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Hiking the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park, Lake Agnes

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Hiking Lake Agnes

Banff National Park, Alberta

Text and Photography by Mike Potter

agnes2This gentle hike allows some of the most beautiful views on offer in Banff National Park. Leave your things at your hotel, don your best hiking shoes and a bottle of water and prepare yourself for the beautiful path to Lake Agnes.

The steadily climbing but deservedly popular trail to Lake Agnes brings you to a mesmerizing body of clear water set in a wild steep-walled cirque.

The first 1.6 km travels through subalpine forest, whose two main tree species you can readily become familiar with by examining their needles. Those of the subalpine fir are two-sided, with rounded ends; using alliteration, you can think of “flat, friendly fir”. The needles of the Engelmann spruce (named after a botanist) are four-sided, with sharp-pointed ends – thus “square, spiny spruce”. The bark of these trees also helps in identification: subalpine fir has smooth grey bark with bubbles of sap underneath, whereas Engelmann spruce has rough, corrugated bark.

The opening that you reach at km 1.6 is a result of winter avalanche activity. It grants views across to Fairview Mtn., where you may spot people who have scrambled to the summit (see Fairview Mountain description). This vantage point also allows you to look down upon Lake Louise with its typically turquoise colour; the apparent miniaturization of any canoes you see reinforces the fact that you have already covered almost half of the elevation gain to Lake Agnes.

The stunning view of Lake Louise.

The stunning view of Lake Louise.

The trail doubles back from the first switchback, then curves around to the junction with the horse trail from Lake Louise. (Although, as the sign here indicates, the distance to the Chateau is less by the horse trail, I recommend sticking to the footpath since its grade is gentler and thus easier on the knees for the descent.)

You reach Mirror Lake 300 m farther on. This body of water is small in size but has a spectacular setting with the near-vertical east face of the Big Beehive rising above it. The cliff’s horizontal layers, from which this feature gets its name, show the sedimentary origin of the entire Canadian Rockies. The whole range is made of rock laid down particle-by-particle in the sea that once covered this area. The rock was then uplifted, folded, and fractured by powerful forces during a long period of mountain building.

Keeping to what seems to be a tradition in the Lake Louise area, there is ambiguity about the origin of the name of Lake Agnes. Lady Agnes Macdonald, wife of Sir John A. Macdonald, visited the area in 1886, taking the somewhat undignified but certainly exciting approach of travelling up front on the cowcatcher of a Canadian Pacific Railway steam locomotive. On a later trip she walked up to the lake – which was then known as one of the “Lakes in the Clouds” (the other is present-day Mirror Lake) – led by Willoughby Astley, first manager of the Lake Louise Chalet (1890 – 1894).

As it happened, Mr. Astley had led Agnes Knox, a “Toronto elocutionist”, to the lake just a few days earlier. He relates: “Now we were in a fix, as Lady Macdonald understood from high C.P.R. officialdom that she was the first woman to be shown those lakes.” By chance, the first names of the two women coincided, and the prime minister’s wife seems to have been satisfied with sharing the honour.

Distance: 3.5 km (2.2 mi) – Lake Louise to Lake Agnes
Day Hike: 1 – 1.5 hours one way
Elevation Gain: 390 m (1280 ft)
Maximum Elevation: 2120 m (6950 ft)
Trailhead: The northeast corner of Lake Louise; pass in front of the Chateau Lake Louise after crossing from the large public parking areas using either of two footbridges over Louise Creek.

agnes0.0 – Sign at junction (elevation 1730 m). Take the trail to the right, going up a gradual incline.
0.2 – Pavement ends. Keep straight, crossing the horse trail to the Plain of Six Glaciers. Begin steady climb on a constant grade.
1.6 – Switchback in an avalanche gully (1920 m).
2.4 – Junction with horse trail. Keep left.
2.7 – Junction at Mirror Lake (2030 m). Turn right along trail that starts 10 m back from lake, and begin a series of switchbacks. (Trail to left joins Highline trail toward Plain of Six Glaciers in 100 m).
3.2 – Junction (2105 m) with direct route to Little Beehive: this 500 m long connector joins the Little Beehive trail from the Lake Agnes teahouse at km 0.3 – thus saving 100 m if the Little Beehive is your first objective. Keep straight for Lake Agnes.
3.4 – Wooden stairs beside waterfall.
3.5 – Lake Agnes (2120 m) and teahouse.

