October 03 2014

Hikes Chester Lake

Beautiful alpine lakes in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

The Chester Lake trail is an alpine hike in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, one of the parks that collectively make up Kananaskis Country, a park system in the front range of the Canadian Rockies.

It leaves from highway 742, a gravel road that runs south from Canmore through K-country. Reaching Chester Lake itself is a pretty easy hike, reaching the lake in under 3 miles and around 500 meters of elevation gain, most of it consisting of fairly wide trail and fire roads.

For the really spectacular high alpine scenery, of course, you'll want to go on past Chester Lake, to the 3 lakes valley just north of the lake (and, of course...UP).

Chester Lake

The approach to Chester Lake.

The lake itself is a beautiful alpine lake, with larches on a spur jutting out in front of a massive cliff face.

Three Lakes Valley

Beyond Chester Lake is an alpine playground, which we hiked at (in my opinion) the absolute perfect time, with a light coating of snow and the larches at their peak.

First Lake

Second Lake

Third lake

Well.....we turned around before the third lake. It was very windy and cold out, and the third lake is much like the second and would have been another couple hundred meters of elevation gain over lots of loose rock.

Still...an excellent day on the trail, and we barely saw anyone else for the whole day.

Bonus - moose! This is how I prefer to encounter large wildlife - from the safety of your car, with a wide berth given. We've encountered moose on the trail before, and had to beat our way through thick bush to go around them with enough distance for safety. This is much better.