Chester Lake Hike
The Chester Lake hike is a great family route in Canmore, complete with a stunning alpine meadow and glistening lake nestled among towering peaks. The walk is perfect for multiple seasons, whether you come to snowshoe or take a ski tour in winter, or to see the larches change color in autumn. The trail is closed from May to late-June each year to prevent trail damage.
The Chester Lake trailhead is located on the unpaved Highway 742, also known as the Smith-Dorrien Trail. From Canmore drive towards the Nordic Centre. Continue past the Nordic Centre and travel 25.5mi before reaching the parking lot. If you are coming from Kananaskis Lakes in the south, the distance is approximately 12.4mi.
|When to do|
June through October
Out and back
Chester Lake Hike
Chester Lake Trail Description
To start the Chester Lake trail, head to the northern end of the parking lot and find the broad path that ascends through the forest. From the early parts of the Chester Lake trail, you may notice occasional views across the valley to Mount Burstall, another fine hike to check out in the region.
After approximately 1.7mi, you’ll enter a clearing that gives just a taste of what’s ahead. This area can be exquisite in autumn with the diverse landscape colors creating truly magical scenery. Continue up ahead and emerge at a meadow before Chester Lake. Walk down to the lake, explore around the edges, and enjoy the ease with which you were able to get to this stunning beauty.
We love to have a long break, and explore the area around Chester Lake. It is a beautiful place. To get back to your car, leave Chester Lake and head back the way you came.
Hiking Trail Highlights
Chester Lake is a small body of water located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. This picturesque alpine lake is located in a magnificent spot, surrounded by tall, gray, craggy mountains dotted with golden larches. Chester Lake is a major attraction for hikers in summer and snowshoe-ers in winter, partly because it’s an easily accessible, stunning spot in some of Canada’s wildest mountains.
The waters of the lake are a gorgeous turquoise color, but up close you’ll see that they are crystal clear, providing the perfect mirror for the surrounding mountains. As you hike around the lake you’ll encounter large piles of boulders and tumbling waterfalls, but the shimmering waters remain ever-peaceful.
Check out other amazing hikes in Kananaskis – Smith Dorrien:
This trail is a great learning hike for your family.
In winter, this is one of the nicest snowshoe trails to explore.
Trail closed May to June 29th each year to prevent trail damage.
Similar hikes to the Chester Lake Hike hike
The Marl Lake trail is a moderately trafficked trail near Lower Kananaskis Lake that is accessible for all abilities. It…
The trail to Tryst Lake is used year-round by many different types of adventurers. The summer trail is easy to…
The Lower Kananaskis Lake trail follows the lakeshore between William Watson Lodge and Canyon Creek campground. The trail has educational…