Hiking the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park, Plain of Six Glaciers

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Plain of 6 Glaciers, Banff National Park

Banff, Alberta

Text and photography by Mike Potter

The Plain of the 6 Glaciers is a great hike that offers some fantastic views of Banff National Park and Lake Louise. Whether you are on the lookout for wildlife or just a well deserved cup of tea at the teahouse at the end, this is a good option.

Climber on the Plain of Six Glaciers trail

Climber on the Plain of Six Glaciers trail

The first 2.5 km of this hike serve as a good warm-up for the outing: this stretch is essentially flat. After tracing the north shore of Lake Louise you pass beneath the quartzite cliffs of the “Back of the Lake,” with a variety of challenging rockclimbing routes (for roped technical climbers only).

The trail then runs along the delta formed at the west end of Lake Louise, where particles of silt carried in the rushing glacial meltwater streams settle out when they reach still water. A sign marked “End of Nordic Ski Trail” suggests the origin of the open swaths soon encountered when the route starts to climb: they are avalanche chutes. These slide paths are especially dangerous for cross-country skiers in winter, but still constitute a hazard for people on foot early in the hiking season.

Hoary marmots, large members of the squirrel family with reddish tails as adults, are often found in the slide-created meadows. Marmots are also known as “whistlers” because of their high-pitched, far-carrying alarm calls.

The trail gives views of the terminal moraine left by the most recent advance of the Lower Victoria Glacier during the Little Ice Age, which peaked circa 1850. The present outlet stream flows through the steep, narrow gorge it has breached in the material deposited at the toe of the receding glacier.

The third in a series of four short switchbacks just 300 metres before the teahouse grants an excellent perspective over the glacial cave at the present toe of the Lower Victoria Glacier, and across to the peak named The Mitre (shaped like a bishop’s cap) between mts. Aberdeen and Lefroy.

Arrival at the teahouse reveals the complement of six glaciers that gave rise to the name: hanging glaciers on mts. Aberdeen, Lefroy, and Victoria; the Lefroy and Lower Victoria valley glaciers; and finally the bulge of a hanging glacier on Popes Peak to the north.

Just one of the beautiful views from the Plain of 6 Glaciers

Just one of the beautiful views from the Plain of 6 Glaciers

You reach the zone of the subalpine larch at the teahouse. Larches are unique in that although they are conifers, they shed all their needles in the autumn. The needles turn a brilliant golden hue before dropping off. Each year’s soft-textured foliage grows anew starting in the spring.

At the Plain of Six Glaciers teahouse you are also near the high cliff haunts of mountain goats, with their white coats and thin black horns. These sturdy, stocky climbers, who rely on seemingly insurmountable walls as escape terrain, can often be observed on the slopes due north of the teahouse.

For those who want full information about the hike, here is some in depth details to help you out.

Distance: 5.5 km (3.4 mi) – Lake Louise to Plain of Six Glaciers teahouse.
Day Hike: 1.5 – 2 hr one way
Elevation Gain: 370 m (1215 ft)
Maximum Elevation: 2100 m (6890 ft)
Trailhead: The northeast corner of Lake Louise; pass in front of the Chateau Lake Louise after crossing from the large public parking areas using either of two footbridges over Louise Creek.

marmot0.0 – Sign at junction (elevation 1730 m). Stay on left along the north shore of Lake Louise, as for the Lake Louise Lakeshore trail.
2.1 – End of the Lake Louise Lakeshore trail at a rest bench (1740 m) above the west end of Lake Louise. Descend a short distance to travel beside the braided channels of Louise Creek.
2.5 – Begin gradual climb at two rest benches where Louise Creek is a single stream funneled through rocky banks.
3.4 – Junction (1800 m) with bottom of Shortcut Switchbacks to Plain of Six Glaciers trail from the Highline trail. Keep straight.
4.1 – Junction with the Highline trail for Lake Agnes. Keep left. The trail stays fairly level for some distance and passes along a narrow ledge (there is an alternative route along the base of the cliff). Then begin a steady climb in the trough behind the north lateral moraine of the Lower Victoria Glacier.
5.2 – Series of four short switchbacks.
5.5 – Plain of Six Glaciers teahouse (2100 m).

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An Introduction to Lake Louise

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The body of water that the Stoney Indian people knew as Ho-run-num-nay, the “Lake of the Little Fishes,” lies in a valley close to some of the higher peaks in the Canadian Rockies. The first non-native to behold it was Tom Wilson, who – led by a Stoney guide – reached its eastern shore in 1882.

