Pickle Jar Lakes is a 10.1 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Eden Valley, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
10.1 km
ELEVATION GAIN
645 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
11 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 Use my GPX data since All Trails map is out of date.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

hiking
21 days ago

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

hiking
27 days ago

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.

1 month ago

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 Note that the map is out of date.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.

1 month ago

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
2 months ago

Great hike! Did it with 7 people and 1 dog and it took us 5 hrs. We did stop at the first and fourth lake for about 30 mins each though. Steady incline but has some down parts and flat parts to help break it up. Once you get to the first lake, stay right to get to the second, go right at the second then once you reach the third, stick to the left for a bit of an easier walk through the rocks around the lake. Then follow up behind the last lake to the fourth. 10/10 would do this one again! Lots of pika and we saw a mink as well! Not too many people, and lots of people were fishing in the lakes!

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this hike! Great views, decent climb and some nice lakes to enjoy lunch by. There are 4 lakes total so keep trekking to see them all. Our favourite was the last lake, it was nice and quiet. We brought our dog and she loved it. I wouldn't recommend bringing smaller dogs as there are a lot of parts that require stepping over lots of rocks and little paws may get stuck. We saw Pika lots of and a Mink :)

2 months ago

Beautiful

hiking
2 months ago

I have been on the hike several times in the past with the last time being about 10 years ago, carrying my now 12 year old son on my back! It was pretty cool hiking this weekend with him as I’d always wanted to return with him as my hiking partner. It hasn’t changed a bit, moderately challenging, beautiful meadows and views and an amazing set of lakes at the end. It took us 4 hours with about a 1/2 hr rest at the lake itself. Catching a cutthroat was the icing on the cake. Great Day!

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike two weeks ago. IT WAS AMAZING. Getting started in the hike the initial incline was challenging but as we got further and further the views made up for all the sweat. At the top we hung out and enjoyed the lakes. The trail was pretty well marked. And the hike itself was super quiet - we only met up with 6 people total and they were all heading down while we were going up. Overall, I’d go back to the area and hike the trail again!!

2 months ago

Beautiful, easy hike! Start early to avoid the traffic.

hiking
2 months ago

GREAT hike today. so mygestic and beautiful.. trail has some steady incline. Rained all the way and was snowing at the top. we made it 3/4 way up and turned back because it was slick with the snow. We will do this hike again for sure.. 5 months pregnant found it to be intermediate..

hiking
2 months ago

We did this hike about 3 weeks ago and it was great. I would consider it a fairly easy hike with a steady incline the entire way and nothing too challenging. The most challenging part of this hike was on the way up there is little tree cover at some points so definitely bring sunscreen and a hat. The bugs are really bad this year too on this hike so it was a quick lunch and go at the top. There are 4 lakes so make sure to keep going (as we missed the last one). This is a great spot for fishing and you can see right through the lakes they are so clear! One final recommendation is go early! It is a popular spot for family’s and pets so if you don’t want to be annoyed by crowds aim to get there for 8 or earlier.

I highly recommend this hike for beginners or anyone who has had a few months off hiking and needs an easy hike to get back into the swing of things! Round trip 5 hours with stopping for lunch.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike and not very hard at all. About 5km to the first lake with the next three lakes not far from the first. We hiked to the end (4th Lake) and decided to go back to the first lake to camp. Spent one night and it was very quiet with almost no other visitors on a Wednesday.

Lots of wildlife on the trail. We heard a bear or two when we stayed the night and if you know what to look for there are a lot of signs of bears in the area. Bring spray with you.

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked this trail on the August long weekend Monday and it was pretty busy. We started around 1:30pm so most of the people were on their way down by then and when we got to the lakes we had them pretty much to ourselves. It’s about 5k from the parking lot to the first lake and we are not in the best shape so going slow and steady took us about 2.5 hours going up. We only went as far as the third lake since reviews said it was the nicest of the four. It took us just under 2 hours going back down but we stopped a few times for photos. We had our large dog with us and the trail was fine for him but as others said it does get quite narrow in some places and if your dog can’t walk over large rocks it might not be a good option for you. There was a few little streams for him to drink on the way up. We had great weather but I wouldn’t want to do this trail if it was wet.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike, me personally I’d put it in a category between moderate to hard.
Not because of the length and elevation,but more for the somewhat sketchy nature of some of the rock gardens as well as some very very narrow path alongside some of the faces.
We went when it was dry. Would not recommend doing it when wet and muddy.
Beyond that still lots of fun.

backpacking
3 months ago

Did this July 31. Spent 2 nights and weather was great! Slog up to the Lakes with a 30pound pack, but well worth it.

