Sarrail Ridge via Rawson Lake Trail

HARD 376 reviews

Sarrail Ridge via Rawson Lake Trail is a 11.3 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.3 km
ELEVATION GAIN
1,066 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

fishing

hiking

nature trips

paddle sports

rock climbing

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

bird watching

beach

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

Proper footwear and poles recommended.

2 months ago

Wear good hiking shoes and bring poles if you're planning on going up on the ridge. I hiked this back in September when it was raining/snowing. I tried to make it up on the ridge, but it was way too slippery and dangerous without poles. Rawson Lake is beautiful though so it was still worth the hike.

2 months ago

Bring your bear spray. Proper hiking boots and attire make the hike nice. It could be done in regular runners. (I saw a lady hiking in flat shoes - she was not pleased with her shoe choice. The view at Rawson Lake was worth it from what she said!) Lot's of snow.

hiking
3 months ago

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.

hiking
3 months ago

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
3 months ago

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
4 months ago

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
4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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 way 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
4 months ago

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
4 months ago

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!

4 months ago

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

hiking
5 months ago

One of my favourite views so far, easy hike until you get to the end. Bring poles, otherwise getting down ya a struggle!

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely amazing hike- one of my favourites! The hike up to the top of the ridge is quite steep, but very worth it. Views from the top are spectacular! Try and arrive early, as the parking lot fills up quickly. Completed the hike in approx 5 hours, with a 45 min break at the top.

5 months ago

Absolutely stunning. Ridge hike is challenging and very steep, you may need to slide on your butt in a few parts on your way down! However , so worth it to see the views at the top ❤️

hiking
5 months ago

A moderate hike with so much beautiful views, especially in September.
I did it yesterday, 9th of September.

5 months ago

did it yesterday with the rest of Hike Alberta crew (I admit that's how I found out about this gem also!). agree on comments, it's hard up the ridge (not moderate). Had my 3 yo boxer, we were fine (used to hiking up and down mountains together), but I caution others if doing it with their dogs - you need to be used to steep climbs and descends attached to your dog before you do this one!.. spectacular view at top..

hiking
5 months ago

Very nice hike. Good to get there early on the weekend.
Plan a good 5 to 6 hrs. Sarrail Ridge part is steep but manageable. Get's quite slick if a bit of rain. Views from the top a worth the effort. Highly recommend this one.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike - absolutely beautiful - both Rawson lake and the views from the Sarrail Ridge. As other people said, not sure who rated Sarrail part as moderate - it is a very steep climb, good shoes are a must, and hiking poles would really help (I wish I had them). I would not try the Sarrail part when it rains - would be too slippery. On a dry day it's totally worth the effort but be prepared for a steep climb. Very popular on weekend.

Would give it 5 stars for beauty and 1 star for moderate trail as it was certainly not moderate for me. It was an absolute beautiful hike aside from the life altering scramble to the top of the mountain. When my daughter and I did finally reach the top (she first as she was in far better shape than I) we were greeted by an eagle or two and said hello to a mountain goat. Had lunch at the top in blissful peace as we started out early. I apologized to many little trees on the way back down the mountain as the path was loose and was afraid I wasnt gonna make it in one piece. Would have been better ascending via helicopter. How in gods name did this get rated as moderate i'll never know. Again I say the views were spectacular and was worth it even though my legs are still shaking several hours later.

hiking
5 months ago

Love this hike. Beautiful lake views and fantastic rewards. Go early, by 10 am it’s hard to get down off the ridge when there are throngs on people trying to get up. No bear sightings. Didn’t have poles, me and the dog were the first people up that day.

5 months ago

Great hike with spectacular views at the top! If anyone finds black Oakley Jupiter Squared, please let me know. Lost them on the trail. Thanks!

5 months ago

great trail. like Grassi lake on steroids

5 months ago

Stunning views on the top

hiking
5 months ago

Great views from the top! Take your time going up to Sarrail Ridge as there are some loose rocks and trickier terrain. Would not recommend the Sarrail Ridge part to inexperienced or unfit hikers as it is not nearly as easy as the Rawson Lake portion. Feels great to get to the top :) can be a bit windy up there.

My dog made it up to Sarrail Ridge but I don’t think most dogs would make it (he’s little and I gave him a boost in a few areas).

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this when it was smoky, so views at the top were pretty blurred but still just beautiful! Honestly didn't think we were gonna finish it because the last section to the ridge was extremely steep. It had also rained the prior day, so the ground was moist which made some rocks not secure in the dirt. There is most definitely scrambling involved, and one of the rocks came loose under one of my feet and I was literally hanging on for life; thank god my boyfriend was with me to pull me up.
That being said, the hike to Rawson lake is pretty easy, and I would personally rate to the ridge as difficult/ challenging because of the steepness and the scrambling involved. However, makes the summit to the ridge that much more enjoyable!
We went very early on a Saturday morning (7:45am start), there with only one other couple. Was sure to stick close to them with it being bear country (bring bear spray). On our way down, there were MANY people coming up, many with just running sneakers or converse sneakers.. As with any trail, I would say to use caution and your judgement and don't go alone. Hiking boots and poles would 100% come in handy. Also took us 5.5 hours with picture and snack breaks.

hiking
5 months ago

Great little hike, one of the best views I’ve ever seen!

hiking
6 months ago

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.

hiking
6 months ago

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

6 months ago

One of the best views in Alberta!

hiking
6 months ago

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.

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