Explore To Do (Moderate) - 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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August 9, 2017

Amazing hike with breathtaking views. I would not recommend doing this hike without poles. I also wouldn’t recommend bringing larger dogs as it would be difficult to cross the chains.
It was a challenging hike but completed with 5 hours at a moderate pace with lunch on the summit. Definitely don’t do this as your first hike of the year.

Unreal scenery.

I wouldn’t classify this route as hard more of a moderate. 2nd favourite in the Canmore area

hiking
3 days ago

It was a wonderful hike a little steep at the end but overall it was wonderful. The man at the top, who lives in the firewatch station was very friendly and he has the most adorable dog.

hiking
3 days ago

Wow!! Definitely bike the first part of the trail. Then it’s a short walk to the most amazing water feature in the Rockies. Easy walk for any age or group of people. Take time and enjoy it this summer.

If you want to climb the very top and see Two Jack lake + Minnewanka lake, be ready that it is a short yet extremely steep climb. If it is a cloudy day, you won't be able to see that emerald water reflecting from the sun making it a less of a view. The top of the hike is challenging due to small rolling rocks. Saw some beginners falling, so have some good shoes:) Other than that, the forest is beautiful, full of mosquitoes, make sure you have a bug spray!

Hiked this trail with my dad and our friend from Ireland! He'd never done a hike like this before so it was a great first experience. When we reached the chain it was sleeting, made for a sketchy crossing. The scree ski on the way down was a highlight!

Absolutely stunning valley. I did this hike with my dad in October 2017 and it was beautiful with yellow larches scattering the surrounding mountains. Highly recommended for anyone who loves the mountains but doesn't love heights.

on Chester Lake Trail

hiking
5 days ago

We went on Aug 7th. Calgary was over 30c but we felt pretty cool when we got out from the car 11:30am. It was constant incline in the beginning but not too steep and soon enough there is a meadow full of flowers and great scenery with mountains as others mentioned. We were slow on inclines and took quite few picture and water breaks so we got to the lake a bit less than 1 hour and a half. We also went on to the Elephant Rocks and 2 lakes. Took a long lunch break with food lovers and my son played around the rocks so we arrived the parking lot after 4 pm. We didn’t see bears but the other group saw 2 cubs and a mom at the meadow before the lake and lots of bear digs around the lake so definitely good to have bear spray and more people in the group. It was the best hiking with around 10k + 300-400m elevation gain trail!

I’ve done this hike twice now: late spring and mid summer (last week). The first time the trail was still snowy but still great; this time it was like completely different hike since there was no snow. Beautiful well-marked trail through the forest. Easy elevation. Unfortunately there was a grizzly near the lake so we had to turn back.... snow and bear, have yet to see the lake :(

Wife had to be rescued on top as I pulled her shoulder when trying to help her climb up the scramble. My first hike and definitely a challenging one especially for beginners. Going down was the hardest as we were sliding down. Very memorable.

Great hike! Our 6 yr old and 11 yr old made it to the pass as well.

Finished the loop today with my family (husband and teenagers). Flat portion in had quite a few cows in the pasture, so you had to watch where you stepped. The gorge is really beautiful. Entering the fork in the road we chose to hike the loop counter clockwise (right). A few grizzly tracks in the wet portions of the trail, but they were old and the only animals we saw were the cows and a grouse. Good elevation up to the top will get you feeling like you are burning calories but stunning views once you get there. Nicely maintained trail, well marked, saw two other people at the top.

Fun scramble, but I wouldn’t say the view was overly spectacular.

the views are so worth it! make sure to go right so that you can run down the scree at the end!

Great hike with amazing views. Not a busy trail which was nice.

first time doing this hike. it was a good short hike...took us 1hour to get to the amphitheatre which was nice. When you start the hike about 15 mins in, once you pass the graffiti houses take a right at the turn off to see lake minnewanka. beautiful views!!

just a side a note...steep hike...so wear proper shoes! and sticks would be nice if it's your first time!

hiking
9 days ago

This is what I would call the perfect classic hike. It offers a bit of everything from a few lakes in the beginning to a creek with waterfalls, interesting varying terrain, a bit of minor route finding as you cross the flood plains/marsh land (there is poles with markers but hard to see - cross this area diagonally heading left - and some water shoes or sandals would be helpful some of the creeks are a little wide but very easy to cross) it also offers some challenging spots and plenty of flat beautiful meadows to rest up before the next push with insane views of fairly aggressive peaks at the top, and they’re so close, lastly even a glacier to view at the top. Do this hike. It took us 5.5 hours with lunch and breaks and picture stops. If you use the AllTrails map it will take you about a kilometre past your destination point. You know when you are at the top - stop there, if you continue on past the sign that says your entering Banff Park as the map says to do, it takes you to a little ridge that is nowhere near as spectacular as the views you just passed.. This trail continues on to Leman Lake in Banff if you want to extend. We ended up following the map and added some time and km to our day that was unnecessary. Our day was 18.1 km with 541 elevation gain. I’d rate this trail moderate for a hiker with some practice and of normal fitness and moderate difficult for someone new or less fit but everyone can do it and should. Just take your time. Its very worth it. Join us on Facebook at Hike Alberta to see pics and get info on all Alberta Hikes, and hike.alberta on instagram

What a beautiful hike! We did this one last weekend, and found it a nice challenge, but not too difficult (50-60 years young).

