Big Beehive: A big little hike near Lake Louise

big beehive view from trail lake agnes

While visiting Lake Louise, the weather was perfect for a hike so we decided to give Little Beehive a try.ย Little Beehive is easy to find, they said. Little Beehive is the easiest hike, they said. I’m sure it is. But we didn’t find out, because we ended up hiking Big Beehive, thanks to an accident of signage and some poorly-placed ego.

After a substantial trip up the mountain to Lake Agnes and its famous teahouse, we walked around the lake a bit, then headed up a rather sketchy trail, in search of adventure and beautiful views of Lake Louise. Well, we weren’t short of either.

Boyfriend Perspective:ย :Sign near teahouse: “<- Big Beehive, Little Beehive, Bathrooms”, :second sign: <-Big Beehive, Little Beehive/ -> Bathrooms”, :third sign: “Welcome to Big Beehive Summit”…..WTF? I wanted Little Beehive, where was the turn??!!


The trail up, up, up

When you circle around the backside of the lake to get to the trail, you’ll realize that this is not the same kind of trail you took to Lake Agnes. It’s rocky, and quickly becomes full of shale, roots, and large pebbles that are easy to slip on.

As you get further up the very steep trail, you hit a series of switchbacks that are every bit as sketchy. Take it slow and be careful, especially if you’re not a super-serious outdoorsperson.

Honestly, we’re not in bad shape. We work out multiple days a week, cardio included. But this was a kind of breathless I don’t think either of us had ever been up to this point.

RELATED:  Town of Banff: A perfect Canadian Rockies town

The up side? The views as you head up are stunning, and the area around the summit is also lovely. It makes the effort feel even more worthwhile ๐Ÿ™‚


Conquering Big Beehive

Well, we did it.

Downside? Almost too tired to climb down.



Pro tips

  • BRING LOTS OF WATER. The downside of starting your day with a small argument (one of the perils of traveling as a couple, what can you do?) is that you become a little absentminded. We left the water we’d brought in the car, and didn’t realize until we were a fair way into the trail up to Lake Agnes. We got pretty damn thirsty. Don’t be us.
  • Wear really, really good shoes. I made mistakes. I wore shoes that were comfy for a walking trail, not a hiking trail. My heels seriously suffered for it. Don’t be me!
  • Take the trail on the left. After you summit, don’t go back down the way you came. If you’re facing away from the summit, that way would be on your right. Take the trail on your left. It’s still steep, but it’s far less slippery and sketchy. That trail also takes you directly back down to Mirror Lake, so you’re much closer to the end of your hike.
RELATED:  The City of Lights for introverts: Paris off the beaten track


Enjoyed this post? Pin it for later!

big beehive hike alberta canada

19 Replies to “Big Beehive: A big little hike near Lake Louise”

  1. LOL well, I am glad it was you not me! I wouldn’t be making it up big beehive if you struggled – I’m just not that fit. You are right though, the view down when you got to the top looks stunning

    1. Girl, we’re not that fit either. It was sheer stupid stubbornness that that point! ๐Ÿ˜› hahahahah

  2. Lake Lousie is one of my favorite places to go to! I haven’t heard of Big Beehive before though, so I’ll add that to my list next time I go. You can’t beat those views of that blue/green water!

    1. The hiking trails around Lake Louise are one of the best parts of the area, for sure. You get to to skip all the iPad-wielding tourists and just immerse yourself in nature. Enjoy it when you go!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Oh my gosh, you guys are hilarious! I loved the boyfriend commentary, “I wanted Little Beehive! Where was the turn?!” But the view of the lake was extraordinary from there! Every time I see pictures of Lake Louise, I am stunned by the beauty.

    Also, I can relate to forgetting water and rarely wearing the right shoes for the situation. I don’t have hiking boots, so I’m probably doomed to be like you.

    1. Hah, we bitched and moaned a LOT about having missed that turn, wherever it was (we still haven’t figured it out!!). That said, you’re right, the views made all the aching and work worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love hikes with amazing views and that end views was spectacular and simply worth it – although I still would have done the hike for a different take on seeing the beautiful landscape

  5. This looks like a lovely hike. You went to Lake Louise when it was warm enough to do this. We always went when there was a lot of snow still!

    1. But I bet it’s stunning in the winter, too! This is one of those places I’d like to see in all seasons, if I’m honest ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. That view!!!!!! I’d take more slippery trails with stones for views like that! The colour of the lake looks so mesmerising! ๐Ÿ™‚ Surely the efforts were all worthwhile. Love your captures! ๐Ÿ™‚ Little Beehive and Big Beehive hehe:) That was amusing!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words ๐Ÿ™‚ You’re totally right that the rewards were worth the work… but it was A LOT of work! hah

  7. This hike definitely seems worth it! Great tip to take the left trail on the way down. I can handle steep, but after breaking my arm on a trail in September, I’m now all about avoiding the slippery trails if possible. I love Banff, so I know I’ll be making this hike someday soon!

    1. Oh man! I hope you arm has healed nicely – but can totally understand why you’ll be taking things a little more cautiously in the near future.

  8. That made me giggle, seems like exactly the type of things I would do. Gotta be proud of yourselves though! And that view! So amazing!

    1. Hah! Glad we’re not alone ๐Ÿ˜‰ It definitely felt like a huge accomplishment, although… if it’s possible to be thirsty to the point of distraction, I think we probably were hahah

  9. I always enjoy your post and like the way you add boyfriends perspective to it. Hike are always loveable. The Big Beehive trail looks quite tough but the views from top are just awesome. The blue lake is just Wow! and most important is you guys did it. The tips you mentioned at end for hiking are really helpful.

    1. Thank you for your kind words!! I’m so happy you enjoyed the post ๐Ÿ™‚ it was definitely a battle, but worth it (Luke apparently isn’t so sure. He says he’s still out of breath…)

  10. Such a beautiful place, I’d love to be able to include these hikes on my trips. Hopefully I’ll make it to the region some time soon.

    1. If I’d realized how amazing it was, I’d have dragged Luke here a long time ago, that’s for sure ๐Ÿ˜‰ hope you get there soon!!

Leave a Reply