The completion in 1885 of a transcontinental line on the Canadian Pacific Railway route, along with the construction in 1890 of the first commercial accommodation at Lake Louise, attracted increasing number of visitors. The Lake Louise area became an international destination, largely due to promotion by the CPR.

Climber on Plain of Six Glaciers trailPioneers such as Walter Wilcox and Samuel Allen explored and mapped much of the vicinity. The surrounding mountains became a mecca for alpinists. Their activities created notoriety for the area when Philip Stanley Abbot became the first person to die in a climbing accident in North America when he fell during an attempt on Mt. Lefroy in 1896.

Legislation had created the Lake Louise Forest Park in 1892, but it was not until 1902 that the area including Lake Louise and Moraine Lake came under the protection of an expanded Banff National Park. Recreational hikers were drawn by a proliferation of trails, such as those to Lake Agnes and the Saddleback – built in the early 1890s under the supervision of Willoughby Astley, first manager of the original Chalet. A number of teahouses provided to cater to hikers proved popular (two of them, at the Plain of Six Glaciers and Lake Agnes, are still operating).

The works of the many painters who responded to the Lake Louise area, among them Belmore Browne, Lawren Harris of the Group of Seven, and Banff residents Peter and Catharine Whyte, helped to further spread recognition of the area. Road construction facilitated access, and visitors flocked to see for themselves the renowned scenery.

The Lake Louise area has become one of the premier attractions of Banff National Park, and indeed of the entire Canadian Rockies. You can marvel at the panoramic vistas from a distance, but to gain a better appreciation of these fabled environs, head out on foot to experience their fascination firsthand.

This guidebook beckons you to explore more than 270 kilometres (over 165 miles) of trails and routes within a 16 km (10 mi) radius centered on Lake Louise village. This area of some 600 square kilometres, with its concentration of hiking possibilities, can be the focus of excursions – whether short walks, day hikes, backpacking trips, or off-trail scrambles – during which you will garner in-depth knowledge of natural and human history.

You will also gather what may well become some of your most cherished memories…

Hiking Lake Louise | Recreation | Banff National Park | Rocky Mountain Destinations

Egypt Lake


Distance: 12.5 km (7.8 mi) – Sunshine downhill ski area parking area to Egypt Lake backcountry campground
Day Hike / Backpack: 3.5 – 4 hr one way
Elevation Gain: 695 m (2280 ft)
Elevation Loss: 375 m (1230 ft)
Maximum Elevation: 2330 m (7640 ft)
Topo Map: Banff 82-0/4
Trailhead: Behind (west of) lower gondola terminal at Sunshine downhill ski area parking area, at the end of the paved road 9.0 km (5.6 mi) from the Sunshine interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway. (Do not take access road from the southwest corner of parking area.)

The author at the summit of South Pharaoh Peak0.0 – Junction behind lower gondola terminal (elevation 1675 m). Head west up wide track.
0.8 – Turn right off wide track at sign (1740 m).
1.0 – Cross creek (1710 m) on footbridge or by rockhopping. Start steady climb.
3.1 – Cross Healy Creek on footbridge.
5.5 – Backcountry campground.
5.9 – Keep right; trail to left crosses Healy Creek on footbridge and climbs to Simpson Pass (1.3 km). Begin to climb more steeply.
7.7 – Cross footbridge and keep right; to left leads to Simpson Pass in 2.0 km. Climb through upper subalpine and alpine meadows.
9.2 – Healy Pass (2330 m). Veer north for 50 m before descending to northwest.
12.3 – Keep straight at junction (1985 m); warden cabin to right and Redearth Pass trail to left. Cross Pharaoh Creek on footbridge and climb to terrace.
12.5 – Egypt Lake backcountry campground and shelter (1995 m).

The trail to Egypt Lake via Healy Pass stays mostly in forest as it works up Healy Creek, except where it crosses a number of avalanche gullies off cliffs to the northwest once you’ve passed over the creek via the bridge at km 3.1. Soon after the backcountry campground at km 5.5, you pass the junction with the shortest trail (1.3 km) to Simpson Pass from this direction.

Then you have a steep stretch, and it is not until km 7.7 that you come out into open meadows interspersed with subalpine larch. The higher route to Simpson Pass turns south just after the footbridge here. From this point to the pass you reap the rewards of the trudge up the valley, for the ground is covered with glacier lilies in season and the views improve as you steadily gain elevation.

