Hike to the Devils Thumb

51.417315,-116.219205, Canada

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Added by

Andrew Lunt

Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Distance: 8.4 km (5.2 miles). Elevation gain: 425m (1,394ft). Duration: 3-4 hours, depending on weather. Unique views of one of the most beautiful places in the world. Easy hike until the last part to reach Devils Thumb.

Park in the main Lake Louise parking lot. Be sure to have purchased your Park Pass. These can be purchased as you enter Banff National Park, or at the Banff and Lake Louise Information Centers. Follow the paved path along the lake shore in front of the Hotel, Chateau Lake Louise. At 0.8 km you will reach a sign for directions to Lake Agnus, turn right and follow this well marked trail into the forest.

The trail will eventually fork, bear left here (west). A few minutes further from this junction you will reach Mirror Lake. A small beautiful lake in the heart of the forest, at 2025m. From hear you are heading towards Lake Agnus, continue to follow the well maintained trail. Eventually you will begin to walk a long set of wooden stairs. At the top of these you will arrive at the Lake Agnus Teahouse at 2120m. Here in the summer you are able to have a coffee from the tea house. This is seasonal and closes in the fall. Looking up to your left is the Big Beehive.

From the Tea house follow the trail south west along the shore of Lake Agnus. This trail will take you right to the other end of the lake. At the far end of the lake you will follow the trail through some switchbacks and arrive at the saddle to the Big Beehive, at 2261m. If you head left here you will get to the Big Beehive. For the Devils Thumb you head right (south west) on an unmarked broad path. With in a few minutes you will reach a small easy to navigate rock band about 3 meters in height. You will likely use your hands here. Above this follow the narrow winding trail around the mountain.

After about 15 minutes on this trail the path curves right (north) north and deteriorates. Here you will ascend a grass, dirt, scree slope. the first 20m section is steep and in wet weather can be challenging. You will eventually reach a small saddle with some pretty incredible views of the valleys around. Here you head right and begin working your way over rocky slab to the summit of the Devils Thumb at 2,458m. From the summit looking below both Lake Agnus and Lake Louise is visible. Looking straight ahead will give you a great view of the Lake Louise Ski Area. Mt. Victoria sits West South-West, Abbot pass is South-West and Mt. Leroy towers above the East side.

From the summit retrace your steps back to the saddle of the Big Beehive. At this saddle head South. Once on this trail you will reach a junction with the Highline trail. Turn left here and follow this trail, ascending then descending. You will eventually reach familiar ground at Mirror Lake. From here follow the main trail back down to the shores of Lake Louise.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Challenging and Dangerous Climb!

We would have loved to complete this hike, but the last bit wasn't worth the risk to us. The slope is very steep and has a lot of loose rock. You definitely need confidence and amazing balance to complete the scramble to the saddle. Brian and I got about 1/4 of the way up and decided to turn around because I wasn't comfortable. It was extremely disappointing, but in the end it was the right decision and I am glad that I listened to my gut. - Julie

So Worth It!

Did this as an extension of Lake Agnes to Plain of Six Glaciers Loop but sooooo glad I did. Tough scree scramble but the views are some of the best I've EVER seen! Make the detour!

Exhausting but sooo worth it!

Devil's Thumb definitely has the best view in Lake Louise! From the top of the scramble you can see both Lake Louise, Lake Agnes, the village and all the way to the ski hill! The hike is definitely exhausting, especially towards the top but the views are 100% worth it. We did both Big Beehive and Devil's thumb in about 5-6 hours. DO IT!

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Added by

Andrew Lunt

Canada's Wild Is Calling!

You don't have to go far to feel a million miles away. Banff and Lake Louise are a short flight from anywhere in North America. And once you’re here, you’ll see why this perfect combination of raw wilderness and pure luxury is truly special. Located in Canada’s first National Park, it’s home to Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay, the three world-class ski resorts included in your SkiBig3 ticket.

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Snowshoe to Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes

Adventure

Exploring Lake Louise

Adventure

Scramble up Mount Niblock

Adventure

Hike to Big Beehive

More Nearby Adventures

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