The Plain of Six Glaciers: A Majestic Hike in Banff National Park

Banff National Park is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and stunning mountain landscapes. One of the most popular hiking trails in the park is the Plain of Six Glaciers, a scenic trek that offers sweeping views of glaciers, alpine meadows, and soaring peaks.

History and Development

The Plain of Six Glaciers trail has a rich history that dates back over a century. The trail was first used by early explorers and mountaineers who were drawn to the rugged beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Over time, the trail has been developed and maintained by Parks Canada to provide hikers with access to the area’s stunning scenery while minimizing the impact on the fragile alpine ecosystem.

Trail Description

The Plain of Six Glaciers trail is a 10.6 km (6.6 mile) round-trip hike that starts at the Lake Louise parking lot. The hike begins with a paved path that meanders along the shore of Lake Louise, offering stunning views of the turquoise waters and surrounding mountains.

After crossing a bridge, the trail ascends into the mountains through a dense forest of spruce and fir trees. As hikers emerge from the forest, they are greeted by a breathtaking view of the surrounding peaks and glaciers. The trail continues along a winding path through a series of switchbacks before arriving at the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House, a rustic cabin that has been serving hikers since the early 1900s.

The Tea House offers a welcome respite for hikers, who can enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee and freshly baked goods while taking in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Beyond the Tea House, the trail continues up to the Plain of Six Glaciers, an alpine meadow that is surrounded by six glaciers and offers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.

Tips for Hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail

The Plain of Six Glaciers trail is a popular destination for hikers, and there are several things to keep in mind when planning a hike:

  • Plan ahead: The trail is typically open from May to October, but weather conditions can be unpredictable. It’s important to check trail conditions before heading out and to bring appropriate gear, including warm clothing, rain gear, and sturdy hiking boots.
  • Arrive early: The trailhead can get busy, especially during peak season, so it’s best to arrive early in the day to secure a parking spot and avoid the crowds.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks: The hike can take several hours, so it’s important to stay hydrated and energized. Bring plenty of water and snacks to keep you going.
  • Leave no trace: The Plain of Six Glaciers trail is a delicate ecosystem, and it’s important to respect the environment by staying on the trail and packing out all trash.


The Plain of Six Glaciers trail is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Banff National Park. The stunning scenery, including glaciers, alpine meadows, and soaring peaks, is truly unforgettable. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice adventurer, the Plain of Six Glaciers is a hike that you won’t want to miss.

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