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Chester Lake and Beyond (Moderate)

Chester Lake is an easy to moderate hike, you
may have done it, but if the weather is good we will be going beyond Chester to the Elephant rocks and possibly further depending on the weather.

Elevation Gain to Chester Lake: 310 m to third lake: 555 m

Distance return Chester Lake 9 km.... to 3rd lake 13.5 km

Come prepared for winter conditions--I am not
sure how much snow will be on this trail. Micro spikes, warm dry hiking boots, gaiters, warm layers (no cotton), hat , mitts, 2 L water, lunch and snacks.

Bearspray if you have it and know how to use it.

We will be walking over scree and loose rock once past Elephant Rocks. There is a short easy scramble to the viewpoint.

I hike at a slow to moderate pace taking brakes
on the way up. Sometimes lots of breaks on the way up. I like to look around and
take in the views without feeling rushed. We have all day. Take pictures, snack,
talk ...enjoy.

The group needs to stay together so if you like to
race up a trail DON'T SIGN UP FOR THIS HIKE.

Please don't ask me when we will be done ...I
will not answer this question... :) I am going for the day. If the weather is
crappy we may be home early but if the weather is great we may stay a little

This is one of the most scenic trails in
Kananaskis. It is heavily hiked, but few people venture past Elephant Rocks ,and
even fewer go all the way to the headwall. The first third of the trail is the
steepest, with winding switch backs, but nice view points of Burstall Pass
across the road. After the switch backs you enter a large high meadow with
Chester Lake at the far end butted up against a rock wall. Mount Chester looms
over the valley on the right side..... Continuing on from Chester lake we go
uphill to Elephant Rocks......Continuing on uphill, we pass two more  lakes,
then scramble (easy no helmet needed) up a short rock face to a viewpoint with
an amazing panorama of the Continental Divide.

I am hoping this is where we will be having lunch.

The trailhead is well marked,
on the Smith-Dorrien /Spray Lakes Road, about 20km north of the junction of the
Kananaskis Lakes Road (40) in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.Take Hwy 1 North
towards Banff to hwy 40 exit (marked Kananaskis) and turn left. Continue on hwy
40 past Nakiska ski area to the "winter gate" at the junction of Kananaskis Lake
trail turn right. A short way down this road turn right on hwy 742
(Smith-Dorrien Rd.). The trail head parking lot sign is on the right about 20k
up the road

Suggested Car fare

Waivers: As per the new policy for waivers; I
will bring the group waiver form with me to both the Calgary Meetup location and
the trailhead. You must sign it before you will be allowed to go on this hike.
You will also be asked to provide the name and phone number of an emergency
contact. You are fully aware that organizers are not professional guides and you
assume all responsibility for your safety and well-being. You are fully prepared
with proper gear and you're physically fit to do this hike with the

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  • Becky S.

    Beautiful hike, perfect company! Too bad the sun waited to make its appearance until we got back to the parking lot ;-)

    October 20, 2013

  • Bob C.

    Candice was excellent in the situation she had, hats off to all you organizers!!

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • Donna

    It's funny I used to not fit in because I was fat not fit and slow now it's the opposite!!! I like this way better though !!!!

    October 17, 2013

    • Andy D.

      We try to accomodate everyone no matter what your skill level Donna. To only way to grow is to do it. Go out and enjoy and always feel free to ask any of our organizers if a hike may or may not be up to your level at the present time. The goal is FUN. Always has been, always will be. And of course safety.

      1 · October 20, 2013

  • Donna

    Candice I apologize for sounding catty just frustrated to be to fast for slower and to slow for faster. However I am hearing of a lot of slip and falls and your hikes seem to be pretty safe. I see your rationale for sticking as a group. Sincerely Donna

    October 19, 2013

  • Karen L

    Hi Candice, I'm looking forward to seeing you again. I will drive from Cochrane and meet at the trailhead. If anyone else is coming from Cochrane email me if you want to carpool from there.

    October 17, 2013

  • Maria

    Galina, Vladimir and Maria will need a ride, please.

    October 17, 2013

  • Becky S.

    Hi Candice! Tried to do this hike recently but we messed up and took the wrong trail ;-) I'd love to give it another shot with you...can you put me on your wait list, in case I'm not near a computer to grab a spot when RSVP opens up at 5:30? Thanks-Becky

    October 17, 2013

    • Candice B.

      I heard we might have some route finding to do with all the damage done this spring. Should be interesting. I do not think it will fill up that fast Becky but don't worry. :)

      October 17, 2013

    • Becky S.

      I'm in! The only route finding is at the beginning (we figured it out when we backtracked to the trailhead) where there are some rocks and trees to scramble around...and the sign pointing you to Chester Lake is gone. Now I know just follow the little orange ribbons to the left of the big fallen trees and rocks...

      1 · October 17, 2013

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