Hike to a Scenic Lake in Kananaskis Country

Chester Lake was officially one of my favorite hikes of 2016. It's a short & sweet 5 km's to the lake, with outstanding views in every direction. Fall colors were just starting to peak through and the sky looked amazing. From what I understand, this is one of the more popular hikes in the area, and therefore can attract more crowds. The trail head for this hike is located at the Chester Lake parking lot right off the Smith Dorrien Trail. 

The trail to Chester Lake starts on the far NE corner of the parking lot. The trail itself is wide and easy to follow. Its a bit steep at points, and there are a few switchbacks. The trail eventually opens into an amazing mountain valley. It flattens out for a while and brings you directly to the far end of Chester Lake. 

The ridge on the far side of the lake was our mission. We scrambled up the face of the ridge and took in some amazing views at the top. This portion of the hike isn't necessary (and to be honest, there is no easy way down from the ridge). You can, however, follow the trail along the left side of the lake and continue on to the 'Elephant Rocks.' This is a great little detour if you still have energy.  

Follow the trail back to the lake, and head back down the way you came. What I loved so much about this hike was the amazing views you get in every direction. Our views were sweetened by the colors of fall and the big Alberta sky.

Happy Trails!  

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Water & Snacks
  • Bear Spray
  • Hiking Poles, Ice Spikes (the trail can still be icy up to mid-May)
  • Layers (rain coat, sweater, etc.)
  • Hat & Sunscreen for sunny days. 
  • First Aid Kit 
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RT Distance 6.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 984.3 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly


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