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My favorite hike! Push yourself to get to the top! I was nervous about doing the switchback at the end because it looked steep with loose stones but I went up anyway and the views were incredible, so happy I did.

We tried this trail in early May. Pros: we had the whole thing to ourselves. Cons: we didn't make it very far! Saw and heard a bunch of avalanches, so be smart(er than we were). Loved the parts of the hike that we were able to do and can't wait to return someday and finish it!

The Plain of Six Glaciers is an incredible day hike from Lake Louise with spectacular scenery. I have hiked the trail twice, in August 2016 and July 2017. This remains one of my favourite hikes in Banff.

This hike climbs high into the mountains through forests, a rocky avalanche path and along the ledge of a cliff and has some of the most beautiful views of glaciers, mountains, valleys and Lake Louise and eventually leads to a charming and rustic teahouse with delicious home-cooked food and beverages.

The trail began from the shoreline of Lake Louise in front of the Fairmont Chateau Hotel along the paved and flat Lakeshore Trail which followed alongside this beautiful turquoise glacial lake for the first 2 km. The trail then reached the far end of Lake Louise and a wooden boardwalk crossed over a portion of the lake and then started the ascent into the mountains.

There were vertical cliffs on the side of the path where you will probably spot some rock climbers. The well-graded trail then entered into a beautiful and peaceful forest where I saw some adorable hoary marmots on the rocks beside a small river. The path continued on a moderate incline for the remainder of the way as it gained a total of 365 metres of elevation with some steeper and more challenging switchbacks in the last section of the trail leading to the teahouse. It wasn’t too gruelling but it wasn’t simple either and there were some areas where the trail levelled out to give your legs a rest too. The hike was moderately challenging but I took my time and stopped for frequent breaks along the way which helped me.

The forest opened up to a wide open area with stunning landscapes and incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, the Victoria Glacier, a large rocky avalanche path, and Lake Louise in the distance behind you. The trail continued through this landscape for most of the hike and then followed along a narrow rocky ledge on the side of a cliff before switchbacking up to the teahouse on the last portion of the hike. I was surprised to see so much snow and avalanche debris on the hike as I got higher in elevation and closer to the teahouse! The scenery on this hike was breathtaking, impressive and just so beautiful with plenty of wonderful photo opportunities.

The final section of the hike consisted of a series of steeper switchbacks up the mountain leading through the forest to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House. The views of the Victoria Glacier were stunning and I felt so close to it! It was such a relief to reach the end of the hike after climbing the entire way there. The teahouse was a rustic and adorable two-storey log building with balconies all around it on both levels for seating. It was quite busy when I arrived there but managed to find a seat. I ordered the hand-ground hummus and salsa with tortilla chips and a hot chocolate and everything tasted incredible. The views from the teahouse were spectacular and it was so quiet and serene. There were outhouse washrooms here as well. From the teahouse, there is the option to continue hiking an additional 1.6 km to a closer viewpoint overlooking the six glaciers, however I was exhausted at this point and didn’t end up doing it, although I am sure it would have been amazing. If you’re lucky you may hear the rumbling of an avalanche in the distance here as well (I heard one last year but not this summer).

The trek down the mountain was such a welcome reward for my sore legs and the scenery was just as amazing coming down. I completed the entire 10.6 km round-trip hike in roughly 4 hours, including my stop at the teahouse.

Make sure to dress in layers and bring some warmer clothing on this hike, as the temperatures get quite a bit cooler as you gain elevation. Bring plenty of water and snacks and cash if you plan to eat or drink at the teahouse. Also be aware that this hike is mostly uphill on a moderate incline the entire way, with a steeper section shortly before reaching the teahouse. The air gets a lot thinner as you get higher in the mountains making it more difficult to catch your breath, so go slow and take breaks if you’re feeling exhausted. I found that my hiking poles really helped with the elevation and they took some of the pressure off my legs. This trail can get quite crowded during the day, so I suggest starting early in the morning in order to beat the crowds and secure yourself a good parking spot at Lake Louise.

The Plain of Six Glaciers is an incredible half-day hike from Lake Louise in Banff and I would highly recommend adding this one to your itinerary. This hike has some of the most amazing views and landscapes that I have experienced in the Rockies.

The Valley of Five Lakes is a 4.5 km moderately challenging circuit loop hike just 9 km south of the town of Jasper. I hiked here in August 2017.

The trail started off by passing through the forest and then crossing a wooden footbridge over a tall grassy and marshy area before gently climbing back into the forest. At the junction, you can either start the loop around the lakes clockwise or counter clockwise. I took the path to the right and went counter clockwise, starting at the fifth lake and going around the first.

The trail consisted of some steeper uphill and downhill sections along with some flatter areas in between but it wasn't too difficult although it was more strenuous that I was expecting it to be.

Upon reaching the fifth lake, the trail followed a narrow ridge along the side of a hill which provided amazing views of the lakes and gorgeous mountain landscape.

All five lakes were absolutely beautiful and awe-inspiring and I was amazed at the vibrant colour of the water in unique shades of blue and green and how crystal clear it was. There were beautiful reflections of the surrounding mountains and pine trees on the calm water's surface which made for some lovely photos. These lakes are among some of the most breathtaking ones that I have seen in the Rockies.

When you get to the first lake, continue along Trail 9B to loop back around to the trailhead unless you are looking for a longer hike around the first lake, then take Trail 9A.

It took me around 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the hike including the many stops that I made to take photos and admire the natural beauty around me.

These stunning lakes are definitely a must-see and well worth a visit in Jasper.

