Saturday, August 11, 2007
08/11/2007 0 °F
The temperature was below freezing last night and it snowed on top of mountains! It's August! I take a walk around the campground this morning with a winter coat, hat and gloves -- but I'm still cold.
It is very foggy this morning, but by the time we drive up to Lake Louise, the fog begins to lift.
We're taking a long hike today in the Lake Louise area. As we start up the Lake Agnes trail, most of the fog lifts off the lake and we get a view of gorgeous Lake Louise.
We were here 15 years ago for one day and I remember it as being the most beautiful place that I've ever seen. We were fortunate to have a crystal clear blue-sky morning that day and very early in the morning the lake was as smooth as ice. Simply beautiful. So I am looking forward to our hike with views of the lake and area glaciers.
As we hike up the Lake Agnes Trail, we meet a couple from Canmore (a city about 20 miles south of Lake Louise) who must be close to 80 years old. We will cross each other's paths all day with this couple -- they are almost in better shape than we are. I hope that I am capable of a strenuous hike when I'm their age. I really enjoy talking and joking with them throughout the day.
We hike up the Lake Agnes Trail to Mirror Lake and take a break to enjoy the view. Big Beehive mountain is the mountain behind Mirror Lake. After our hike up to Lake Agnes, we will continue our hike around the lake and up to the top of Beehive Mountain.
After our break, we continue on toward Lake Agnes.
We finally make it up to Lake Agnes.
We find a place with a great view of the mountains and eat our lunch.
After lunch we continue our hike around Lake Agnes. The lake is very picturesque, with a teahouse at the end (near where we had our lunch). There are many others at the lake today and the teahouse is filled with people drinking hot chocolate, coffee and tea. The teahouse was built many years ago when the park was trying to encourage tourists to visit. It's rustic, but pretty. Jere has no interest in it, but Joe and I take a peak inside.
After we get around Lake Agnes, we head up the trail, with it's many switchbacks, to the summit of Big Beehive. We take a break at every switchback to catch our breath -- the view is incredible at every switchback. Here's a view of Lake Agnes from halfway up the mountain:
And here's a view of the distant snow-covered mountains from the trail:
We finally make it to the top of Big Beehive and the view is absolutely incredible! We sit on a rock ledge and enjoy the view of Lake Louise while we eat the rest of our lunch. That's Chateau Lake Louise at the left end of the lake.
There's also an old shelter at the top of the mountain where several people are relaxing. We spend some time talking with several people and enjoying the views. And taking lots of pictures.
We eventually leave the top of Big Beehive and head toward the Trail of Six Glaciers. The views of the glaciers above Lake Louise are wonderful as we hike down the mountain.
As we're taking a break to look at the various glaciers, we hear a roar and realize the the one glacier is calving off big chunks of ice. Very cool to see.
It's a long hike, but we finally get down the mountain and take a trail that leads to the far end of Lake Louise.
We again take lots of pictures of Lake Louise.
We only hiked about 7 miles, but the trails were somewhat steep and strenuous, (and we took many breaks to enjoy the scenery) so it is almost 5pm when we return to the car. We really enjoyed the trails. The scenery was incredible. There were a lot of people on the Lake Agnes Trail and the Trail of Six Glaciers--and they were from all over the world. We must have heard at least 8 different languages being spoken. Surprisingly we didn't meet anyone else from the U.S.
We're tired but decide to drive over to Morraine Lake anyway. It's a pretty lake, but it's getting late and we're tired so we don't spend much time there.
We then go back to the trailer and collapse for the evening.