The Famous Lake Louise

Banff National Park Day 1: Lake Louise, Lake Agnes, and Big Beehive.

In early October, Phil and I made the 10.5 hour drive from Seattle up to Banff, Alberta. We left after work on Thursday night and drove 4 hours to a small town called Merritt. We stayed in a last minute Motel and then woke up to drive the next 6.5 hours.

From Seattle, we went straight north into Canada and then drove east. We chose the northern route since it was more scenic and a little faster, but more of a risk this time of year depending on the weather. Some parts you might need chains on your tires so beware, but luckily we did not.


Our drive was absolutely breathtaking. A lot of these pictures are through a car window so bare with me, but you get the idea.20181005_135920

We passed many Canadian towns on the way to Banff. One is Revelstoke which is supposed to have some of the best skiing in the world.20181005_140031

Speed limit signs like this one were very common and made us do a double take when we saw 100!20181005_135802

We either passed or drove through three National Parks on the way there. First was Mt. Revelstoke National Park, then Glacier National Park of Canada, and then Yoho National Park.20181005_12352820181005_12283820181005_122614

We were very lucky to still get some fall colors in early October. 20181005_123648(0)20181005_12374920181005_15160320181005_123926

We drove through many of these snow tunnels on our drive, strategically placed in avalanche prone areas. 20181005_152713

If you guys didn’t know already, Phil is a good planner and had this trip planned out to a T. At some point on our drive, we decided to call the visitor center to ask about bear activity and hiking conditions. Well we called, and they said in the last 24 hours they had a massive snow storm and most of the high country was closed due to avalanche danger including the road to Moraine Lake. We were absolutely devastated. I was reading our lists of hikes to the park ranger and she basically said that all were closed, but enter at your own risk. Luckily, Lake Agnes was one on our list that was still open and we decided to go see Lake Louise and hike up to Lake Agnes since we wanted to do this one anyway. 20181005_152824

The entrance to Banff National Park! This is also where you cross from British Columbia into Alberta. 20181005_153439

After 6.5 hours we finally made it to the small town of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. We planned on staying here two nights and then the town of Banff for our other two nights.20181005_153558

We thought about camping, but decided to stay in this hostel. We loved it! It had a very convenient and affordable restaurant downstairs in the hostel. Prior to coming to Banff, we kept checking the weather to decide if we wanted to camp or not. With night temperatures in the teens and occasional single digits, we decided to splurge and stay indoors. 🙂

We arrived in town at about 4 pm, quickly checked into the hostel, changed and headed out to explore before dark. 20181005_162023

We started our hike at Lake Louise and then on to Lake Agnes and further up to the Big Beehive for a view of Lake Louise from up above. 20181005_16250220181005_16245620181005_162704

The famous Lake Louise! We started walking around it to the right and split off on the path up to Lake Agnes. This trail was supposed to be about 6 miles round trip to Lake Agnes. We added the short hike up to Big Beehive at the top, making it about 7 miles total. 20181005_16294320181005_16350320181005_17055320181005_17102420181005_17120620181005_171210

The microspikes were a must in October with the recent snowstorm! 20181005_171703(1)20181005_17205020181005_172054

The staircase up to Lake Agnes and the Teahouse!


Lake Agnes!


Look at that reflection. IMG_8486IMG_8487IMG_8489

This is the Tea House at Lake Agnes. It was closed since it was after 4 pm, but I love the idea! The tea house is at 7,005 feet, if you’re ready for a hot cup of tea after you hike up to Lake Agnes! Very neat. 20181005_17242120181005_172605(1)20181005_17301220181005_173409

After Lake Agnes, we started hiking around and up to Big Beehive Lookout. 20181005_173845

The Larches!!!20181005_174053(1)20181005_174321

On the other side of Lake Agnes, that is the Tea House you can see across the lake.20181005_17451820181005_17474520181005_17475620181005_174758

We just loved the Larches!20181005_17553820181005_175729(1)From the top of Big Beehive looking down over Lake Louise.

20181005_180313Big Beehive Lookout!

20181005_17585320181005_18052920181005_18051620181005_18061820181005_18063320181005_180643The famous Fairmount Hotel on Lake Louise.

20181005_18065020181005_180755IMG_8492The water was crazy blue from all the Glacier melt.



Headed back down…IMG_850720181005_18192320181005_18252920181005_18261820181005_18294420181005_19220720181005_192245 220181005_192334

Back to Lake Louise for dusk and this beautiful reflection after the sunset.

The end of this day marked 590 miles since marriage.

What a great first day!

Below is a video of Phil skipping rocks on frozen Lake Agnes.

We had no idea it would make this really cool sound!

Can you hear it? Also, it made this sound when the wind blew over the ice. How cool! 🙂

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