Lake Agnes and the Big Beehive


Lake Louise with the Big Beehive on the right

The hike to Lake Agnes and the Big Beehive, as with the Plain of Six Glaciers, is another Lake Louise classic hike. Again, as with the Plain of Six Glaciers hike, there’s a teahouse at Lake Agnes which makes a good break point along the way.

Swiss Guide Statue

Swiss Guide Statue

You’ll follow the shoreline of Lake Louise a little way, but not too far. There’ll be a fork in the path near a statue of a Swiss Guide, and you want to take the trail heading uphill. The other trail leads along the shoreline and to the back of the lake and will eventually get you to the Plain of Six Glaciers.


Looking out towards Mt Fairview from a switchback on the trail

A lot of the hike is through forest, but don’t be put off. There are plenty of points along the way where you’ll get a good view of the lake and the forest is very beautiful anyway.


Mirror Lake

Going up through the forest, there’s a fair few switchbacks, but eventually you’ll reach Mirror Lake. Here you can see the Big Beehive and, as the name suggests, you might get a good reflection of it in Mirror Lake.


The Big Beehive above Mirror Lake

From Mirror Lake there are two possible routes up to Lake Agnes. Take the one on the right hand side as you are facing the lake (the trail to the north if you’re looking at a map). It doesn’t take too long from here and you’ll know when you’re almost at the tea house when you take a staircase up the side of a rocky outcrop. Along this section of the trail is one of the junctions for the trail for the Little Beehive and Mt St Piran, but this time you’ll just need to carry on following the signed trail for Lake Agnes.


The Big Beehive on the way up to Lake Agnes


The falls just before Lake Agnes

Lake Agnes is very beautiful and the tea house is set just at the edge of the lake. It would make an ideal break point along the way if you’re headed up to the Big Beehive.


Arriving at Lake Agnes


The lake shore trail

To head up to the Big Beehive follow the trail around the shore of Lake Agnes, the back of the lake is a particularly good spot for taking photos. Here you might also be able to spot mountain goats – each time I’ve done this hike I’ve seen them in the area towards the back of Lake Agnes.


At the back of the lake


Cliffs at the back of Lake Agnes – there are mountain goats in the photo if you look closely!

After traversing around the edge of the lake the trail will begin to climb on a narrower path and through a couple of switchbacks. You’ll then reach a pass on the back of the Big Beehive, and here you need to turn left (eastwards) and follow along the trail.


The pagoda/bandstand on top of the Big Beehive

At the end of the trail atop the Big Beehive there’s a pagoda/bandstand/shelter structure. Before I’d hiked up here I hadn’t ever noticed it from the lake shore, but once I’d been there it was much clearer to see!


Looking down to Lake Louise and Mirror Lake


Such a great view – the Little Beehive is to the left

The total return distanceΒ  for the hike is 10.4 km (6.5 miles) and has an elevation change of 525 metres (1725 feet).

Β© RockiesOutdoors 2015.


18 responses to “Lake Agnes and the Big Beehive

  1. This was the first hike we did in the rockies after moving here in 2012, a really nice hike:) We didn’t make it to Big Beehive as it was a bit early in the season and the part from the the tea house to big beehive as covered in icy snow. So we took the hike up to Little Beehive instead (which was partially covered in snow still) where we met some friendly chipmunks! Great post Rob, brings back memories! Nice pictures:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading Inger! It’s a really beautiful hike, and going to the Little Beehive is really great too – it seems much quieter than the Big Beehive and has an amazing view. The Highline Trail between the Plain of Six Glaciers and the Big Beehive is worthwhile too, it makes the hike into a circuit instead of being linear πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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