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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.

on Chester Lake Trail

snowshoeing
2 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.

hiking
2 days 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 Note that the map is out of date.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.

I was here yesterday before sunrise. Unfortunately the bridge was blocked off with closure signs. I thought it was opened up again for winter, I guess they have more work to do? the trail head was closed at the time I went.

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.

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
3 days ago

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

Awesome hike in the Fall! Constant climb from the trailhead but it doesn’t last long and once you hit the lake it’s pretty flat the rest of the way! Views are insane! Lots of snow already, snowshoes would have been good but not necessary! Saw maybe 7 or 8 other hikers all day on the thanksgiving weekend Sunday. Saw some lines in the distance that would be good to explore on the split board including an intense couloir in the far off horizon!

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.

5 days 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.

hiking
6 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.

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail, minor scramble at the top. But windy and chilly. Amazing views.

Trail closure extended for the winter season 2018/19. The early snowfall and smoke this year delayed the new trail alignment so it will be completed in spring 2019 then reopened!

Went on Saturday, it was beautiful. definitely need gaiters.

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
10 days 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.

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.

hiking
12 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

hiking
16 days ago

Seriously underrated. We came on a Sunday morning back in June and there was not a soul in sight. It's essentially just a leisurely stroll with a huge reward. I absolutely recommend this for families or those who just want a small hike for half the day.

I loved this hike! The views were pretty spectacular. The first bit of the hike was uphill which can be a challenge for beginners but I promise you it is worth it, and all easy from there! Absolutely blown away by the lake and the sights along the trail. We were lucky to pass some fellow hikers along the way so they gave us some advice about the falls and made it easy for us to find, but as it was snowy we did not attempt to take the trail all the way down to the falls, just stayed at the top lookout. Will definitely be going out again!

17 days ago

Taylor Lake is absolutely stunning durning the golden larch season. Done this hike twice now. Hike up is not a difficult one - did this yesterday though and it’s time for microspikes as there is snow and ice on the trail. Take the time to go up to panorama ridge if you can as you’re immersed in a field of gold and green (and white now

17 days ago

Beautiful golden larch! On Sep 29, 2018.

Did this hike yesterday. Beautiful easy to follow trail. Some good inclines from kilometre 1 to 3 then it flattens out. Lots of snow once you get to the lake and quite slippery on the rocks walking around the lake. We didn’t attempt to go to the top of the ridge - it looked too icy to come back down but we will be back next summer to make it to the top!

just did this hike yesterday and it's was perfect! lots of steep inclines but the veiws are beautiful highly recommend this hike

hiking
20 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

Was still closed yesterday. Sign at trail head said closed until early October for trail maintenance. A local said next week for scheduled reopening... not 100% sure if they are planning to reopen on schedule? Anybody know?

hiking
22 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

Is this trail still closed? We are planning to go October 10. Would it be open by then?

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