Hike Rawson Lake and Sarrail Ridge

Rawson Lake Trailhead , Kananaskis, Alberta, Canada

  • Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    5 Miles

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Distance: 3.9 kilometers one-way to Rawson Lake. Elevation gain: 305 meters. Easy family friendly hike to the lake with lots to explore. For a more challenging hike, continue up to the ridge. Peter Lougheed Provincial Park campgrounds nearby.

Getting There

From Highway 1, Take Highway 40 South to Kananaskis Lakes Trail, and turn left at Upper kananaskis Lakes Drive.

The Trail

The trail to Rawson Lake starts at the end of the "Day Use Area" at Upper Kananaskis Lake. The lake gently laps the shoreline to the right and moss carpets the forest to the left. Soon the sound of water can be heard, and the trail drops down to Sarrail Creek. Here, you'll find a rushing waterfall cascading down a mossy cliff.

There used to be a bridge here, but it was washed out by a 2013 flood and hasn't been replaced yet. Crossing the creek isn't too difficult, but does require some agility and may result in wet feet. Shortly after the creek crossing, the trail to Rawson Lake branches off from the lakeshore trail and ascends 2.7 km along switchbacks through the trees and along boardwalks before finally opening out to Rawson Lake, nestled below the slopes of Mount Sarrail.

Sarrail Ridge is a steep, strenuous climb beyond Rawson Lake. To take it, follow the rocky trail along Rawson Lake and ascend the steep grassy slope on the far side. From the trailhead to the ridge, you'll travel 5.6 kilometers and gain 655 meters in elevation, and the incredible views from the top of the ridge make the effort worthwhile.

Pack List

  • Food
  • Water
  • Bear spray
  • Trekking poles
  • Camera
  • Extra layers of clothing
  • Rain coat and pants
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Reviews

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Fantastic hike!!! The hike stars along the eastern side of Upper Kananaskis Lake. Follow the other to the fork where there is a sign that clearly marks the trail to Rawson Lake. This is where the trail starts to get get steep, and you really gain in elevation. Once at Rawson, the views are incredible. Bring your fishing rod as the lake has an abundance of fish, and they were jumping.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Also good for winter hikes!! Snowshoeing on the lake :)

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Becky Simrose

Seriously in love with the mountains and ocean... and travel. I live in Calgary, just a short drive from Banff and so spend a lot of time in the mountains. When I'm not working I'm often on Vancouver Island...my other home and my ocean fix!

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