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I've done this hike many times. it is satisfying for all skill levels. great views and a very short drive from Calgary.

A steel climb capped off by some amazing 360° views of the surrounding area. The hike has a good variety of terrain - from wooded forest to mountain top Alpine. The top of the hike gets a bit steep and rocky which makes it a but slippery, so make sure you bring good hiking boots.

Was a cute leg burner. Got up to the top no problem but got lost on one of those infamous animal trails and got caught in some pretty bad smoke and had to climb down to the creek to get down. Pay attention to the right trails on this one but if you get lost CAREFULLY head down to the creek and it'll lead you right back to your car. Some cute scree on this one too.
Stay safe fellow hikers

hiking
2 days ago

Hard trail but the views are worth it. Easy to get lost of take a game trail instead of the intended path, you'll need proper gear and to be able to do some free climbing on some sections especially on the last quarter of the way up.

August 9, 2017

August 5, 2017

Great Hike! There’s is currently a lot of smoke in the area due to wildfires and we’ve met a fair amount of people but definitely a fun hike!

Good hike, gets challenging higher up but doesn't take too long to get to the peak. It is busy so you have to stop to let people past on the narrow parts but I enjoyed it :)

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.

Loved this hike! A good challenge since the hike up the ridge is really steep but it's totally worth it once you get to the ridge. It was smoky so will have to go back for the views but it was still absolutely beautiful and with the quick elevation gain it gives that sense of accomplishment. Head to the far end of the ridge and you can do another little climb up to the flag -not sure if the flag is new as this was my first time up there. Climbing to the ridge and back down again was a challenge for us since the dirt was dry and made footing a bit precarious at times with all the loose rocks -for me poles were a must but I saw lots of people getting by without. My friend and I are slow and steady when it come to hiking and it took us 6 hours total, 4 hours of moving time and 2 hours total for breaks. No real breaks on the path up to Rawson, but lots on our way up the ridge and a long one up top since it was so beautiful.

Was amazing trail nothing impossible to hike. Just take your time to get to the top and do not bring heavy stuff in your backpack.

This is a well travelled trail and it is no wonder why. Some of the most amazing views you could hope for. The trek to Rawson Lake and around it is fairly moderate. From the lake up to the ridge is challenging but doable. So worth it to go to the top for the amazing views and feeling of accomplishment

One of the best views in Alberta!

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!

Beauty hike! Started early which was a plus to avoid the crowd hiking. To the lake was a nice gently hike. To the ridge was steep and hard. But well worth the views!
Unfortunately did the hike when it was super smoky so could barely see upper kananaskis lake.

Definitely recommend doing this hike if you are looking for a good elevation gain in a short time.

This trail was very steep, with lots of loose underfoot gravel / dirt etc. for most of it. The last push to the top through scree was particularly steep. worst part was the trip back down, very unpleasant as almost impossible to maneuver the trail without slipping and sliding. Lots of really rude fellow trekkers coming up behind at speed, letting dogs off leash and such. Looks like there are some trail improvements underway, but still not a trail we would do again. Recommend hiking shoes, poles and a good bit of water. Also do this trail early to avoid crowds.

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!

Beautiful hike. Burns the legs right out and rewards you with spectacular 360 views. Highly recommend!

This was a real pleasant surprise. This hike has it all. Walk right next to a beautiful lake, scramble through some flooded areas, some forest, walk across a barren area with views of the river downstream of the falls and finally some fantastic waterfalls! This is now near the top of my all time favorites.

Amazing views the whole way up to the geocache, but it's definitely worth it to go the rest of the scramble to the summit. Trails were well used and visible with lots of other hikers.

on Chester Lake Trail

hiking
6 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!

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.

An enjoyable hike with amazing views on top. Can be challenging near the summit as it got steeper a bit. You can see Canmore and Three Sisters Mountain on top.

I honestly didn’t want to go on this hike as I’m in favor of more challenging trails, but my girlfriend demanded we go. I’m glad she did...we took the most scenic pictures here out of our entire 6 days in Banff National Park. The views are spectacular and absolutely worth every second. Just be sure to arrive early (7am??) as it is a hotbed for the tour busses. We started about 7:15am and only saw a few people along the way. A+

I would rate this Trail easy , it sure is beautiful view up there took us 4 hours back and forth , with taking lots of breaks ,,,

Awesome sunrise hike

hiking
10 days ago

Absolutely beautiful hike. The trailhead was a little unclear as there is no designated signage saying where the beginning of the trail was. It's along the path beside the sign that says something along the lines of "stay on the designated path, fragile area" - which was the only signage on this path. So start there! Other than that the flow of the hike was smooth and gorgeous.

Busy but fun. Rawson lake to the ridge is VERY steep. I never bring poles but I was glad to have found a walking stick along the way because especially going down, without it you will be slipping and putting great stress on your knees. Once you get up its a fantastic view of a few glaciers and both Kananaskis and Rawson lakes, one on either side. A must do but be mindful it is an incredibly steep, dirt trail.

The trail from the Kananaskis lake to Rawson lake is steady but quick, and quite easy in comparison to the ridge trail.

hiking
10 days ago

Definitely a leg burner, but over all technically a pretty easy* hike. Having good cardio was essential because it was a Grind! The views are absolutely and worth the calorie burn. Tonnes of mountain flowers, green meadows, a band of mountain goats (~20) and amazing mountain views from the top. Great view of old Fortress ski resort.

*This hike can easily turn into a moderate scramble, I ended up bouldering / climbing a bit because of a wrong turn on the way down before reconnecting with the trail.

A few notes for future hikers (just a few things I saw on the trail).
- Wear hiking boots, anyone wearing sneakers struggled significantly on the descent and with some of the steeper ascents.
- If you are confident / competent enough, you can scree ski down the top slopes, you just need to find a good section on the skiers right
- pay attention to the trail and where it goes haha, you can get into trouble really fast.
- bring bug spray

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