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hiking
3 days ago

Very touristy but pretty nonetheless. Try and get there before the buses do.

This is an amazing hike for a cold day of winter.
Although the drive is a bit too far, the parking facilities are good and the first part of the hike either around the lake or though the frozen lake is just amazing. You will be able to see lots of people practicing ice-fishing (friendly guys, they kindly talked to us and showed us their procedures)
The second part of the hike ramps up soon, moderate dificulty but trail is well maintained (no need for spikes or crampons, although helpful).
Narrow woods covered by snow, and 2 hours later the view of Rawson lake surrounded by high peaks is just breathtaking.
Worth the effort.

brisk and beautiful

hiking
12 days ago

Athabasca Falls is located approximately 30 minutes south of the town of Jasper along the scenic Icefields Parkway. It is a place definitely worth stopping and exploring. The waterfalls were gorgeous and you could explore the canyon too.

There were a network of paved pathways leading to various areas overlooking the waterfalls and viewpoints of the deep and narrow canyon. Athabasca Falls was powerful and gorgeous waterfall with a stunning backdrop of forests, mountains and the river flowing through as huge volumes of water rushed down into the canyon. There were a few lookout points offering different views of the falls along the trails. I visited on a sunny afternoon and the area was quite crowded with some of the lookout areas being very small, so I had to wait my turn in order to get up front and take photos. The pathways were interesting to explore and one of them led through a narrow section between two walls of the canyon with stairs carved into the rocks. There were some great vantage points overlooking the river and the canyon to see where the water had eroded the rock to create caves and unique rock formations over many years.

Athabasca Falls was a wonderful area to discover, admire the natural beauty and take plenty of photos. The parking lot was large and could accommodate quite a few vehicles. It would probably be best to visit in the morning during the summer season before the crowds of people show up. If you’re driving the Icefields Parkway, definitely stop here.

Jan 5, 2019: fresh snow lovely day

snowshoeing
13 days ago

Nice and easy trail with minimal incline. About a foot of fresh snow on December 4th. Snowshoes were a must as the trail was fresh and hadn’t been packed down yet. I was told by Parks Canada that there is a low avalanche risk when the path reaches the lake.

Wear good hiking shoes and bring poles if you're planning on going up on the ridge. I hiked this back in September when it was raining/snowing. I tried to make it up on the ridge, but it was way too slippery and dangerous without poles. Rawson Lake is beautiful though so it was still worth the hike.

Bring your bear spray. Proper hiking boots and attire make the hike nice. It could be done in regular runners. (I saw a lady hiking in flat shoes - she was not pleased with her shoe choice. The view at Rawson Lake was worth it from what she said!) Lot's of snow.

hiking
1 month ago

We did this hike on November 24th. it was snowy and breathtakingly beautiful. The trail itself was was moderate in my books. The lake at the end was gorgeous. I look forward to doing this hike again in the spring or summer.

amazing hike! Unbelievable how beautiful the hike is and I definitely recommend it. Make sure to pack a good lunch because you're going to need it. A lot of incline thigh but Adobe waterfalls on the way and just beautiful in the summer!

Some hoodos, and view over Toby creek on the higher end, mix of vehicle and mtb trails, good view of the mountains in the distance in a few spots

Not a hard hike, easy trail starting with trees and ending in a freezing cold lake. Be prepared for a wait at the ridge as you are essentially hiking w a huge group of people. Fun, but won’t do it again.

This trail is nice all throughout all the seasons, it’s a bit strenuous once you start going up but the switchbacks offer some relief. I hiked this trail last week and it had quite a bit of snow so make sure you bring some clamp-ons if you have them.

Beautiful Hike. The scramble up to Sarrail Ridge can be a bit of a grind but not too difficult. Be sure to wear the proper footwear. The views from the ridge are incredibly stunning, you won't be dissapointed.

Hiked up yesterday and microspikes were the ticket to an easy climb. I also used poles but others didn’t and had no issues. It is more spectacular in the summer but still a stunning backdrop.

As I tell everyone I meet, this is by far my favourite hike in the world. It is an absolute thrilling adventure.

walking
2 months ago

Since it was so close to the main road, was an easy side trip to do .. the falls I didn’t think were too impressive however the backdrop with the mountains looked amazing.

nature trips
2 months ago

Beautiful trail. We made it in the end of October and there were close to none tourists.

whilst thirds walk is moderately trafficked in early Oct it may bee worth not getting there too early and follow someone else up the trail. We started the trail alone and saw fresh bear prints not far in. The trail was reasonably tiring but well worth the effort. The panoramic views from the top were amazing.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this walk early in Oct after a snow fall. track was very icy and treacherous but the view was well worth it.

