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The Chester Lake Snowshoe In Kananaskis Country

The Chester Lake Snowshoe in Kananaskis Country

The Chester Lake snowshoe is one of the prettiest snowshoeing outings you can do in Alberta. It’s one of the most popular ones so unless it’s a cloudy weekday, expect some company. Dogs are allowed on a leash too.

Details of the Chester Lake snowshoe 

The trail to Chester Lake begins at the left hand corner of the parking lot. It climbs steeply for the first few kilometres. Once you reach the large meadow the aerobic workout is behind you. From the meadow the Chester Lake snowshoe is just a gentle climb through the trees to another smaller meadow before reaching Chester Lake itself.

Do make the side trip, even though it’s a steep one – to Elephant Rocks. Giant sized boulders have been dropped helter- skelter and the views from there are magnificent. Really the mountain views once you clear the trees are top-notch, especially on one of Alberta’s bluebird winter days.

In total the trail climbs 310 metres.

Snowshoeing to Chester Lake in Alberta

The start of the snowshoe trail involves a steep climb

On weekends the trail to Chester Lake is busy - on weekdays we saw only a few other people

On weekends the trail to Chester Lake is busy – on weekdays we saw only a few other people

Heading across the meadow enroute to Chester Lake

Heading across the meadow on the way to Chester Lake

Snowshoeing to Chester Lake in Kananaskis Country

Non-stop views after you reach the meadows

The mountains feel very close on this snowshoe to Chester Lake

The mountains feel very close on this snowshoe

Shrubs look beautiful covered with frost

Shrubs look beautiful covered with frost

Slopes you wouldn't want to be climbing

Slopes you wouldn’t want to be climbing

One small open stream needs to be crossed enroute to Chester Lake

One small open stream needs to be crossed

Mountain scenery near Chester Lake

Mountain scenery near Chester Lake

Snowshoeing through the Elephant Rocks

Snowshoeing through the Elephant Rocks

Checking out the fabulous Elephant Rocks

Checking out the fabulous Elephant Rocks

Snowshoers heading back to the trailhead

Snowshoers heading back to the trailhead

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Finding the trailhead

Most people drive to the trailhead via Highway 40 from the Trans-Canada Highway – and not up the Spray Lakes Road from Canmore. There is a large parking lot at the trailhead, located on the east side of Smith Dorrien-Spray Lakes Road. It’s about 20 kilometres north of Highway 40 – or 40 kilometres from Canmore. From Calgary, allow 90 minutes to two hours for the drive, depending on weather conditions.

I’ve done the Chester Lake snowshoe several times, always under great snow conditions. But if you’re reluctant to make the drive without knowing what you’re getting into check out the Kananaskis trail report online. Or stop in at the Barrier Lake Visitor Information Centre on the drive there.

Further reading on snowshoe trails

For more ideas on easy snowshoeing trails in the Rockies pick up a copy of A Beginner’s Guide to Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies.

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Snowshoeing to Chester Lake in Kananaskis Country

 

 

 

 

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 8 Comments
    1. @Marisol Antarctica – I’ve missed something and can’t get over how many interesting places you and Keith visit every year. Snow and ice can make for very interesting photographic opportunities.

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