Great to meet Mike, the fire ranger, who lives in the cabin at the top of the peak (Apr-Sep). He was a great conversationalist and told us all about his work and life there. His dog, Amber is beautiful!!!

Don’t make the same mistake that we did and take the animal trails downhill...which got us so lost. We had to bushwhack our way out and down a really steep hillside. This added on a few kms, and in rain with thunder and lightening...it was a little unnerving, to say the least.

Other than getting off the trail on the way down, this has been our favourite hike so far this year!

Fantastic views at the top, and a wonderful spot to have lunch at a picnic table just below the rangers cabin.

The Happy Hikers,
Palma, Marco & Michael

Really great hike. The views are insane!! One of my best hikes ever!

hiking
10 days ago

This was a very cool hike. The first few kms were in the trees with a easy-moderate incline. You then hit an opening in the trees with a view of a mountain with a huge rock slide down the middle. You will continue up to an area with huge boulders where a lot of hikers will sit and have lunch. Don’t quit there, the next kilometer or so get very steep and quite difficult. The view from the top of Lake Minnewaka is beautiful and worth it. Well then we decided to take a little adventure and head off the left side instead of going back down the trail and we hit the scree slope which was much faster getting down but was quite technical. The rest of the descent down was easy and fast. Total hike time for us was approximately 3.5 hours.

Great hike. The trail to the cirque is a long trek and has some decent incline, but it seemed to go on forever because you’re in the trees the whole time. The cirque is pretty but definitely continue up for the real reward. It is a slog from the cirque to the top but it’s 100% worth it for the view. We stopped at the pond on the way back. It took us 5 hours at a moderate pace with 30 mins at the top and a few more stops for photos. Bring bug spray!

hiking
10 days ago

Superb hike through beautiful landscape. The top third is steep and strenuous. The breathtaking views from the top are well worth the effort.

I love this trail & have been doing it for years. The best part is that few people have discovered it! The canyon itself is spectacular. It can be full of water so ideally wear water shoes. You will have fun climbing up & around the boulders in the canyon. Once through the canyon it is an easy walking trail. If you don’t want to get wet, you can take the trail on the left side of the canyon. It’s a steep little walk up & down but manageable by everyone.

hiking
11 days ago

Not closed now! Yeh! We tried last year and found it closed due to bears, so went across the road and did Burstall. Today it was open and has been for a few days now and what a beautiful trail, in trees for some and a couple open meadows and scenic mountains and flowers all around. Not too strenuous, but still gives your heart a workout. Good for families with a bit older children (school aged maybe), but a mother with her newborn were also doing the trail today. We first did the right hand trail, (snowdrift) or some such name and it loops you back to the parking lot (1&1/2hr). Not really our plan, but a nice walk and we saw a grouse and her 5 chicks along the trail. Do take the signed chester lake trail on your left when facing the trails. We and another small group were just not paying attention, talking and ended up doing this few km detour, but if you want the extra mileage.....
People were fishing at Chester lake and catching and releasing as they were quite small, but they were catching every few minutes. They were cutthroat and brook trout I think. The fish were jumping a lot within the lake. It was a cooler day today and we were there later in the afternoon so maybe that's why? Also saw across lake, we think an osprey? Arrived at lake 4pm and had started from parking lot (second time round) at 3pm. Were there alone for about half hour before numerous more showed up. The area does show bear activity, lots of turned over soil just before the lake I assume is from bears. The parks must have bears tagged or something and know where they are roaming and they must have moved out for the time being. A light rain on our way back, but not enough to make trail slippery. I would love to see this in the winter. I think we may have to get some snowshoes!

An incredibly challenging walk but never ending breathtaking views to keep you motivated throughout! You need to be in good physical condition to be able to conquer this one both uphill and down. Going up is one long ordeal but the views from the top absolutely breathtaking. Just when you think you have it easy coming down, think again! Get ready to scramble and potentially incur a few cuts and bruises as you go down on your backside at points and be prepared to empty your boots of rocks at least twice on the way down! So much fun though, a real adventure but most definitely not for the faint hearted!

What a thrill!

A decent hike for beginners. Great view at the top and a nice break. Took roughly 3.5 hours to complete.

hiking
11 days ago

The walk was okay, didn't see anything but trees basically. Etreme amounts of mosquitos. We wanted to do the loop trail at first, but the signage wasn't so great so we ended up doing the trail and went back the same way.

definately took my time on last steep climb - majority is dirt vs scree so a little easier (I had my dog).. saw several groups not do last section. will do it again with better shoes and on a day with better air quality (smoke impacted our lake minnewanka views!).

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