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Mount St. Piran and Little Beehive
Lake Louise, Alberta
July 6, 2021
Distance: 13.9 km
Cumulative Elevation Gain: 938 m

For the best view of Lake Louise with a straightforward hike, Mount St. Piran is hard to beat. Popular trails aided with numerous switchbacks take you high above the treeline leaving the turquoise lake in full view far below.

After leaving the upper parking lot, Dinah and I battled through throngs of tourists lining the lakeshore and made our way past the chateau to Lake Agnes trail. We followed the busy trail to Mirror Lake. There, we turned right and continued up the trail before turning off the side trail for Little Beehive. Tourists slowed to a trickle here, and few continued to climb St. Piran, even though they were halfway up the mountain and minutes from the treeline.

We followed the long, lazy switchbacks on the lower east slope while revelling in views of mighty mountains such as Mount Temple and Haddo Peak. Higher up, the switchbacks shortened. When we reached the ridge, the trail briefly winds through rocks to the top of St. Piran. Cairns and a large windbreak attest to the summit's attraction. We ate lunch while guarding our packs against determined chipmunks seeking a free meal.

Instead of hiking the circuit down to St. Piran-Niblock col and the Lake Agnes Teahouse as we did in 2011, we returned the same way. We did, however, take a moment to hike 45 m up Little Beehive. The slight effort brought us to a summit where we had to look for gaps in the trees to see anything. Then it was back down Lake Agnes trail and back among the tourists. But at least for a time, we felt like we had Mount St. Piran to ourselves.

KLM and GPX Tracks

Looking down at Lake Louise from the first switchback

Big Beehive rises above Mirror Lake

Still following Agnes Lake trail with Big Beehive ahead

Now on the St. Piran/Little Beehive trail with Little Beehive in front of us

We turned onto St. Piran trail

A few minutes later, we came out of the forest to see Mount St. Piran above us

Looking back at the lake. Bow Valley is veiled in smoke from B.C. forest fires.

Long switchbacks run up the lower slope

Chateau Lake Louise lies far below (mouse over)

The mountains in Skoki lie northeast

Mount Temple fills the background while Sheol Mountain is right

The trail climbs to the ridge on the right

We'll soon arrive on the rocky summit

Standing on the summit

The closest neighbours are Mount Whyte and Mount Niblock

We headed down to Little Beehive seen left

Dinah is a few steps from the top of Little Beehive

Looking back at Mount St. Piran

Devil's Thumb overshadows Big Beehive and Lake Agnes (mouse over for a close-up of the lake

We'll soon head back down to the Chateau. Mouse over to see where we parked.

82 N/8 Lake Louise

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