Easy hike! beautiful view at the end and a fun place to swim or cool off. Young or old this is a good hike for everyone.

hiking
14 days ago

Freaking beautiful- past the overlook

This hike was our first one in Glacier! It was busy but we were there over the 4th of July. Go early regardless during the busy season so parking isn’t an issue. Literally saw people yelling at each other in the parking lot for spots. The snow was still on the mountain on our way up and pretty entertaining as some folks had flip flops on attempting the trek. So wear tennis shoes! Once you get to the overlook YOU GOTTA KEEP GOING! The way down to the lake was beautiful and then once you get there it takes your breath away. Picture perfect views and a fun spot to spend time taking it all in. There had been “grizzly activity” the day before but we didn’t see any ( wheh) but we saw a few sheep, goats, chipmunks and what I think is a marmot!! Way back up is strenuous but doable if you walk or hike often.

Gorgeous lake. Nice hike.

Saw rams, mountain goats and moose along the way. No bears though! The glacier is slowly shrinking but still beautiful!

One of the best hikes in the country!!!!

Amazing views of the lake, with peaks above you and waterfalls galore.. Very crowded with people in the summer months. Went with a group, which is recommended as to not have to try and figure out the bear spray.

A nice trail, not terribly hard but will be very busy during the summer months. Plan to get an early start if you want a quiet trail because it’s popular with families

Nice get away trail in the summer time. It's all about timing. Got to enjoy the lake with very a little amount of people.

Beautiful quick hike - if you’re able, make it down to the lake, just be prepared for the stairclimb back up.

Amazing! Make sure to check trail closures, especially during the summer and fall when the grizzlies are active - glacier closes the trails according to bear activity. You can take a boat to make the hike if you’d like. Make sure to keep an eye out for animals in the valley below, saw moose, big horn sheep, and a grizzly.

Wear good hiking shoes and bring poles if you're planning on going up on the ridge. I hiked this back in September when it was raining/snowing. I tried to make it up on the ridge, but it was way too slippery and dangerous without poles. Rawson Lake is beautiful though so it was still worth the hike.

Got to hike this in the snow, it was an epic experience. Lots of slipping and sliding, but tons of fun. One of my favorite hikes ever.

Decent views on the trail and at the lake. Water took on an amazing shade of aquamarine. It was the most underwhelming hike in Glacier NP for us. Way too crowded. Very little change in elevation, views weren't as dramatic as I hoped.

Bring your bear spray. Proper hiking boots and attire make the hike nice. It could be done in regular runners. (I saw a lady hiking in flat shoes - she was not pleased with her shoe choice. The view at Rawson Lake was worth it from what she said!) Lot's of snow.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this trail with my grandson. The views are beyond spectacular

Excellent challenging trail, yet open to all able bodied hikers. In the summer I saw many people of all ages and physical ability going up the trail. Walk at your own pace and it's a great trail with an amazing reward.

Our whole family ages 7-47 lived this hike. The view at the lake was amazing!

I’ve hiked this in summer and spring.. Most recently being May long weekend of 2017. Did not bring snowshoes and it was a horrid mistake. Took 7 hours to summit after clambering and falling through hip deep snow. Otherwise, in summer conditions it’s approximately 2 hours to the top.

I really enjoyed this hike. We went Aug 1, 2018. The trail was not as busy as the Lake Agnes trail, it felt like a slower incline to hike, still a steep climb to the tea house. Beautiful views the whole way. The trail varied from switchback to hiking on rocks, and small pathways on dirt, it was awesome. We also continued on to the glacier viewpoint, it had spectacular views, it gets very rocky near the end, so tread carefully.

amazing hike! Unbelievable how beautiful the hike is and I definitely recommend it. Make sure to pack a good lunch because you're going to need it. A lot of incline thigh but Adobe waterfalls on the way and just beautiful in the summer!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike with beautiful views! Bring lots of water and enjoy lunch at the lake.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked in August 2018 from the parking area. Our trip lasted 6 hours total, 3 hours up, 1 hour for lunch near the glaciers, and 2 hours down. Beautiful views of lakes, waterfalls, and mountains. Saw a few mountain goats and bighorn sheet. Very congested with hikers at midday. I highly recommend starting early in the morning. We wore long sleeves and long pants at 7am, but quickly stripped into short sleeves and shorts by 8am. Bring lots of water and stop to enjoy the views!

I got to the trail head right at 4pm and hiked at full pace and made it to the lake in about 20min even with recording video of a white tail buck crossing the trail about 40 yards ahead of me. The trail was frozen and slippery in some areas. I made it back with barely any daylight left in the forested trails(there were two groups of hikers behind me that I passed)

Hard in winter season but worth for it

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of the best hikes in one of the best national parks and arguably one of the best hikes in the country. The trail along the north or south shores of Lake Josephine are flat but it is heavy grizzly territory. After a little more than 2 miles from the trailhead you will begin the ascent up Mt. Grinnell. The climb is difficult but extremely rewarding. The views of the surrounding Many Glacier area are some of the best in the park and depending on the season, waterfalls are present along the cliff face from glacier runoffs. Once you get to the top you are greeted by Grinnell and Salamander Glaciers. The crystal clear blue glacier water is even more beautiful in person than it is in the photographs. Hikers can take a break relaxing near the glaciers before heading back down. Although it's a challenge, I think everyone that visits GNP should check-out this hike; you won't regret it! Check out my website for some more of the best hikes in Glacier National Park:

https://trailheadtraveler.com/best-day-hikes-in-glacier-national-park/

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