The vistas to the south encompass the numerous small lakes dotting the meadows toward Simpson Pass, the rolling terrain of the Sunshine Meadows, and in the distance Mt. Assiniboine, the “Matterhorn of the Rockies.” The often windy crest of the pass gives the first sight of Egypt and Scarab lakes, plus a horizon full of hitherto hidden peaks–including uniquely-shaped Mt. Hector near Lake Louise, some 60 km to the northwest.

From Healy Pass you can venture off-trail to travel along the ridge of the Monarch Ramparts, which despite its appearance from below is undulating and meandering rather than level and linear. This stretch supports a variety of wildflowers despite the often blustery conditions, evident in the large cornice that forms on the leeward east side. An intriguing species of the flora present here is alpine lousewort, with bright purple blossoms.

You can also take an excursion north from Healy Pass over meadows to pick up a path that leads up the ridge to a large cairn at the summit of a small peak of approximately 2545 m (8350 ft) elevation. This feature at grid reference 797622 gives views into the remote valley of Lost Horse Creek, and can serve as the jumping-off or end point of a cross-country jaunt to or from Bourgeau Lake.

The distance to Egypt Lake via the usual approach over Healy Pass, and the elevation loss from the pass, are such that most who head here are backpacking on an overnight trip. There is a backcountry campground near the lake, as well as a park-operated shelter.

The area is a justifiably popular destination that offers many hiking options, although the immediate vicinity of the lake is not a place to seek solitude. The name of Egypt Lake, and the names of other nearby features that have Egyptian allusions, were bestowed by the Topographical Survey in the early 1900s.

Backcountry Banff | Recreation | Banff National Park | Rocky Mountain Destinations


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Hiking in Dolomite PassBanff National Park is one of the Earth’s great protected areas, as recognized by its inclusion in a World Heritage Site. Although transportation corridors and population centres fall within its 6641 square kilometre territory, the park nevertheless offers many, many rewarding walks, hikes, backpacks, and off-trail scrambles.

The wilderness within Banff National Park shelters and supports a wide variety of wild animal and plant life. The park encompasses the range of the Canadian Rockies’ inspiring landscapes, from towering mountains to tiny tarns. The story of the park includes tales of colourful characters and extraordinary exploits.

This guidebook invites you to experience firsthand the many aspects of this fascinating area by venturing onto some of the more than 1100 kilometres of trails described. Enjoy, appreciate, and pass on your enthusiasm for the intrinsic qualities of this wildscape…all the while being aware of keeping any damage to an absolute minimum.

Backcountry Banff | Recreation | Banff National Park | Rocky Mountain Destinations

Hiking the Canadian Rockies, Bow Glacier Falls

Hiking the Canadian Rockies, Bow Glacier Falls

Banff, Alberta

Text and Photography by Mike Potter

Admiring one of the greatest views in the Rockies.

It can feel a bit like cheating with this hike. Despite its relevant easiness, the reward is magnicifient. This is without doubt one of Banff’s gems and an activity not to be missed.

This hike is quite short and easily accessible; nevertheless, it takes you close to a wildly leaping and tumbling waterfall that is much better appreciated when you are in its spray than from a distance.

The section along the north shore of Bow Lake is an easy ramble with open views toward the Bow Glacier and sharply pointed St. Nicholas Peak (the town of that name was the birthplace of Swiss guide Peter Sarbach). Following southwest up the flats of the alluvial fan, you cross a small headland and make your way toward a short but narrow canyon.

Bow Glacier Falls originate in a fair-sized lake (unseen from below) that lies in a basin below the receding toe of the Bow Glacier. Photographs from the early 20th century show that the ice once flowed right over the cliffs down which these cascades now drop.

Distance: 4.5 km (2.8 mi) – Num-Ti-Jah Lodge to base of Bow Glacier Falls
Day Hike: 1.5 – 2 hr one way
Elevation Gain: 170 m (560 ft)
Elevation Loss: 10 m (33 ft)
Maximum Elevation: 2100 m (6890 ft)
Trailhead: Parking area near end of spur road to Num-Ti-Jah Lodge west off Icefields Parkway, 3.0 km (1.9 mi) north of the Crowfoot Glacier viewpoint and 5.0 km (3.1 mi) south of the Bow Summit junction

Beautiful Bow Glacier.

