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D3/4 Hike: Rawson Lake & Ridge

  • Sep 1, 2014 · 8:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

First we hike up an official trail to lovely Rawson Lake nestled beneath Mount Sarrail, then we get in our Labour Day labour slogging up a grassy slope on an unofficial route to a ridge for spectacular views of Upper Kananaskis Lake.

The pace will be moderate. Beginners with a good level of fitness welcome.

Maximum group size of 10

CORA organizers no longer accept cash for memberships or drop ins. You must pay your $20 membership fee or $5 drop-in fee online before this trip (I've heard that the payment app does not work on mobile and you must be on a computer). Click the blue "Pay online" button in left column. For drop-in, change the "Amount" field to $5. CORA rules mandate that I keep folks on the waiting list until they've paid their fee. Post a comment saying that you've paid to let me know. If you have concerns about your physical ability, ask me before you pay. I update RSVPs in the evenings.

For planning and safety reasons, I like to know who's coming and your general level of experience, so no guests/+1s. Everybody signs up individually. Please answer all questions during the RSVP process. (Note: questions may not show up on mobile).

Difficulty Rating: Hike 3/4 (click here for Difficulty Ratings PDF - page 2)

Note: this hike is at the upper end of the D3 category, but I'm hedging it into D4 for the stiff gain in elevation between the lake and the ridge so you're not surprised!

Elevation gain: 671 m

Distance: 11 km

Time on trail: 4-5 hours. This is an estimate. It's the mountains. Don't make evening plans that rely on this.

Dogs: OK if your dog is fit and you are driving. Dogs must be leashed according to the law (and they do patrol and give out fines). Also, loose dogs bring back angry bears!

Come prepared for all weather. It's supposed to be nice in Kananaskis on Monday, but there has been 5-10cm of fresh snow at high elevations!

Shared values of this trip include personal responsibility and mutual reliance (we all look out for one another), fun, safety and respect. The organizer is not a guide, but she has the final say in matters of safety.

CORA also has Rules of Conduct (click) which you agree to by joining.

I'm a volunteer sharing my experience, not a licensed guide! Don't assume I know where I'm going or that everyone but you won't be kidnapped by yetis! Research the route. Google is a treasure trove of information and photos that can help you decide if this trail is for you.

Required Equipment:

* Hiking boots (mandatory)

* Shell jacket

* Warm layers, hat and gloves

* Headlamp (you never know!)

* Sunscreen

* Water (absolutely mandatory)

* Food

Recommended Equipment:

* First aid kit

* Hiking poles (strongly recommended)

* Map and compass, for practicing navigation, identifying peaks, and in case of yetis.

Transport: CORA trips start at the trailhead. We meet at the meeting point in Calgary to make organizing trips easier and help ensure we know who's showing up. Please be on time. You may choose to meet us at the trailhead, but please advise me ahead of time.

Driving and Directions: Trans-Canada west from Calgary to Highway 40 "Kananaskis Country" to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park turn off "Kananaskis Lakes Trail". Follow Kananaskis Lakes Trail, then turn left at "Upper Lake" turn off. Go past the large parking lot to the southernmost parking lot (south is on your left at the junction within the parking lots; the lake is to the west). Trail begins at the south end of the parking lot.


(Google maps even shows the official part of the hiking trail; the ridge is NW of the lake and the unofficial route follows the obvious grassy gully next to the forest)

If you have questions, email me by clicking on my name and clicking the email link in my profile. Note that my cell is for emergency and day-of meeting purposes only, so that's not the best way to contact me until the morning of the trip.


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  • Jasmine L

    Maija, thanks for organizing such a wonderful hike even though a challenge to me:) and Pam, thanks for providing a ride. nice to meet all of you. I just uploaded some pictures. let me know if you need big-size.

    1 · September 3, 2014

  • Diane H.

    What a perfect day! Beautiful views, gorgeous wild flowers and a MOOSE!

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • Pam

    Maija - thanks for a wonderful Labor Day hike! Amazing view from the ridge with the peaks and the sun shining through the clouds!

    1 · September 1, 2014

  • Maija

    It was a steep grind to the top of the ridge but the magical fireweed garden, the spectacular views, and excellent company made it well worth the effort. Thanks, everyone, for a wonderful day.

    3 · September 1, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry for last minute cancel. Just got back from sparrow hawk and it kicked my ass. Hopefully somebody on waiting list can go

    August 31, 2014

  • Maija

    The weather looks good! But bring a rain jacket just in case. We're meeting Laurie at the trailhead, so let's aim to leave at 8AM. See everyone tomorrow!

    August 31, 2014

  • Maija

    The trip is full, so I have closed RSVPs for now. Yan is in the queue already and I don't want anyone paying a fee when they likely won't get on the trip. If more spots open up, I may reopen RSVPs.

    August 30, 2014

  • Laurie M

    Hi Maija, I've just paid. I'll be meeting you at the trailhead...are you thinking approx 10am?

    August 30, 2014

    • Maija

      Sure, that sounds about right. Google maps is saying 1 hr 40 minutes but we'll probably stop at Peter Lougheed info centre for bathroom break/trail info.

      August 30, 2014

  • Kalie Y.

    Hi Maija I have paid the membership fee.

    August 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    The ridge is a favorite of mine, can't get enough of the views from up there :) have a blast !

    1 · August 30, 2014

  • Jasmine L

    Hi, Maija, I've already paid membership fee

    August 30, 2014

  • Diane H.

    I have paid my Cora fees for the year.

    August 30, 2014

  • Maija

    Wondering why you're still on the Waiting List? Please read the full text of the description to learn the answer.

    August 30, 2014

    • catalin

      Yes, wondering. :) Do you want the receipt?

      1 · August 30, 2014

7 went

Membership dues

CAD20.00 before first trip

This covers: Annual Membership

Payment is accepted using:

  • PayPal
  • Cash or check - “Payment must be made before attending your first trip of the year with CORA. Your Membership will be valid until the next AGM.

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

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