Yesterday, I featured Day 1 of Megan and Benny’s Banff travels! If you missed it, read all about it HERE! Today, I’m sharing their family portraits at the iconic Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and the Lake Agnes Tea House! This has to be my favorite day of the weekend trip! It was crammed from sunrise until dinner time (with breaks in between to recover, of course). 🙂
When Megan approached me with the idea of traveling family photos, I had never offered anything like this before. Sure, I’ve photographed plenty of destination portraits in the past. But this was much different, and it was the best experience! Check out day two below!!
Moraine Lake, Canada at Sunrise
A 4:15 a.m. wake-up call — Early for anyone, BUT if you want to be there for a Moraine Lake sunrise, it requires an early morning. Moraine Lake was open to anyone years back for the sunrise, but because of its popularity, they had to limit the number of people and require shuttle rides. I’m glad we researched and booked tickets beforehand because it was incredible!
Everyone stood facing the lake anticipating the alpenglow. Every minute the sun crept down the mountain ridge, the entire view changed. We were in awe as if we were living in a painting! Once the alpenglow turned into a yellow hue, we ventured below to the canoes. It’s a beautiful sight to see the colors of the canoes against the bright blue water and the towering mountains! Baby Palmer fell asleep once we got to the canoes, which resulted in cute, snuggly photos.
If you plan to be in Banff, book your sunrise ticket to see Moraine Lake! 100% worth it.
4.5-Mile Hike | Lake Agnes Tea House
After recovering from our sunrise adventure, we grabbed coffee and lunches (again from Trailhead Cafe in Lake Louise Village) and met at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, where Benny and Megan were staying. From there, we walked around Lake Louise and hiked to the Lake Agnes Tea House! We heard people on the way down that the tea house was crowded but worth it (I agree)! Megan was a little hesitant because the 2-mile uphill climb was STEEP (1,500′ gain). The altitude worked against them since it was much higher than in Virginia (4,500’+ higher!). Palmer clearly enjoyed her ride up. Haha! The scenery was beautiful as we stumbled across mountain views, waterfalls, and a small lake.
Upon our arrival, it was crowded around the lake/tea house, but we got a seat with an epic view! You can see the ski slopes from our table, as you’ll see below. And as expected, the tea was delicious! When in Canada, go for the maple tea. 🙂 Some visitors around us were so sweet too – We even had someone who rocked Palmer to sleep. So cute! We really enjoyed hanging by the lake and at the tea house!
I won’t go much into detail about the fascinating facts about Lake Agnes Tea House, but here are some unique things about this little restaurant:
1) A helicopter has to bring supplies to the tea house since there isn’t a road available.
2) Employees have to hike up and down the mountain to get to work.
3) The employees are in charge of bringing bags of trash down the mountain and even hiking up with some supplies if needed.
4) The tea house does not have electricity. It’s incredible that they run a successful business in a very remote, off-grid location!
Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Canada
To finish the last full day in Banff, we took photos around Lake Louise! 🙂 Megan and Benny were staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, after all. It was a little smokey, but apparently, the smoke acts up on warmer days. We didn’t let that steal the experience of these views!
We checked off a bucket list item and rented canoes on Lake Louise. It’s incredible how BLUE the water is. It’s also freezing, and you wouldn’t believe the number of people who jumped in for a “polar plunge!” When it was time to hop into our canoes, I loved seeing Palmer in her little life jacket! However, she wasn’t very happy because the life jacket is not the most comfortable outfit for a baby (but very necessary). Overall, it was a BEAUTIFUL sight!!
After our canoe adventure, we wrapped up with a few more family portraits before saying our goodbyes. Palmer was ready to relax after a busy day, too! It was soooo great spending this quality time with Megan and Benny, and meeting little P! Parenthood looked good on them! This trip with this family was a highlight of my 2023 year. <3
Thank you again, Megan and Benny, for having me document your family adventures in Canada! What a beautiful experience from start to finish. <3 I loved hanging out with you all and catching up since our travels to Thailand! I hope to see you all again soon! XOXO!
Stephanie Messick Photography, LLC is a Colorado Springs, Colorado Wedding, Engagement, Maternity, + Family Photographer, also serving Northern + Central Virginia. Learn more HERE or contact her HERE!