Hiking the Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail
Hike: Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail
Location: Banff National Park
Distance: 8.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1925 feet
Type: Out & Back
Completion Time: 4-6 Hours
This incredible hike is a must for anyone visiting Lake Louise. Beginning at the Fairmont Hotel, the hikes trail will take you along the lake’s edge for 1 mile, before slowly winding up the glacial river to the base of these snow-capped peaks. The trail’s gradual journey to the glaciers offers many beautiful vantage points of Lake Louise and her infinite beauty. Be advised, this section of the trail is open to horse back tours, so be prepared to give them the right of way as you both ascend into this alpine oasis. Along the way we were able to admire the mighty power of multiple avalanches as the mountain’s glaciers slowly melt.
Located at the top of the pass, 3.7 miles into the hike, is a Nepalese style teahouse. Bring cash as this nonelectric teahouse serves warm drinks and food daily from June until October. Be sure to remember though, any trash you accumulate you need to pack out with you. After speaking with the owner of the teahouse she said she has noticed a significant increase in avalanches and glacial erosion over the course of the past 30 years. Continue past the teahouse another mile to the base of the glaciers. The path for this final section can be very slippery and cold, so be sure to bring proper layers. At the base of these glaciers stop for a photo before continuing back down to the teahouse.
The entire hike only takes 4-6 hours depending on ability and is rated as a moderate hike. This a great once in a lifetime hike, that everyone should try to accomplish! Dogs on leash are also welcomed, but please be respectful of the beautiful landscape and follow Leave No Trace Principles. More info on Leave No Trace can be found here.