The trail to the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House is a great way to get a closer view of the Victoria Glacier. From the Fairmont Chateau hotel, the trail follows the shoreline of Lake Louise before it begins its climb up the rocky moraine trail created by the retreating Lower Victoria Glacier. Easy ways to get to Lake Louise are via the hop-on hop-off from Banff or on a Lake Louise tour from Banff or Calgary.
The trail is moderately demanding and it is 3.4 miles (5.3 kilometers) one way to the Tea House, with a 1,215 feet (370 meter) elevation gain. Once there, you can relax and enjoy a cup of tea and enjoy the views or continue on to the Abbot Pass Viewpoint for an even closer look at the Victoria Glacier.
Things to know before you go
- Don’t forget rain gear and extra layers; weather can change quickly in the Canadian Rockies.
- Leashed dogs are welcome on the Plains of Six Glaciers Trail.
- Bring some cash for a snack or drink at the Plains of Six Glaciers Tea House.
- The Lakeshore Trail at Lake Louise is paved and wheelchair accessible.
How to get there
The Victoria Glacier is located above Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Lake Louise is 36 miles (58 kilometers) northwest of Banff and 113 miles (182 kilometers) west of Calgary. Finding parking can be difficult at Lake Louise during the peak summer season so take the Parks Canada Shuttle or the hop-on hop-off bus from Banff and get dropped off right near the trailhead.
When to get there
Lake Louise is an incredibly popular tourist season so visit outside the peak summer tourist season if you can. Regardless of when you visit, start your hike first thing in the morning to beat the crowds. Some years the Plains of Six Glaciers Trail may still have snow in July, but the trail typically melts out in late May or early June.
The Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse
The charming Swiss-style Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse was built in 1927 by the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Today, there is still no road access or electricity and all supplies are brought in by foot or helicopter. The Teahouse offers light lunches, desserts, and drinks; everything is homemade right there.