After 3 full days of hiking in Banff I’m not going to lie, waking up on the 5th day was pretty difficult. Day 5 involved leaving Banff behind us and driving north to Lake Louise with a few stops along the route before spending the afternoon hiking.
The thought of doing another day of hiking was prettyoff-putting however due to muscle soreness but mind over matter prevailed and so after an early start we checked out of the hotel and set off from Banff at around 9:30am along highway 1A.
Driving along the Bow Valley Parkway out of Banff I was really hoping to see some wildlife however like a lot of the trip so far, wildlife has unfortunately been really scarce despite this road being known for sightings.
The first stop we made along the route was Castle Camp which was an internment camp during the war. There’s a memorial and information board which was quite interesting but in all honesty there wasn’t much to see here.
From here we then drove straight towards Lake Louise making our first stop of the day at Moraine Lake.
The waters here were unreal, so blue like nothing I have seen before, the photos really don’t do it justice! Unfortunately there have been so many forest fires this year that there has been a really thick smoke hanging in the air for days so seeing to the horizon has looked incredibly hazy.
Moraine lake was excellent however and so if you’re heading up here, make sure you take the time to go take a look.
Leaving Moraine Lake behind us we then headed just up the road to Lake Louise. Parking at the lake was horrendous however at 12:00 and so we had to drive all the way back down the road around 10km to the overflow parking shuttle service. From here Parks Canada provide a free shuttle bus to Lake Louise which runs every 10 minutes so we jumped on one of the school busses and headed back up to the lake.
Once back up at Lake Louise the lake itself was stunning even without being able to see the famous glacier due to the smoke.
At the lake we then commenced our hike of the day which was the Lake Agnes trail, around 4km each way. What we didn’t anticipate however was quite how tough this trail was going to be! The trail was so steep at times my legs were on fire, this is definitely a trail you need to be fit for!
The start of the trail was pretty difficult due to the incline but the surface was man made so easy under foot.
As we ascended higher however not only did the trail maintain its steep incline but the surface became really uneven which was quite a challenge.
Once at the top of the trail we enjoyed a quick drink at the cafe, took some photos of the lake and looked at the waterfall before heading back down again.
It took around an hour and a half to ascend the trail and just over an hour to descend.
Back at the base of the trail we got the bus back to the car park and were pretty lucky to see some moose in the river!
And that was day 5, completely exhausting and feet feeling swollen! Tomorrow we leave Lake Louise and make our way north to Jasper National Park.