0.0 – Trailhead kiosk (elevation 1940 m). Follow along lakeshore.
2.6 – Northwest corner of Bow Lake. Continue over gravel flats, crossing one small headland and aiming for north side of small canyon.
3.2 – Climb steeply up narrow path.
3.4 – High point above canyon (2010 m) opposite large chockstone forming a natural bridge. Descend to west.
3.6 – Edge of moraine basin at upstream end of canyon (2000 m). Take faint path to west towards falls; it soon fades, however, and you are left to pick your way over the rough terrain.
4.5 – Base of Bow Glacier Falls (2100 m).

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Hiking the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park, Moraine Lake Rockpile

Hiking the Moraine Lake Rockpile

Banff National Park, Alberta

Text and Photography by Mike Potter

Banff National Park has some of the greatest hikes around. Due to its former use as the background on the Canadian $20 bill, Lake Moraine along with Lake Louise, remains one of the most popular walks and rightly so. The relatively easy hike is rewarded with simply stunning views that remain ingrained in your memory for a long time.

The awesome view of Lake Moraine and the ten peaks.

The awesome view of Lake Moraine and the ten peaks.

The interpretive trail up the Rockpile, the prominent heap of boulders at the northeast end of Moraine Lake, gives an excellent introduction to the famous Valley of the Ten Peaks. Interpretive signs along the trail focus on the geology of the area, and viewpoints at and near the top give classic views of Moraine Lake and some of the Ten Peaks. One of the viewpoints is the exact position from which the illustration on the older Canadian $20 bill was taken; the scene is thus known as the “Twenty Dollar View.”

Distance: 0.5 km (0.3 mi) – Moraine Lake parking area to top of the Rockpile
Walk: 15 – 20 minutes one way
Elevation Gain: 15 m (50 ft))
Maximum Elevation: 1900 m (6230 ft)
Trailhead: Southeast corner of Moraine Lake parking lot.

0.0 – Sign (elevation 1885 m). Go straight, away from parking lot.
0.1 – Cross footbridge over Moraine Creek; begin short incline.
0.2 – Junction with Lower Consolation Lake trail. Turn right for Rockpile; climb rock-slab steps.
0.5 – Summit of the Rockpile (1900 m)

Tunnel Mountain


Distance: 2.3 km (1.4 mi) – St. Julien Road to summit of Tunnel Mtn.
Day Hike: 30 minutes – 1 hr one way
Elevation Gain: 240 m (790 ft)
Maximum Elevation: 1690 m (5545 ft)
Topo Map: Banff 82-0/4
Trailhead: Banff Centre overflow parking area in Banff townsite, on the east side of St. Julien Road, 350 m south of its intersection with the east end of Wolf Street. An alternative trailhead is at km 0.3 of this trail, where it crosses Tunnel Mountain Drive 500 m north of the east end of St. Julien Road.

0.0 – Sign with hiker symbol (elevation 1450 m) at northwest corner of parking area. Climb, steeply at first, then on more gradual switchbacks.
0.3 – Cross Tunnel Mountain Drive (1495 m); continue climbing on well-graded switchbacks.
1.9 – Reach summit ridge; turn north and climb gently.
2.3 – Summit of Tunnel Mountain (1690 m).

The well-designed switchbacks up the west side of Tunnel Mountain give you a relatively easy opportunity to reach the top of a Rockies peak. Granted it is a low one, yet reaching the summit reveals sweeping views up and down the Bow Valley. As Walter Wilcox wrote in 1896, it is “the best place from which to get a good general idea of the topography of Banff and its surroundings.”

Starting from within Banff townsite, the trail climbs through a forest with lodgepole pine, whose needles grow in pairs, and lots of Douglas-fir (recognized by the mousetail-like bracts of the cones). In the more open terrain at the summit ridge you will find limber pine, with large cones and needles in clusters of five.

As you gain elevation, the vistas to the west over the townsite and toward the Vermilion Lakes and Mt. Bourgeau become more expansive. At km 1.9, where the trail turns sharply north, you get the first look east down the Bow Valley from the edge of the precipitous eastern cliffs of Tunnel Mountain.

The shape of Tunnel Mountain is a result of its complete submergence during glaciation. The ice glided up the west side of this bedrock knob, but on the east side carried off rock loosened by repeated freezing and thawing of water in crevices. The rounded appearance of Tunnel Mountain contrasts markedly with the sharp summits of nearby, higher peaks, such as Mt. Rundle and Cascade Mountain, whose crests were not smoothed by glaciers.

