Sometimes the journey really is about the destination. This is especially true if you’re hiking to the tea houses hiding in Banff and Lake Louise. By
The scenic hiking trails through Banff
Erected at the turn of the 20th century, the tea houses at Lake Agnes and Plain of Six Glaciers were built as a place of respite for explorers travelling by foot or along the nearby Canadian Pacific Railway. And, just as it was in the early 1900s, the tea houses today remain tranquil and welcoming stops for those hiking through the gorgeous Canadian landscapes.
Beyond maintaining their status as a must-see hiking attraction, the tea houses also maintain their Old World charms. Neither tea house has running water or electricity. Supplies, including flour and sugar, must be flown in by helicopter or packed in by staff on the trail. But the juice is worth the squeeze (or, perhaps, the tea is worth the steep), as the tea houses each offer delicious treats for those who are willing to hike to these hidden houses.
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To reach the second tea house, at Plain of Six Glaciers, travellers once again start at Fairmont Château Lake Louise. From there, hikers can simply follow the wide path for 3.4 miles (5.4 kilometres), gaining 1,215 feet in elevation before coming to the secluded tea house.
Not enough exercise for you? Try the “Tea House Challenge,” which challenges hikers to visit both tea houses in a single day. The two tea houses connect via the Highline trail to form a nine-mile (14.4 kilometre) loop. (Make sure to give yourself about five hours to finish and pack plenty of water and snacks for the route in between.) Ready to give it a go? Find further information on the tea houses, including when each house is open, here.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com