Western Canada has much to offer in the realm of the great outdoors. When it comes to site seeing, the Rocky Mountains have countless hidden gems within them. The Icefield Parkway is known to be one of the world’s most beautiful mountain highways. There are a number of site seeing stops and trails to hike on this 236km stretch of highway. Some of these spots require more effort to be seen than others. Put on your hiking boots, and throw on your favorite hoodie and enjoy these lesser-known hikes of the Rockies. Here are the 4 hikes from Lake Louise to Jasper that you don’t want to miss:
Lake Agnes Tea House
At the base of this 3.5 km hike is one of western Canada’s most popular site seeing spots, Lake Louise. Though Lake Louise is a jaw-dropper in itself, the Lake Agnes Tea House is a gem to behold for those willing to put in the effort to see more. Situated at the base of a hanging valley at an elevation of 2,135 m the Tea house sits next to Lake Agnes and over looks the gorgeous surrounding rocky mountain range. The reward for this more challenging hike is a dip in the glacial lake or a hot cup of tea and a fresh snack at the Tea House.
Amongst one of the top ten most beautiful highways in the world is a hidden canyon that reveals the power of the surging bow river in Jasper National Park. Carved down over centuries of time is the hypnotizing Mistaya Canyon, where you can sit on the edge of the canyon wall and revel in the echoes of a raging river without a crowd of tourists. Only a 10-minute hike off the Icefield Parkway, this canyon will bring your mind, body and soul at ease.
For those of you who like to chase waterfalls this 1-2 hour hike will take you along side a crystal blue creek up a waterfall-studded canyon. This trail has been forgotten by most, as the trailhead is located off the side of the old Icefeild Parkway. Follow the staircase of waterfalls up to the top of Stanley Falls and enjoy a secluded paradise amongst the forest.
Horse Shoe Lake
For those looking to get a little more adventure out of their hikes, Horse Shoe Lake is unlike anything you would imagine to find amidst the Rocky Mountains. Though this deep blue oasis lacks in sand beaches, as rock walls surround it’s exterior mimicking a tropical lagoon with cliffs of all sizes to jump off of. The trail circulating the lake only takes about twenty-five minutes to hike.
For those that don’t mind working a little harder to get somewhere the rewards are a more serene part of nature many others will never see.