Explore Kananaskis trails - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Nice trail, good views, easy to walk up without any gear, would recommend ice trekkers if the weather gets worse.

Hiked October 20, 2018, the temperature was great, but a bit windy. The views at the top were spectacular. We were supposed to continue on to the Jewel Pass but the path going up was full of snow and slippery so for safety reasons we opted not to, we took the same route going down, we aren’t seasoned hikers by the way. It was a good hike. I highly recommend it.

Hiked Oct. 20 beautiful views from the top and a fun challenge in the snow for the second half of the hike.

Did this trail with a friend yesterday. What a hike!! And the views... A-MAZING! We are not experienced hikers; took us about 11h round trip. Very hard hike (for us) but SO worth it! I am so proud that we made it to the top.
Big thanks to the two guys who we met at Olympic Summit and told us that we should keep going to at least see the rock gardens. We hiked in their footsteps among the snowy side of one mountain, and I was offered one of their poles to borrow to the summit. What kindness!

walking
3 days ago

Completed this one two days ago. The trail is already snowed in, but well used so it's doable in hiking boots only.
This is an easy walk with lightly ascending towards the lake. Very appropriate for kids, pups and cross country skiing as well.
The views are more than amazing this time of the year.

on Chester Lake Trail

snowshoeing
5 days ago

Very easy to find the trail head, with designated parking/ washrooms. Many different choices of trails, from walking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing. It was a fairly easy hike up, I had beginners with me that were OK with the occasional break. The view when you get to the lake is beautiful. One of my favourite parts about this hike was the Gray Jays, if you do not like birds I highly recommend not sticking your arms/ hands out. They are very friendly.

We had snow shoes on, did not need them as the trail was well packed.

Great Hike! Just did it on Sunday, October 14th; there was lots of snow and it was a fun workout. We got to the glacier; we were the only people doing the hike so the snow was fresh and the views were amazing. We hiked the flat part and going up the mountain and then snowshoed for a couple of hours to the glacier.

short and with amazing view

We just did Chester Lake today with our 8-year old dog. It was an awesome hike! The views are beautiful and the hike is very doable. Gets the heart pumping a little on the way to the hike, but levels out quickly and it’s quite easy to the lake.
We will definitely be doing this hike again!

hiking
7 days ago

Nice views at the lake, easy hike with slow graduation. I would rate this as heavily trafficked.

I have done this twice and I always start by walking the 7km around barrier lake up Prairie view trail and down jewels. It’s such an amazing view on a clear sky and I have hiked it once in the summer once in the winter. FYI it can get super busy on a weekend.

hiking
8 days ago

Well packed snowy trail with great scenery... gets you up into the Alpine quickly and the views at the end are phenomenal! I will definitely be back in the summer

hiking
9 days ago

I loved this hike through the snow. The fir trees were beautifully outlined in snow and the larch trees were still a bright yellow on Oct 7th. Once we made it to Chester Lake, we took a break and watched the river as it began to freeze over. Chipmunks were playing in holes in the snow, and a few other people were enjoying the views and sliding ice across the lake with the snowy mountain backdrop. Another one of my favourite parts of the trip was that we saw so much wildlife. We must have seen about 20 big horn sheep on the road as we passed through Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and at the end of our trip, we saw a moose licking salt off of someone’s truck in the parking lot. A guy near us said he lives in the area and hadn’t seen a moose in 25 years so I felt pretty lucky since I only moved to Canada a few months ago. One of the best days on record for me.

Went Oct 8 and there is 2 feet of snow. Only made it to the waterfall and lost the trail several times. Done for the season but did this in the summer and it's well worth it.

snowshoeing
14 days ago

Did this one today. Only about 20 people on the trail. Still a bit of snow so snowshoes or micro spikes would be recommended. Still a few larch trees with needles on but won’t be for much longer. Nice first snowshoe of the year.

hiking
14 days ago

Stunning views and very rewarding for the effort put in. Only the first summit is really accessible with the snow. Starts at Ptarmigan Cirque trailhead and almost immediately opens into a snow covered valley filled with larches. Last ascent to the main summit was very steep and slippery - I highly recommend hiking poles. Trail is completely snow covered but quite doable as the trek through the valley of larches is fairly easy and with little to no elevation gain. Overall took us about four hours round trip.

hiking
14 days ago

Thoroughly enjoyable hike, early snow meant I'd have done better breaking the trail with snow shoes. Larches are looking great, the lake is now freezing over...by the time I descended there had been enough traffic to start to pack down the snow, Able to straight line the short cut through the deep snow to save a kilometer. saw moose, saw lynx tracks and the lake is spectacular. A bit more work than Chester Lake but more than worth it. Met some great people too.

Me and my girlfriend have just come from the UK to travel across Canada, we don't get to go out hiking anywhere as nice as this! We were probably underprepared for the snow, with some simple hiking boots, we went counter clockwise around the route, going up with the snow was fine! some nice person seemed to have cut a small trail up that we could follow without getting lost!... we thought we got to the top at the first clearing... we realised we had to scramble up a steep icy slope to get to the REAL look out, which we did! without equipment but with strong will! going down was fun! should of brought a sled though!, the snow got deeper until we hit the cross road for jewel pass, the track disappeared at this point and we followed footprints, the snow here.. was VERY deep for us, but there was no way we were turning back! fell over many times but nothing serious :) had the best time! view was beautiful, came across lots of happy people! (with equipment)
maybe stick to the first clearing at the top if you have no gear, but if you want to wade in snow! go ahead do it all! we don't regret it!

Love ❤️ Mountain! Challenging up but the views make it worth every step. There was a marker (red square on a cliff) that could be easily missed and then you could end up going the wrong way and getting cliffed out.
Really enjoyed the “multiple summits” ;)
The trail is a loop that offers great views the entire time.

hiking
16 days ago

Great little hike in the snow . Beautiful on a sunny day with trees filled with snow.Much of it is in the forest

did it last weekend of Sept. totally covered in snow and a bit slippery whem scramble starts. highly would recommend spikes.

Take the extra time and make it allllll the way to Upper Galatea lake. The solitude and views are worth it. Hell of a spot to eat lunch.

hiking
21 days ago

A great shoulder season hike. Trail started out dry, got a bit muddy in the middle and lightly snowy for the upper third. The parking lot for nearby Chester Lake was pretty full when we passed it (so assume lots of hikers on that trail) but we only passed a few other groups on this trail. Proved to be a good hike for seeing the larches without the crowds. Pretty much had the lake to ourselves.

Amazing views. Not an easy one. Carry a lot water as it can take a few hours to do the entire loop

hiking
23 days ago

beautiful fall colours although not as many larches as I expected, had the trail essentially to ourselves... took 2 hrs to get to the lake at 4 yr old pace

One of my favorite

hiking
26 days ago

Really enjoyed it! Had great weather.

For a new hiker or someone visiting: this would be great. For someone who is a seasoned hiker this one is kind of “meh.” Lake isn’t anything wild. Moderate hike with minimal gain. Nice views on a nice day but if it was cloudy I think it wouldn’t be very interesting

Loved it! So many beautiful and diverse sights. The summit offers incredible views. The trail is very muddy right now, so poles are definitely needed.

Pretty steep walk up to the lake but it’s beautiful there and great spot to stop and have lunch!

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