Distance 16 km round trip
Elevation gain 600 m
Rating: Moderately Difficult
1 or 2 days. Backpacking camping available
special considerations: This one is longer, and its up up up. Good news is, if you feel like carrying a pack to camp there is an awesome campsite at the lake so you can split this hike into 2 days. But as your very first backpack trip its a lot of work. Make sure you practice with your bag a bit first.
Also lots of water is available on this hike, so bring water filtration and you dont have to carry as much.
This hike is through the trees, has several bridges to cross creeks. The surroundings are really beautiful the whole way. Nothing is too tricky but there are a few spots that are rocky and require a little bending/scrambling.
At one point the veiw really opens up you get to see how high you are getting, for me its a little scary but the path is still flat wide enough for 2 so its a very safe area.
The last couple km are much steeper, its hard work. You will do most of the gain in this last couple km.
The lake itself is nice but not spectacular. The campground is really neat though and would be nice to stay at.
Really the hike itself is the spectacular part, its a very beautiful walk through the woods with lots to see.
6 km Round Trip
500m Elevation Gain
*special considerations: bring a snack for the top, its a climb so you will likely need some fuel. Also there is an outhouse but you will need to have your own toilet paper.
You start with an easy section around part of the upper Kananaskis Lake, its a beautiful spot with many other hikes around it. Watch for signs to go to Rawson.
Once you hit the Rawson trail head its a steady climb. Nothing is terribly steep but there are no flat sections until you hit the lake in about 3 km.
So its short, but tiring as you are climbing the whole time. The good news is that means you are going down the whole way back. It is an easy down but stressful on knees in places as its steep enough to demand your stabilizing muscles to work.
The lake itself is beautiful. Well worth the trek. Green and calm, in a valley, its a stunning example of what can hide deep in the mountains once you get off the more well travelled path.
This is a popular trail so you are likely to see a good number of people, its always good to go early in the day to try and avoid the crowds.
This one will make you work but its worth it and the distance is short enough that you will easily recover at the end of the day.
11 km round trip
400 m Elevation Gain
Classified as Moderate.
*special notes: bring cash or a credit card for the tea house at the top. Also there is very little shade so bring protection from the elements.
This hike begins as an easy 2 km or so around Lake Louise. The Lake is a very popular destination and this first part is often very crowded. This part of the path is wide and paved.
Once you get around the lake you begin going up, the path will split and one side is equestrian while the other is for those on foot. The path is clearly marked the whole way, with stunning open views of the valley and the glaciers.
No part is very steep but the accent is steady and most of the trail is switchbacks.
Even for those afraid of heights this climbs into a valley so although you gain elevation you never feel like you are really getting higher.
Some parts have loose rock but it is all easy to walk on. Still its always better to wear a solid shoe.
Looking back the Chateau and Lake seem so small and you will be amazed how far you go so quickly!
Im a big fan of a reward at the top that is more than just a view. And the reward here is the Tea House.
Its busy, but you can find a seat :) The tea and bisquits are great. The staff friendly.
Here there is an outhouse you can use before heading back down.
Heading back down is the same path as the way up and that last 2 km around the lake can seem long if its late in the day, you can see the parking lot the whole time which is torturous if you have swollen feet. If thats the case stop and put your feet in the Lake, its freezing and will take down the swelling making the last stretch easier.
I rate this hike highly, not too far, not too high, not too hard.
World class views.
Reviews aimed at beginners on trails in Banff, Kananaskis, Vancouver Island and beyond