Despite its name, there is no tunnel in Tunnel Mountain. The name originated with the at-times impetuous Major A.B. Rogers, who initially laid out a line for the westward-progressing Canadian Pacific Railway that was to run right through the peak, an obstacle that he proposed be breached by blasting a tunnel.

As it transpired, a less expensive route in the valley to the north was decided upon following an 1883 re-evaluation by surveyor Charles Shaw, who wrote: “Rogers’ location here was the most extraordinary blunder I have ever known in the way of engineering.” Thus dynamite was not used to bore through Tunnel Mountain; nevertheless, the name given in anticipation by the CPR has stayed with us.

Backcountry Banff | Recreation | Banff National Park | Rocky Mountain Destinations

Fenland Trail

Distance: Loop that can be started at several points.
Walk: 20 – 30 minute loop
Elevation Gain: Negligible
Maximum Elevation: 1380 m (4530 ft)
Topo Map: Banff 82-0/4 (trail unmarked)
Trailhead: The main trailhead is at the Forty Mile Creek picnic area, on the west side of Mt. Norquay Road 400 m north of the railroad crossing. Other trailheads are on the west side of Mt. Norquay Road 25 m north of the railroad crossing and again just south of the bridge over Forty Mile Creek, and on the south side of Vermilion Lakes Drive 600 m from its start off Mt. Norquay Road.

0.0 – Forty Mile Creek picnic area (elevation 1380 m). Cross footbridge and keep straight.
0.3 – Keep right; left branch leads to Mt. Norquay Road in 100 m.
1.7 – Keep straight; trail to left over footbridge leads to Vermilion Lakes Drive.
2.1 – Cross footbridge back to picnic area (1380 m).

The Fenland trail gives you insights into the ecology of this type of wetland. By definition, a fen is drier than a marsh but – perhaps surprisingly – wetter than a bog or a swamp. You can observe dynamic natural processes along this trail, for as well as fens there are areas in transition to swamp (the driest wetland, with white spruce trees, shrubs, mosses, and a spongy floor).

The biologically-productive mosaic of water, grasses, sedges, and shrubs found in a fen represents ideal habitat for creatures such as elk, beaver, and voles (little rodents that look like mice but aren’t).

Birdwatching along the Fenland trail is rewarding. You can usually sight such species as Canada goose, mallard, hairy woodpecker, black-capped chickadee, and yellow-rumped warbler. You might be fortunate to see, or at least hear, a barred owl or a kingfisher.

The belted kingfisher, to give the full name of the species found here, is so-called because of bands of different colours on the breast: blue on white in the male, blue and rust on white in the female. These intriguing birds, with what appear to us to be disproportionately large heads, are often first noticed by their rattling call.

Kingfishers dive head-first for fish from a perch over water, or from the air (sometimes hovering briefly over potential prey). Their nests are long burrows in stream banks, dug using their heavy bills and stubby feet. A belted kingfisher is pictured on the $5 bill.

Backcountry Banff | Recreation | Banff National Park | Rocky Mountain Destinations

Hiking Lake Louise

Introduction | Plain of Six Glaciers | Lake Agnes | The Rockpile
Larch Valley | Boulder Pass | Skoki Valley

The Canadian Rockies Net is proud to present this on-line sample of Hiking Lake Louise by local naturalist and author Mike Potter.

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Hiking Lake Louise is the authoritative guide to the famous “Hiking Capital of the Canadian Rockies.” This book provides comprehensive information on the concentrated network of trails in this area of spellbinding scenery and colourful history.

Features over 75 outings, ranging from relaxing walks and exhilarating hikes to rewarding backpacking trips and challenging off-trail scrambles. Describes over 270 kilometres of trails and routes in the Lake Louise area. Outlines the area’s natural and human history. Illustrates wildlife, wildflowers, and wild country in over 100 photographs by the author. Includes seven maps and a detailed introduction.

Mike Potter first hiked in the Lake Louise region in 1970 and knows it intimately, from majestic mountains to brilliant butterflies. Involved in interpretation with Parks Canada since 1983, Mike has worked summers taking park visitors on guided events and giving evening programs about the Lake Louise area.

Mike is the author of Backcountry Banff, the popular companion guide to this book.

Both books may be ordered directly by e-mailing Luminous Compositions.

Recreation | Banff National Park | Rocky Mountain Destinations