Lake Agnes in the Canadian Rockies

While in Banff, I made one of the worst budget travel decisions:

I rented a car.

Why? For three main reasons:

  1. One of my dorm mates did it and sounded convincing about it being worthwhile investment (you get the liberty of going where you want without the constraints of a guided tour itinerary or the limits of public transit)
  2. I procrastinated on booking a hostel in Edmonton, so HI was completely full by the time I made an effort (my “I’ll-figure-it-out-later” approach led me to plan a one-night stay in Edmonton, and I was going to get there via Greyhound. But that all failed when I waited too long to contact HI Hostel)
  3. Given my last minute planning, driving the car to Edmonton was the option that, aside from finances, would cause the least hassle (I even considered booking a hotel, taking public transit/a taxi to the airport, etc. and found that any savings were minimal)

Driving around was refreshing, and I got to visit Morraine Lake (which was suggested by Ben), Lake Louise, and (my favorite lake of all) Lake Agnes!

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The parking lot at Morraine Lake.
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Such an incredible view. So grateful I had the opportunity to see this in person.
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Me at the lake! I was really cold. It was as chilly as it is during winter in Los Angeles!
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Love how the trees and mountains look against the blue and clouds in the sky.
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It was a gloomy day when I drove around the Rockies. Here’s one view of Morraine Lake. The clouds are gray in this photo, but I still think it’s a beautiful view.

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A bunch of tourists at Lake Louise.
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Gloomy day at Lake Louise = not-so-vibrant photographs. Still, I was in awe. I wasn’t particularly fond of how this lake is very touristy (more than Lake Morraine), but it’s absolutely stunning. I could have sat there all day if it wasn’t so cold!
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View of Lake Louise on the way to the Lake Agnes hike trailhead.
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Mirror Lake is on the way to Lake Agnes. It’s small but still beautiful.
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View at the top near the lake!
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Once I got to the top, I made it a goal to grab a tea or coffee before heading back down. It seemed fitting, especially since it was cold up at the top…
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… but the teahouse only served those with seats. All the tables were full when I got up there, and many people were already waiting in line for seats to free up. It didn’t look like anyone was in a rush to leave, and it was completely understandable because the atmosphere about 1,200 feet above sea level was so relaxing.
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Even on a gloomy day, Lake Agnes is gorgeous. The 4.5-mile roundtrip hike was well worth it.
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(I’m not sure how that lady was sitting there without a jacket… Lol.)
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View from the top!

At the end of the day, I felt a bug coming. I’m pretty sure it was because of the weather changes that occurred while I hiked up Lake Agnes: first it was cold, then it rained, then it got warmed, then rain started sprinkling lightly, and then it got cold. So at one point I was sweating and almost took off my jacket because it got warm. And when it got cold because of the altitude change, I was still sweating.

Still, the drive and every step of the hike were absolutely worth the crappy feeling I had at the end of the day.

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