Chester Lake Snowshoe Trail

Attempt date: March 27th, 2011Start time: 12:00pm Completion time: 4 hours Distance: 7.2km

Participants:  Sarah McLean, Patrick Latter


Drive 60 km west on Highway 1 from Calgary. Turn south onto Highway 40 and drive roughly 50km. Turn right at the Kananaskis Lakes Trail and then right onto Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail. Then drive roughly 18km to the Chester Lake parking lot on the right.


  • Food
  • Water
  • Warm ski jacket
  • Warm fleece
  • Winter Hiking boots
  • Warm socks (or 2 layers of socks)
  • Toque
  • Thermal underwear
  • Snow-pants or gaiters
  • Gloves
  • Snow Shoes!


This trip was back in 2011 but I did not have a blog at the time, so I thought I would post the photos and story.

There had been a HUGE snowfall that year and the recorded snow depth for Chester lake was something like 2 meters. It was so high that, at points, it was nearly covering the trail markers which were attached to tall posts. As we made our way through the trees, we noticed that many them had this mossy fluff wrapped around their branches. So obviously the first thing you would do with something like that is....

'Chester Lake' is 3.6 km into the loop and once we arrived it was a little anti-climactic, as the lake was hidden under meters of snow. If you didn't know any better, you would have just thought it was a clearing. We took a few pictures while having lunch at the 'lake'.

A little disappointed with the view at the lake we decided to follow a trail that seemed to continue on past the lake and up a small hill. Once we made it past trees, we came across these amazing giant boulders covered in a meter of snow. The whole scene was very surreal.

On the way back to the trail head I spotted a creek that was meandering its way through the meters of snow.