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

Snowshoeing Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
2 days ago

Completed Oct 31 and a not recommend.
The trail is a long, grueling uphill ascent that stays within the trees the entire time. There are no lookouts or landmarks along the 2hour climb. It's incredibly monotonous. Taylor Lake itself is now completely frozen, and the meadow is heavily snowed in. The view of the mountains is often fogged in. At 2100+ meters, I experienced mild altitude sickness. On our descent, we noticed fresh Grizzly tracks on top of our ascending footprints. No sitings, but the big bears aren't necessarily asleep yet.
This is not the worst hike ever, but in Banff this time of year, there are dozens that offer better views, with less work in more frequently used parts of the park.

Great trail with beautiful views. Spikes strongly recommended this time of year. Snowshoes are helpful near the end of the trail as it becomes less packed.

hiking
10 days ago

I did this hike for the first time this morning with our Dog Club, it was easy and enjoyable. Non-hikers commented that it was approachable and the most experienced felt that the scenery to Karst Spring was well worth the first few boring kilometres. Bonus, it was nice and quiet at this time of the year with a few inches of snow on the ground plus the sun was out for most of our trip.

I was very disappointed with the zoo. We did not see any animals but many bunny tracks. The snow gave it a nice touch but was confused why there was so much more snow the higher up we went when we were getting closer to the sun. It makes zero sense. It should be warmer.

hiking
16 days ago

Did this hike Nov 3, 2018. High of 10 degrees, slight wind, mainly overcast. First 60% of the trail was greasy and we had to put on crampons to stop from slipping everywhere. Middle portion ice and some snow. Top portion by lake has deep snow. Crampons necessary and likely snowshoes for upper area. Mud should not be a problem since freezing temps incoming.

This hike isn't what I would call "super easy". More moderate to difficult since it is essentially straight up. Very few flat areas. Use my GPX data since All Trails map is out of date.

The Good:
Nature, outdoors, some okay scenery on the way up, vigorous hike
Scenery around the lakes is beautiful

The Bad:
Aggressive climb from trailhead to lakes
Mostly within treeline
Few views along the way

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.

hiking
23 days ago

More time spent in the trees than Chester Lake hike, but pretty nonetheless. Far fewer people too. The trail was hard packed and we didn’t need snowshoes or cleats.

hiking
23 days ago

A really easy hike, lots of snow (winter wonderland)

Snowing when we got to the trailhead but cleared up by the time we got to the lake. Spectacular views but didn’t stay long due to the cold. Trail was snowy but well packed. Won’t be long before we’ll need snowshoes though. Will definitely do this again. If you’ve done Chester Lake- this is longer but a bit flatter. Worth the effort!

snowed all the way and close to a white out at lake so didnt get that full "wowee" feeling at the lake - will definately do it again in spring/summer. loved walking through the snowy forest.. no ice on trail (all snow). had spikes on. dogs loved it - winter wonderland! started at 9am - first tracks.

We had planned on doing another trail, but ended up here in late October. The trail was pretty icy and I was glad we brought poles. Traction wear would have been good too. Good view of a couple mountain peaks along the way. We set out walking along the creek. There were many good quality bridges crossing the creek, which I thought added nicely to the hike.

hiking
27 days ago

Super easy hike - great little hike if you just want something quick.

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
1 month ago

Hiked this on October 20th with a few friends, and we enjoyed it! The views of Taylor Lake are cool, backdropped by Mt. Bell and Panorama Peak. The trail was very easy to follow, and for the most part winded through forest, with glimpses of Mt. Bell on the ascent and Castle Mountain on the descent. The trail was icy this time of year though, we managed without spikes but they'd be helpful!

Just before reaching Taylor Lake, the trail opens up into a meadow, which leads up to the lake with great views. Once you reach the lake, there are four picnic tables for a lunch stop, with options to extend the hike to Boom Lake and O'Brien Lake. We crossed paths with a half dozen groups on the way up and down.

Total time round trip: 3.5hr

Amazing hike, beautiful scenery. Lots of wildlife footprints which made it even more lovely.

Great trail. Pretty easy if you hike a lot. It was incredibly windy one the hill walks and nice and calm in the forest sections. There was a few inches of snow along the whole trail. We got to the crest before you go down to the lakes. We stopped there because the wind had moved the snow to the point that you couldn't see a clear path so we'll be sure to be back when the snow is gone. 1h up. 45min down.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail. Was very snowy, but the lake is incredibly pretty. This is a very long hike so bring lots of supplies. The fog that was over the lake came in and out of view, so you do have to wait until for a picture perfect moment!

Good hike. Moderate effort for great views. Went oct 14. trail up to ridge is good but snow gets deep on the way down to the lakes. also poses avalanche danger in one spot. wouldn't recommend if more snow falls. Note that the map is out of date. Switch backs now make it easier.

Nice and easy little hike. Great views. Bring a picnic blanket and a lunch and you’ll have a great day. 1st lake is the best spot to throw down a blanket for lunch.

hiking
1 month 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

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.

1 month ago

Did this hike on October 6th. Had cleats and poles so it was manageable. The hike to the lake is pretty much all uphill so be prepared for that and bring lots of water. The trail is mainly in the forest so it only offers a few mountain views but once you get to the lake it is worth it!!! I plan on snowshoeing this one soon.

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 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail - easy to navigate. Some steep parts but Well worth the views when you get to the glacier. Not very busy as there was a lot of snow ! Definitely recommend for people of all ages.

snowshoeing
1 month 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
1 month 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.

Hiked on 6 October. Road access to trail head was clear and easy. Broke tail through 5-8 inches of snow. The trail was generally in good shape. View from the cirque was gorgeous.

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.

Load More