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Hike to the Devils Thumb

Lake Louise, Alberta

based on 4 reviews


Added by Andrew Lunt

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.

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Hike to the Devils Thumb Reviews

I enjoyed the hike. Magnificent view from the top of Devil’s Thumb. Nice path all the way up, it only get steep climbing up Devil’s Thumb.

If you only have one day in the area, do Big Beehive followed by Devil's thumb, then take the Highline trail back down to the back of the lake. You get all the best views & scenery in one loop!

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!

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!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


Snowshoe to Mirror Lake and Lake Agnes

Exploring Lake Louise

Scramble up Mount Niblock

Devil's Thumb Scramble

Hike to Big Beehive

Plain of Six Glaciers