Explore Banff - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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The crowds and lines on this trail made me feel like I was at Disneyland. It was seriously crowded on a Wednesday early afternoon. We waited 30 minutes to enter the cave at the lower falls. Not worth it in my opinion. There was another line at the upper falls. My favorite part of the hike was the views of the river as it carves through the rock passage way. The water is so clear and crisp looking. Avoid this hike during peak season if you hate crowds. Otherwise, the views are worth it if you can stomach the crowds.

hiking
1 hour ago

We arrived at the Lake Louise parking lot by 7am and there was plenty of parking (Note-Lake Moraine lot was already full). Give yourself time to take lake photos because the light in the lake and surrounding mountains will be different when you get back from hike. We started the hike uphill by about 7:20 am and arrived at the tea house by about 8:40. We were with 3 kids ages 6, 7, and 11. They were more upset about being up at the crack of dawn than about the steep incline. There were quite a few groups passing us on the ascent. The trail is even and wide for the most part. There are areas of rocks and roots where my 7 year old tripped and skinned his elbow while running. Beware of horse poop on the 2nd half of the trail. There is not much of a view during most of the hike. Save some energy before the tea house to climb the steep 60 step staircase. We were lucky to grab one of the last tables in the tea house. The staff was busy unloading goods that were just unloaded from the helicopter. Once they were done unpacking more tables became available. A long line had already formed by 9am. The oolong tea and biscuits were delicious. BRING CASH (they accept US dollars). The views from the tea house are beautiful (tables are located inside and outside). Overall the hike was definitely worth waking up early for. The hike back down took our family of 5 one hour. We wanted to grab a shuttle to Lake Moraine but at $30 per person we opted to save our money and enjoy drinks on the patio at one of the Fairmont outdoor restaurants.
Tip: if you want to see Lake Louise and Lake Moraine park early (7am the latest) at LL. When ready take a free shuttle to Overflow parking lot where you can pay $15 per person for shuttle to Lake Moraine. If you take Shuttle from LL Fairmont it will cost $30. You can always chance it and try parking at Lake Moraine. But they only let cars in once 10 cars have exited. They refuse all cars from entering otherwise (not even to drop off people).

this was a great first day hike in Banff. did this last Saturday before all the smoke came in and saw a grizzly bear and her two Cubs! we took the trail over to lake Agnes on our way back which was a lot less crowded.

We joined up with this hike after starting at lake Agnes/big beehive. The trail offers some really beautiful views and the teahouse is fun, but the crowds take something away from the experience. I found myself getting a bit frustrated by lines of super slow hikers, especially on the way down. Definitely worth doing the hike - just be prepared to be patient if you're used to a quicker pace and a quiet trail

hiking
2 days ago

Very nice to sit and enjoy a cup of tea at the top while taking in our beautiful surroundings. We got to the top at 8am and crowds weren't an issue at all yet, but it was pretty packed by the time we left. We continued up to the big beehive - even if you don't want to hike all the way up, I highly recommend walking around to the other side of the lake - the view looking back at the teahouse is really pretty

Good Trail. Lower falls is must see if you can't climb all the way to upper falls...

Recommended starting early so that while you are hiking up you can enjoy the sunrise and have the summit to yourself. Great hike

great hike. Did this may long weekend, so many places had avalanches and it was hard to pass. the last avalanche shoot we couldn't pass it was really steep and we had no equipment to get safely across as it was step, slippery, and scary!

hiking
4 days ago

Nice hike. The lake views are spectacular and the tea house is delishious! Bring cash for a snack.
Bit steep in some places but not bad.

Amazing view. Easy trail. Totally worth doing it! And my winner dog did it also!

hiking
4 days ago

A busy trail but the waterfalls are worth the wait.

People are right, parking is hard to get there early. The view is also the best in the morning. It’s an easy short hike, though some children and seniors may find it difficult. There are good views from the bottom of the pile so even those with physical disabilities could enjoy the view of moraine.

Nice views, not too long for family with children.

Lake Louise is iconic for a reason and you'll be sharing the path with plenty of people no matter what. Expect this, and you'll enjoy your day all the more. I enjoy this hike in the the shoulder seasons when paths are less busy. Whenever someone visits from out of town, this is usually one of my go-to hikes.

Bring cash so you can stop and enjoy a tea at the tea house at the end.

As with all hikes from the Lake. Arrive early if you want a parking spot.

We made it up to the tea house.. nice trail for family fun.. slippery when wet/snow but we have a lot of unforgettable experiences

Parking is a bitch. So I started to walk the 12km road. Got picked up by a french couple. Starting walking down got picked up by a German couple. Ppl are super nice.

