It was 32 F/ 0 C, but I wouldn’t have known it had there not been snow covering the trail. I was drenched in sweat after hiking a little over two miles, gaining about 1,000 feet in elevation. That’s when I smelled it — the smell of freshly baked goods coming from the Lake Agnes Teahouse. If you are ever in the area, make sure to check it out.
Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1901, the Lake Agnes Tea House is the closer of the two tea houses, and is situated idyllically on the shores of Lake Agnes. A great option for adventurers of all kinds, the hike to this cabin will take you along a forested trail, past Mirror Lake and the waterfall that cascades out of Lake Agnes. This now family-run tea house offers over 100 loose-leaf teas, as well as homemade soup, sandwiches, cookies, apple crumble and more.
From Lake Agnes you can hike to the top of the Little Beehive or Big Beehive.
Where is Lake Agnes Tea House
The Lake Agnes Tea House sits next to — you guessed it — Lake Agnes.
Except Lake Agnes is at an elevation of 7,000 feet. There’s no running water or electricity. Everything has to be carried up on workers’ backs, trotted in via horse, or flown in on a helicopter.
Which probably explains why the PB&J sandwich was so expensive!
The tea house staff are mostly university students who sleep in one of two teensy cabins next to the teahouse. Besides making outstanding tea and biscuits, they are also responsible for cleaning the outhouses and greywater system (yuck).
Lots of tea
But the tea house serves over 50 varieties of tea, homemade tea biscuits, cookies, sandwiches, soup, and other tasty goodies. I can personally attest to the maple tea and tea biscuits with honey. Nothing tastes better after a hike uphill. I was just glad to get a spot inside because it was chilly next to the lake once we stopped hiking, though I imagine the porch is wonderful on a summer day.
What else can I do at Lake Agnes?
The hike itself is not extremely strenuous. It’s just a constant uphill trail.
Hiking trail at Lake Agnes
There are amazing views overlooking Lake Louise, and the glacier-fed lake looks even bluer the higher you climb. Mirror Lake is a great stop along the way, but be careful once you get past it. The small lake marks the point where the hiking trail merges with the horse trail — watch your step!
Tips for your trip to Lake Agnes Tea House
Remember to pack an extra change of clothing and to dress in layers. Depending on the time of year, you can expect a temperature change as you will be in the mountains. (Dog Sledding)
If you make it to Lake Louise, definitely take the time to hike the Lakes Agnes Hiking Trail. The tea house is a great stop and if you feel up for it — we did after some rejuvenating tea — the Little Beehive Trail provides a stunning view overlooking the the valley below. Have you been to the Lake Agnes Tea House? What was your experience?