Banff National Park No.3
Day three was created at 4:00AM by silence and foggy breath and shivers. As the night dipped lower and lower, we soon were kicked out of our tent to curl up in the car and periodically turn on the heater. The sun didn't rise till 8:00am, so my mom and I spent the dark gap of time looking at our map and planning out our upcoming days.
Once the sun rose it was a quick trip to the washroom/shower house to get cleaned up, a quick on-the-go breakfast and we were off the Lake Louise to start our hike on the Plain of Six Glaciers to the tea house. The first section of the trail is wonderful, flat and paved which made it very easy and enjoyable as it follows Lake Louise. However, at the end of the paved section it starts an almost continuous climb up the mountain to the tea house. It would have been more enjoyable with a hint of sunshine, however, we picked a day of continuous drizzle and rain with no break in the sky. There were some incredible sections as you walk along the edge, over water formations, next to smaller waterfalls, and a constant great view of the Rockies and glaciers.
Once you reach the summit of the trail, you can continue on 2km more to a view point of the park, however our view was blocked by clouds, so we stayed at the tea house. It must be a paradise in the warmer months, but when one is soaked and cold, sitting on an outside porch with not much to eat (due to my allergy to mushrooms) it was a bit disappointing. However, the hot coco and tea my mom and I had, definitely help lift our spirits and after a quick stop at the washroom we were trekking back down the mountain.
The hike descending from the tea house was a breath of fresh, downhill, air and as the rain quit two-minutes into our decent, our hike was blissful and well enjoyed. We spent the rest of the afternoon tracking down a hotel room for the night as it was to be colder then the previous night and we were still cold and wet from our hike on the Six Glaciers. Once that was acquired, we took down the tent, hung it up to dry in our newly acquired hotel room and hot showers commenced before enjoying a wonderful dinner in the Lake Louise Village. Though we were cold and wet, during our hike we got to see so many things that I can't even begin to list here, it also was the biggest ego boost for my mom as she had never truly hiked till this trail and she kicked butt making it to the top. When in Banff, there is hundreds of trails of all various challenges and all of them give you an incredible view and experience.
Things learned, when hiking any of the longer trails - trekking poles are HIGHLY suggested. If you'd like to enjoy a teahouse but not hike as far - the Big Agnus trail takes half the time and the tea house over looks the lake. The Lake Louise Inn was by far the best HOTEL we stayed at - opt for the $1.00 extra per guest for breakfast option it's the best you can get and very cheap. If you haven't tried Poutine at this point in your trip - IT IS A MUST!