3 months ago

Absolutely loved this hike! Each lake was unique in its own way. The views were just beautiful. First hike of the season for me & a few parts of the hike definitely got the ole heart pumping!

3 months ago

Nice steady incline to the lakes. Good fishing for small little cut throats

hiking
3 months ago

The views on the way up were great but the lakes were underwhelming. The only lake worth the hike to was number 3! Overall a good hike for families.

hiking
3 months ago

Definitely a beautiful hike. Seemed a lot harder than what it was as we were hurting by the time we got back. We some how bypassed one of the lakes and went all the way up to the end thinking the 4th one was there. Sadly there wasn't. Found a good spot to enjoy lunch and then made our way down. Make sure to have bug spray!

3 months ago

Really enjoyed this hike. Beautiful views all the way up. Only a bit of a grunt in some spots but nothing crazy, and only a few switchbacks near the end. I’m glad I read reviews before we did it because it was absolutely worthwhile to see all the lakes. The Third lake was gorgeous. Bring bug spray!

fishing
3 months ago

great hike, good fishing. A little easier since there are now switch backs for the steep section instead of straight up.

hiking
3 months ago

Wonderful hike, good for our 2 dogs as there are streams along the way.
Nice payoff to see all 4 lakes. They are very close together, even the 4th -so make sure you see them all.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy hike with 4 lakes as the rewards. A good hike for family.

3 months ago

Hiked to all 4 lakes this morning, great views. 3rd lake is definitely the best but all four are worth the effort- they’re all fairly close, we were reading reviews before about how some people weren’t making it to the last lake(s), but compared to the rest of the hike they’re just around the corner from each other - the fourth is deceiving but it’s very close to the third.

BUT the bugs were disgusting and aggressive. We got bit by horseflies multiple times, there were thick clouds of flies and mosquitos and it seemed like they were EVERYWHERE. We couldn’t stop for very long on the way up even though it’s much needed on the steep climb in the heat. Constantly swatting away bugs for the whole hike, less at lake #3.

Many great little campsites around the third lake with make-shift fire pits, would consider going back to camp with more bug spray.

backpacking
4 months ago

One of my favourite places to go! Brought up a group of people on Friday night and stayed until Sunday. Lots of fish caught and released as there is now a 0 limit harvest, whereas it used to be a limit of 2 cutthroat trout.

The hike up is pretty steep, lots of up hill but as long as you take your time it is a decent hike. Lots of people on the trail early morning and midday.

We camped between two of the lakes, and despite it raining lightly one of the nights we stayed, the weather was warm and sunny with a little bit of cloud later in the day.

Highly recommend spending a night or two and adventuring around or fishing to spend time in the great outdoors!

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hike. Some steep sections. Some later sections through loose boulders. A nice mix of open and covered areas.

4 months ago

this has been a fav of mine since I was a kid. and yesterday I took my 10 year old daughter on the first back packing trip there. trail was great. straight up the whole way. but totally worth it. We camped between the 3rd and 4th lakes. extremely windy last night. hiked out today. there was a ton of people hiking up today. She did fantastic.

hiking
4 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes near Calgary. Parking is fairly limited at Lantern Creek recreation area so I'd recommend getting an earlier start. The trailhead is across the highway and on the other side of the creek.

Most of the elevation is gained in the first few kilometers as you ascend up a the valley. There are plenty of views in all directions as you make your way up. As you reach the saddle and approach the first lake, the path gets a touch more difficult as you must navigate the rock debris. There are four lakes to see, and we didn't attempt to make it beyond the fourth. The group favorite was the third lake, and we had lunch at the far end of it. I'd like to try coming back here later in the summer and attempt a swim, but it would have to be a warm day. There are lots of trails braiding around both sides of the lake, and I don't think there are any bad choices with the route you take. I'd rate this hike medium-difficult because of the ascent/descent, but at 10km long it's a pretty approachable distance.

Apparently fishing is an option (with a license), and we spotted a few random camp sites around the lake.

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