Day 2 in Banff National Park was a complete success. We had such a fun day but the only unsuccessful part was the whole “marathon recovery” thing we were going to be doing. Instead we hiked a mountain and spent hours in the fresh mountain air so we are more exhausted than ever. Worth every second. Warning: these photos will make you want to travel to Alberta as soon as possible.
In the morning we slept as late as we could… aka 6:54 am and then went to Rocky Mountain Bagel Co. for breakfast. I heard they had chocolate chip bagels so they were the natural choice. Peanut butter on a chocolate chip bagel makes the perfect hiking fuel. We drove to Lake Louise along the Bow Valley Parkway but unfortunately didn’t see any animals along the way. We got to Lake Louise and started hiking up the Lake Agnes trail. UP is an understatement. We got to see Mirror Lake, the Little Beehive, and so many gorgeous views along the way.
The Lake Agnes Teahouse is adorable. They serve tea, biscuits, sandwiches, quinoa salad, and some other food and drinks. There were actually quite a few people up there when we arrived. My mom and I didn’t dawdle and it was a good workout hiking up to the Teahouse. We didn’t rest for long at the Lake Agnes Teahouse because our plan was to complete the Teahouse loop. We took the lesser travelled Highline Trail to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. I don’t think we saw another person on the Highline Trail. Just us, oh, and this spectacular view.
There are lots of horses on the trails too. We thought this was way too funny. I think the altitude changes were affecting our brain cells.
We hiked for a few more kilometres to reach the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse. This one had a bit of downhill and then a lot more uphill. We were hungry, thirsty, and really ready for a break when we got there. We made some friends when we were there too. The loop that we chose to hike had a recommended time of 5 hours… I think we did it in three.
I would trade any restaurant in the world for this one. We stopped for a few minutes to have something to eat and drink. They also served lunch at the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse but we had our own fuel – bananas and energy bars. My amazing friend Shelby gave me this KIND bar because it was dark chocolate and peanut butter and she knows for certain that is my favourite flavour combination. It was really really good. It tasted like chocolate covered pretzels.
After our snack break we headed back down the mountain to Lake Louise. The colour of that lake doesn’t get old. You can read about our adventures in Lake Louise last summer HERE! It was so much nicer going down… except on my mom who currently has three black toenails. We passed little children heading up the mountain so clearly the hike isn’t that difficult… or these are just super children who can scale mountains at ease.
I love seeing all of the glaciers too! We could hear rumblings every so often in the mountains and apparently they hear that all the time around the glaciers due to shifting of glaciers and avalanches. Really neat!
The temperature fluctuated between freezing cold at the teahouse and boiling hot when we were hiking up the trail and when we got down to Lake Louise. It was such a nice day and by the time we got down the clouds had disappeared from the surrounding mountains and the view was even better.
There was a little water over the path close to the end of our hike. It was kind of nice to dip our feet in the cold water because we were so warm but I would have rather not soaked my Brooks. I was conveniently wearing a lot of purple yesterday.
After our hike around Lake Louise, we took the chairlift up at the Lake Louise gondola. It was so much fun and such a great way to see the lake from the other side of the highway! We actually rode up twice because the hot Australian guy let us back on for another charlift ride… and we used a Groupon for our tickets, so we got an awesome deal!
When we got down from the chairlift it was mid afternoon and we were starving. We stopped into the restaurant at the Lake Louise ski lodge and grabbed a snack. We had dinner reservations at the “Oh Canada Eh!” dinner theatre so we didn’t want to eat too much. The dinner theatre was really cheesy and definitely not “my thing” but we had free tickets and a free dinner is better than a bad dinner right? Some of the performers were really good so it wasn’t terrible! Such a great day in the Park and with all of that fresh air and 3000 ft of elevation gain in our hike today, we were thoroughly exhausted last night! Hiking is awesome that way, you don’t actually get that far distance-wise, but the amount you climb and move makes up for it and it is tiring! I love it!
Time for some actual rest today. Both of us are sore this morning and instead of risking injury by exercising today, we are taking AT LEAST today totally off and resting our bodies. Better late than never. We both slept over 9 hours last night so we are really rocking it so far today 😉
What is your favourite hike?