Are you looking for an easy day hike in Alberta? Then Chester Lake Trail right one for you!
Located in the provincial park of Peter Lougheed in Kananaskis, this beautiful and easy hike takes you through the forest on to an alpine meadow by Mt Chester. This is a perfect trail if you’re looking for something not too difficult and not too long but still with a rewarding view.
The hike starts with a trail through some forest and then opens up into a beautiful mountain meadow where you will continue along to the dazzling Chester Lake. The Lake is the endpoint of the Chester Lake Trail. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a nice lunch and a little photo session.
Here is an easy day hike in Alberta
If you’re feeling adventurous then you can walk around the lake and behind you’ll be able to spot a waterfall, be careful though as bears have been spotted in that area.
This trail is highly recommended for bigger groups, families, dogs, and anyone looking to get out and see some of the beauty Kananaskis has to offer! 🙂
Practical information about Chester Lake Trail
Distance: 9.2 km return / 5.7 miles return
Elevation: 300 m / 1000 ft. elevation gain
Type: Out and back
Length: 2-3 hours return
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Here’s a map of the beginning of the trail
Here’s a picture of the beginning of the trail
How to get there
You will drive follow the Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 W into Canmore and follow the directions from Canmore below.
You will drive up into Canmore and from there you will drive towards Grassy Lakes. Once you’re on Smith Dorrien Road (Hwy 742) you will continue for approximately 40 minutes down the road until you find the car park for Chester Lake.
How long it takes to get there depends on the condition of the road as this year the road is full of potholes and a 4×4 is definitely recommended. We were in a small Sedan and still managed to get there fine but it wasn’t the most pleasant drive.
Before you go
Although this is an easy hike you should always plan ahead when you go hiking. Know the route and check the weather forecast. It makes your trip so much easier and safer. We would also recommend you to tell someone about your plans. Just in case something happens. Better safe than sorry!
But before even doing that, it would be a great idea for you to check if the trail is open or if there are any warnings on it. It’s nice to know if a grizzly and her cub has been spotted on the trail recently. You can check the trail information out here. In case the trail is closed, you can find other hikes nearby right here.
What to bring
When you go hiking you should always bring the essentials such as:
- Bear spray
- Warm clothes
Even if you’re just doing an easy day hike in Alberta you should always be prepared!
Other useful info
- There are bathrooms in the parking lot.
- Bikes are allowed on the trail but only on the first 2 km of it.
- Chester Lake Trail is for day use only. This means that you cannot go camping here.
- The trail is open during winter for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
So what are you waiting for? Pack your favorite hiking shoes and trail mix and get out there!
Have you been to Kananaskis before? Let us know in the comment section what your favorite hike is!
Dom & Jo