This hike is incredible. My boyfriend and I did it yesterday with perfect weather. We started around 1pm and got back just as it was getting too dark to be hiking (7pm). We are inexperienced in the ice and snow (we are an Australian-Croatian pair) but persistent. We had no gear to speak of but we went steadily and were totally ok. I wouldn't recommend doing it with out tractioned footwear if you're not prepared to feel a bit uncomfortable. His shoes were pretty grippy but I felt like I was on ice skates for the lower part of the hike. I would have had to go on my bottom for parts of it if not for him. Once we got half way up to Rawson Lake it was snowy rather than icy and then heading up the ridge the snow turned to mud. Its a tough slog to get up the ridge but well well worth it!

hiking
2 months ago

Loved the walk. Very easy, it was October when we did the hike. I’d love to do it in the summer when it’s warm enough to swim! The water looked amazing

hiking
3 months ago

Just finished this hike (Oct 16th) hiking to Rawson lake is fine and packed down easy trail to the lake and around it. When you start to go to the ridge you need spikes and hiking gear - right now there is lots of snow but the beautiful weather is making it super slick in some areas. It was a steady incline I did it with my dog and completed the whole thing within 3.5 hours (I do stop and take lots of photos) coming down was awesome - I slid on my butt it was great! The views are just beautiful and well worth the incline trail. Highly recommend this! However I would do it during the week like I did - barley anyone it was really nice and only saw myself and two other small groups go to the ridge.

The beginning of the hike near the lake is flat, and enough to warm you up. Shortly after it is a steep incline up, and is slick after it rains. Once you make it up to the lake, the hike is well worth it. I brought my dog with me, and she struggled on the small-medium sized rocks around Rawson lake.

it is closed now!

Great for the whole family, a lovely sightseeing opportunity without too much work. A bit busy though, and pushy tourists to avert, but a great time nevertheless!

Hiked to to the ridge on October 12, 2018. If you are just going to Rawson Lake, regular hiking boots will be fine and you don’t need winter pants and the trail is packed down. Beyond that I’d recommend boots, pants and maybe spikes and snowshoes (I didn’t have the latter two). The trail around the lake and beyond gets filled in with snow from the wind. There are sections going up the ridge that we’re extremely icy or completely filled in with snow. At the top of the ridge, the snow was drifting so I was waste deep in it trying to get a photo or the other side. Very happy I had ski goggles as it was windy and the blowing snow was strong. Took 4 hours roundtrip - my moving time was 3:30 as I stopped to chat with a few people along the way AND you need to take a breather every 15-40 steps going up the ridge in winter gear.

This was one of the most difficult hikes I’ve been on, but one of the more memorable as well. To begin with, we were forced off the trail within the first ten minutes by a large grizzly, so BRING YOUR BEAR SPRAY! It doesn’t take long before the the trail starts to incline, and it only gets harder the further you go. We had to take several rests just on the leg up to Rawson Lake. Apart from a small waterfall, there isn’t much to see until you actually get to the lake. But then things change dramatically.

It was early June and there was quite a bit of snow yet, though a lot of the slope heading up to Mt Sarrail was free of snow. The aforementioned climb, however, is a killer. I think we must have stopped every 15 meters for breath. At least we had much to look at, and some curious ground hogs to keep us company. But the truly spectacular view at the top made it in every way worthwhile. Pictures cannot do it justice. Be mindful of the extremely bold chipmunks up there. They will not hesitate to make contact, nor get into your pack for a snack.

Coming back down was still laborious, and a little tricky in the snow-covered areas. If you decide to go off the beaten path, take serious precautions. A man was fatally wounded after slipping on snow and falling from some height as we were descending. Without an emergency phone, it’s at best a 90-minute jog back to get help, and even longer for it to arrive. It took us 2.5 hours to walk back. Again, be mindful of bears, as much of the trail does not offer great line of sight either way. Altogether, though, this was an amazing, beautiful hike that I suspect a lot of people don’t know about...I didn’t until my fourth trip to the region. And even though it’s a challenging climb, it’s sooooo worth the effort.

Steep climb that seems never ending! Amazing trail while following Kananaskis Lake then the trail turns off into the forest for a steep incline that doesn’t quit. Getting to the lake was a bit anti-climactic but perhaps this is because the lake was gray and frozen. I’m not sure it’s worth the hike just for Rawson but I would definitely do again to get to Sarrail for the reward of breathtaking views.

Snowy, but packed-down trail. We used microspikes and so didn't have an issue going up or down steeper sections - which could be slippery had we not had them. Upper Kananaskis Lake was lovely in the sunny clear day we had and Rawson Lake was beautiful with the snow everywhere. The snow did mean that there was serious avalanche risk and a less defined trail from the end of the Rawson Lake trail. We decided the risk wasn't worth it and turned back without continuing to Sarrail Ridge.

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