Lake Louise and the Plain of Six Glaciers trail are located in Banff National Park, Alberta. The trail starts at the historic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, where hordes of tourists will undoubtedly be snapping pics of the bright turquoise water. Don’t let the crowds put you off, by the time you’ve walked around the lakes edge and are heading up through the spruces and firs a lot of people will have disappeared and you’ll be free to admire the stunning cliffs and snow capped mountains. Be sure to look up every once in a while, each cliff seems to have its own collection of rock climbers, who (buff as they may be) look rather fragile when balanced so far up above the rocky ground.
For a good couple of hours, you’ll hike up through the picturesque valley, it can get pretty darned hot, so don’t forget your hat and water. Just when you’re feeling as though your poor old knees might leave you and head for home, you’ll find yourself looking at a 1920s stone teahouse tucked in behind the trees, surrounded by wildflowers. A hot cup of tea or a warm lemonade might not be the first thing you feel like after the long climb up, but once you’re sitting on the shady veranda looking out at the stunning landscape, you’ll make any excuse to have another cuppa. This place is exceptionally purdy, so take your time and have a slice of blueberry cake. Many people turn back from here, but do not be one of those people, regardless of how full you are! The best views yet are just half an hours walk away.
A further 1.5kms up from the teahouse is the Abbot Pass viewpoint. The trail to the lookout is loose and rocky with steep slopes on either side, so mind your step (and be prepared for the snarky criticisms of serious hikers if you’ve chosen to wear sandals). At the very end of the track you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view of the lower Victoria Glacier and in the distance a very small, but no less vivid, Lake Louise.