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blue Plain of Six Glaciers to Mirror Pond Loop

  4.5 ( 15 ) Favorite

Trail

9.2 mile 14.8 kilometer loop
76% Runnable
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 2,569' 783 m
Descent: -2,568' -783 m
High: 7,174' 2,187 m
Low: 5,797' 1,767 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 46% (25°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Trail shared by Karl W

Run along Lake Louise to the Plain of Six Glacier Tea House, the viewpoint, and then up to Mirror Pond and back.

Karl W

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Trails do close if grizzlies are known to be in the area so always check for trail closures. Entering bear-restricted areas can result in fines.

Overview

The trail to the Tea House in the Plain of Six Glaciers is a classic Lake Louise-area run. This loop option will also bring you to the Beehive and Mirror Pond to get some more perspectives of the beautiful valley. The Tea House is an old Swiss feature that does sell tea and cakes so it is a wonderful spot to warm up on a cool day.

Need to Know

You should carry bear spray everywhere in Banff. The Tea House does run out of tea, which can be a bummer.

Description

The run starts at the Lake Louise parking area and fancy resort at Fairmont Chateau. As a result, it can be very crowded - parking could fill up on busy weekends.

Lake Louise is a classic Banff-area lake with its uniquely beautiful blue colors. Join the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail (also known as the Lakeshore Trail at the beginning) on the northern corner of the lake in front of the resort. This trail will take you along the edge of Lake Louise and starts off very flat, wide, and family friendly. Once you reach the southwest end of the lake, the trail converts to a more basic, but still nicely maintained, singletrack (Plain of Six Glaciers Trail). The crowds will dissipate the further you get from the resort.

The Plain of Six Glaciers Trail begins to climb steadily but never steeply from the lake. You'll get some excellent views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Parts of the trail can go along ledges, but remain comfortable. There is also a trail used by donkeys to supply the tea house that weaves with the main trail. Once you reach the tea house, you can stop for a refreshing tea and snacks. You could head back from here, or continue along the trail to get much better views of all the glaciers.

The trail past the tea house is less well-maintained and is rockier. It will go for another kilometer or so and then more or less end on a moraine with great views of the glaciers and an Alpine Club of Canada hut. When it warms up, you may get to see a small avalanche from this safe vantage point.

Head back north and down the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail, but about half way take a left on the Highline Trail to Mirror Lake. This trail will gently regain some elevation and enter a dense forest. At points, you'll get some different views of Lake Louise and excellent views of Fairview Mountain.

The trail will head north around Devils Thumb and join the Mirror Lake Connector trail. Mirror Lake is tiny, but a pretty spot to enjoy a snack (unless it's raining like when we were there, then it is a good spot to stop and get out some coats). You could lengthen the run by connecting with the Big Beehive Trail. Otherwise, continue on the Lake Agnes Trail which gently leads down to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

We saw a porcupine which was really cool.

History & Background

The Tea House was built in the 1930's by Swiss mountaineers that were exploring the area.

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Dogs Allowed, Runner Notes

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Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 15 votes

#1

in Lake Louise

#537

Overall
  4.5 from 15 votes
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Featured Run Rankings

#1

in Lake Louise

#2

in Alberta

#537

Overall
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4,958 Since Feb 4, 2017
Intermediate Intermediate

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