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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The total return distance for the hike is 10.4 km (6.5 miles) and has an elevation change of 525 metres (1725 feet).
© RockiesOutdoors 2015.