terrain at Lake Louise Ski Resort and a view like no other from the top. -S.A.
Where to stay in Lake Louise
The Pipestone cabin at the Post Hotel.
Tucked in behind the main hotel alongside the Pipestone River, the Post Hotel’s guest cabins offer the best of both worlds – rustic log cabins with Relais & Chteaux hospitality. Originally built in 1942, the four modernized cabins all have wood-burning river-stone fireplaces – even the cozy Whitehorn and Fairview cabins, which measure just 210 and 280 square feet, respectively. Cabin guests can relax in riverside lounge chairs or enjoy the full range of hotel amenities, including the library, saltwater pool and spa. -S.A.
200 Pipestone Rd., Lake Louise, 403-522-3989, posthotel.com
Where to eat in Lake Louise
The Glacier Saloon in the lower level of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise received a much-needed update last fall and has re-launched as Alpine Social. Along with the new look, there’s a new menu of elevated pub-fare that includes items like duck confit and slow-braised pork belly.
111 Lake Louise Dr., Lake Louise, 403-522-3511, thealpinesocial.com
Part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts group, the historic Deer Lodge plays off its rustic-alpine vibe, offering game meats and other hearty dishes in its Mount Fairview Dining Room. You can also partake in afternoon tea in the Caribou Lounge, located in the original log-cabin tea house that dates back to 1923.
109 Lake Louise Dr., Lake Louise, 403-522-3991, crmr.com/deer
There are views. And then there are views, like the one from the expansive patio of the contemporary mid-mountain restaurant at Lake Louise Ski Resort. That view comes with a menu that includes Ocean Wise seafood, cheese fondue for two, and a daily crme brle with fresh berries. -S.A.
1 Whitehorn Rd, Lake Louise, 403-522-1310, skilouise.com