Banff National Park was Canada's first national park and the world's second. Banff National Park is full of easy and challenging hiking trails, relaxing hot springs, beautiful lakes, and best of all, cozy tea houses. The tea houses in Banff National Park are set very close to the actual town of Banff. Built in the early 1900s as a refuge for hikers, the tea houses in Banff are a must-see. 

One day during our two week trip in Banff National Park, we decided to go to Lake Louise and do the hikes to the tea houses, nestled in the mountains far away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Even though it was summer, the mountains in Banff, Canada were still pretty cold, making it the perfect time to enjoy a cup of tea.

My experience in Banff National Park was unlike any other I have ever had. Filled with elk burgers, fresh salmon, oatmeal waffles, and best of all, tea, my trip was one that I will never forget.

Lake Agnes Tea House

Rachael Stockel

Panting after the two and a half mile uphill walk from Lake Louise, my family and I arrived at the Lake Agnes Tea House hidden in the beautiful forest of Banff National Park. The Lake Agnes Tea House was our first stop on our tea experience that day.

The Lake Agnes Tea House is the most popular tea house to go to in Banff. This means that the line outside of the tea house was pretty long, but, as my hands were shaking because they were so cold, tea sounded like the perfect treat after the long trek to get there.

With over 100 types of teas from all over the world to choose from, the Lake Agnes Tea House draws tourists by the hundreds to their welcoming cabin. Their teas include black and flavored, green, white, and many fruit and herbal teas, as well as a wide variety of treats to pair them with. Some of their more interesting teas include the Golden Mountain Needle, a green specialty tea from China with a sweet honey flavor, and their Chocolate Mint Avalanche, my sister's favorite. All of their teas are loose leaf and their pastries are hand baked and made fresh daily to provide the best experience for their customers.

One of their most popular baked goods is what they call a mountain bar. These bars consist of graham crackers, chocolate, sunflower seeds, coconut, and raisins. It is the perfect bar to get you fueled for the rest of your hike. Their other baked goods are several different types of cookies and loaf cakes.

Enchanted by the many choices for tea, we finally decided on chai tea with biscuits and jam. When the tea came out, it gave off a comforting aroma and hot steam, getting me even more excited. The minute the tea reached my lips, my body was instantly warmed and I knew that the hike was well worth it. The biscuits were even better: the jam sweet but not too sweet, and the biscuits the perfect texture. 

Six Glaciers Tea House

To continue our tea experience, after we left the Agnes Tea House, we hiked another 3 miles or so to another tea house called the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House. 

Once we had arrived, we collapsed into our seats and gave a huge sigh of relief. The Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House was much higher in elevation and much colder than the Lake Agnes Tea House, but less crowded.

Here we had tea, again, and chocolate cake, a nice treat to reward ourselves for hiking the many hours we did that day. Other things on the menu were hot meals of the day, which was a soup the day we were there, sandwiches, quinoa salad, chips and hummus, and biscuits and jam.

After our meal, we hiked the last almost 4 miles back to Lake Louise, happy to have gotten to experience the tea houses in Banff. 

My trip to Banff was filled with many good memories but the best memory was the hike we did to the two tea houses. The tea house food experience in Banff is something that you can't do anywhere else. Although the hikes were exhausting, the memories we made that day are irreplacable.