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Hiking/Dining Day Trip to Lake Louise area

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Four couples are taking a day trip from Banff to the Lake Louise area. We would like to do a half day of "light hiking" (due to the large group and variety of fitness/interest levels) and then finish up with a great lunch...chowhound quality. Any suggestions on the best way to get the biggest bang for our hike/food objective?

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  1. Here are three options, Sadie, in keeping with an olympic year .....

    Bronze (easier/cheaper) - Lake Agnes above the Chateau is short but steep (7km round trip) with rewarding views. Back in Lake Louise, Bill Peyto's Cafe at the Alpine Centre will refuel you for a pittance. Laggan's Mountain Bakery and Deli in the little strip mall would also work.

    Silver (more strenuous/mid-priced food) - Plain of 6 Glaciers Teahouse followed by lunch at Legends Restaurant in the Lake Louise Inn. If quantity matters, the Lodge of Ten Peaks at the ski hill does a decent lunch buffet. (this is also your best chance of spotting a real live grizz or two from a safe spot)

    Gold (steep terrain and prices) - Fairview Mountain is a spectacular grunt. Once at the top you can see forever if you can contain your vertigo. Then lunch at the Poppy Brasserie in the Chateau Lake Louise one vertical mile below you.

    Running late? Looking for a very special place for dinner? Check out the Baker Creek Bistro on the 1A on the way back to Banff.

    Enjoy!