Trailhead: Park at the Chateau Lake Louise parking lot at Lake Louise. Banff National Park.
Description: Walk past the front of the chateau and follow the trail along the northwest side of Lake Louise. Expect hordes of people here during the summer months. The crowds thin out when the trail enters into a narrow valley leading towards Mount Lefroy and Mount Victoria. Views of Lake Louise, Mount Lefroy, Mount Victoria and the Victoria Glacier are unforgettable.
As you hike above the tree line you can see terminal and lateral moraines left by the Lefroy and Victoria glaciers a few 100 years ago. Today the Lefroy Glacier is almost gone. There is one small piece of ice near the base of the mountain. The Victoria Glacier still flows down Abbot Pass but has receded from the base of Mount Victoria.
As the trail climbs higher you’ll come to a low cliff ledge with a steel cable attached. Hang onto the cable while traversing the ledge. If it’s crowded or you’re afraid of heights you can take the lower ground trail located at the bottom of the cliff. Once you pass the cabled ledge you start hiking up a switch back towards the Tea House. The Tea House was built by Swiss guides in 1924. The name “Plain of Six Glaciers” was from the views that can be seen from the Tea House meadow.
You can no longer see six glaciers but can imagine what it was like back in the day. Once you arrive at the Tea House the trail continues on for another 1.3Km towards a lookout on top of a lateral moraine. Hoary Marmots whistle as you pass by. Once you reach the lookout you can look back towards Lake Louise and the hanging glaciers on top of Mount Victoria. You can also look up Abbot Pass towards Abbot Hut which is used by climbers.
The Lake Louise route up to Abbot Pass is nicknamed the Deathtrap due to avalanche, falling rock, falling ice and hidden crevasses near the top of the pass. While looking across Abbot Pass at the summit of Mount Lefroy it is interesting to think that Philip Stanley Abbot was killed trying to summit Mount Lefroy in 1896. Abbot’s death was recorded as the first mountaineering fatality in north America. This Is Bear Country.