This small mountain is a crowd favorite in the Lake Louise area. People of all fitness levels climb it. There are several trails to the top. The one of the most traveled is from Lake Louise itself. Another a little steeper and more direct would be from the end of Lake Agnes. Both are easy. The view from the top includes Mounts Lefroy, Victoria, Haddo, Fairview, Niblock, Whyte among many others.
You will have to get yourself to Lake Louise. From Calgary take the Trans Canada (1) west through Canmore, Banff, then Drive to Lake Louise along the #1. After driving by the Samson Mall area continue along the road up towards the Chateau. Park in the large parking lot with the hundreds of people.
Note you should get there early: while the parking lot is big it can fill up. Secondly you will avoid some of the crowd that forms in the first part of the route. The trailhead is found along the lake to the right. When you reach the fork in the trail take either the left that is signed to Lake Agnes. Or to the right along the trail that leads to the Plain of the Six Glaciers. From here follow the obvious trail that winds its way gently to your goal. Lots of switchbacks make this an easy outing.
You will need a Parks pass. This can be picked up as you enter the Park on the highway near Banff.
Rates for Parks Canada as of July 1, 2006:
Wilderness Backcountry: $9/night
Wilderness Pass: $63/year
Reservation Fee: $12/group
Call the Banff Information Center for current news (403) 762-4256.
This is a day trip.
Safest June to September. Can be done earlier with proper caution. The trails are closed sometimes due to avalanche danger early and later in the season. Some of the snow patches remain in and just below these avalanche slopes till late in the spring and should be avoided by those without experience or proper footwear. If the weather is good you should be able to follow the route without problems. Check with the Rangers.
There is no camping allowed in this area. But there are many campsites in the Lake Louise area. One place that is recommended is the ACC/Hostel in Lake Louise. This place has a small cosy restaurant with good food as well as kitchen facilities and lots of room for approx 36$ Canadian a night. While this is twice as much as the ACC lodge in Canmore it is still a bargain when compared to the cost of hotels in the area.
Check with the Rangers in Lake Louise. Beware of the weather conditions and dress accordingly. If the weather turns trails can ice up and people can get into trouble because they went up in nice weather then the route iced up in the snow or rain and made the route dicey for the descent. Excellent hike.
www.weatheroffice.com or (403) 762-2088 for weather conditions.
Banff Warden Office (403) 762-4506 for route info.
Lake Louise Warden Office (403) 522-3866
No camping is allowed on the mountain or in the Lake Agnes area.
For Lake Louise Area camping spots call (403) 762-3600.
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