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Shawn, James, and Jenn at Chester Lake.Shawn, James, and Jenn at Chester Lake.
Chester Lake Hike Fall 2014
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, Kananaskis Country
September 19, 2014

In 2014 we took our annual vacation a bit later than normal, in September. We spent a few days in Canmore before heading down to Fairmont Hot Springs in the Columbia Valley. While spending time in Canmore, we wanted to take James up to Chester Lake to see the beautiful fall colours in the mountains.

The trailhead is about 40 kilometres south of Canmore on the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Lakes Road. The original trail left from the northeast corner of the parking lot, but it appeared that the 2013 floods had damaged the trail and/or bridge a few hundred metres from the parking lot, and the first portion of the Chester Lake Trail had been realigned. The new start is at the northwest corner of the parking lot, and the trail travels along a new alignment for the first 300-400 metres.

After joining the original trail, the route splits into an uphill side and a downhill side. It’s likely the trail was split to better accommodate the large number of people who travel up to the lake. It’s kind of nice not having to worry about passing people on the trail for a while. The two trails reconnect after about two kilometres, just before the trail makes a steep uphill push.

When we reached the lake, we made our way to the far side and sat down to have a snack and take some photos. It rained for a few minutes when we were at the lake, but the skies cleared up as we were heading down. James had a fun time in the mountains, enjoyed the view from his pack, and had a bit of a nap as well.

Trip Length: 10.3km
Cumulative Ascent/Descent: 400m
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