Would be 5 stars if not for:
* Horses allowed on trail (had to make way)
* Horse manure all over trail (had to dodge)
* significant haze from BC wildfires

A couple recommendations:
* arrive before 715 (weekday) to get parking on site
* start hiking early to avoid crowds and horse tours on the way up (you'll inevitably be inconvenienced on the way down)

What to expect:
* balanced mix of flat path, gentle incline, and moderate incline
* excellent lake Louise views (crowd free views too if starting early)
* excellent views of glaciers
* quick and fun detours to the streams and also to stand in the lake

Would gladly do again, especially when the fires clear.

hiking
7 days ago

We arrived later than we wanted to but got to Lake Louise around 930. We saw that the signs said parking full but decided to check it out anyway. Mistake. We ended up driving to the area but ended up being directed out back to the shuttle bus area. Even if someone had left they still don’t let you in, so don’t even try. By the time we got to the shuttle area even that was close to capacity and I think we got the last spot. Definitely get there way earlier than that. Shuttle had a lot of people but it does go pretty fast. They keep a lot of buses going through. I didn’t feel crowded going up the hike at this time of day but noticed a lot more traffic after lunch coming up when we were headed down, it took us about 1 1/2 to get up. It was a lot more inclined than I expected. I see reviews about it being good for families but I thought it would be very strenuous bringing young children up. When we got to the tea house we saw a line up which we expected. We noticed a sign that said to the left line up for take out and to the right table service. We went to the right but someone did accuse us of bumping the line, I guess he didn’t read the sign. Some issue there. We did get a table inside but it was super hot and it should have been renamed the sweat box. We sat and waited a bit with no service and decided it was way too hot to stay inside and eat later at Lake Louise. We did try to use the washrooms but they do only have two outhouses and that was a giant wait as well. We waited on that as well. We continued the hike the next 1 km to little bee hive and that was a nice walk that didn’t take long. The next hike to big bee hive was straight up the mountain so we decided it was far enough. The temp outside was 30 so we didn’t have enough energy to continue. Walking back down was way easier and faster although be careful about tripping. Enjoyable to eat at Lake Louise and enjoy the view. It is an excellent hike but bring lots of water and take your time and rest when you need. I would do it again absolutely.

I can’t give this hike any less than 5 stars because of the views. But, be SURE TO GET THERE EARLY if you are in Banff during tourist season. I was personally shocked at the amount of people. Start at daylight and you won’t be disappointed.

Arrive extra early to get a parking spot in the lot, otherwise you’ll have to park along the road and walk in. It’s extremely busy and populated. Its become more of a tourist spot. It’s a very easy trail, good to do with kids or the family. There is a “hidden” cave which is fun to find and explore.

Pretty easy hike the hardest part was avoiding crowds. We arrived just before 9 and got a good parking space. If you are trying to do photography I would highly recommend arriving around 8 to avoid crowds.

Nice and easy hike beautiful lakes

Jam packed with tourist but still beautiful

Sooo crowded! Not a nature hike. So many people we could barely walk. Do not take dogs for this same reason. Maybe if you when at 6am it would be cool but with a fence and a paved trail it was not my kind of hike. Many other options in Banff.

hiking
9 days ago

The tip I kept getting was to arrive before 7 am, however the lot fills up by 5 am and stays closed a good portion of the day. Allow yourself a couple of tries to get in. When you finally do, you’re rewarded with the most unreal view for a short hike. It’s worth battling the crowd to get in and if you try, you can find a quiet spot.

hiking
9 days ago

A nice view of Moraine Lake, but there are better views available on the Shoreline Trail.

Lots of fun, with the most unreal views at the top. You're definitely going to get your cardio in on this one. Took us 2 hours with lots of breaks.

Just a walk along the lake, good for chilling, the lake is beautiful :) came there at 5am to have a parking spot and get the sunrise, worth the short night!

Really amazing hike, one of the best I’ve ever done. The early part around the lake is crowded, but easy and flat. At the midpoint, it climbs pretty continuously, which can be hard, especially at the gravelly areas near the top. I stressed my knee descending, unfortunately, but it was still worth the landscape and view.

When we were there, it as early (7 am) and overcast, which was perfect for hiking weather. There isn’t much shade so if the sun is out it can get hot.

This was a really beautiful and easy walk. Although the beginning shoreline gets crowded, especially near the Rock Pile, not too many venture out onto the trail itself. Peaceful views and beautiful forest.

If you want to park, get here early, like 5:30 am. The parking is full at 6:00, though it empties out somewhat after dawn.

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