Beautiful panorama of Galatea Lake hike in the Canadian Rockies
Beautiful panorama of Galatea Lake hike in the Canadian Rockies

Lillian and Galatea Lakes hike

Kananaskis Trail
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Lillian Lake on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreLower Galatea Lake on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreLillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis has beautiful lake viewsLooking down on Lillian Lake on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreTrail upon the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreHikes heading out to Guinn's Pass on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreStunning Lower Galatea Lake on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreLooking on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreHiker resting his feet on Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreBeautiful views of the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreScenery of the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreHiking on Lillian and Galatea Lakes trail in Kananaskis, near CanmoreViews of the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreView down on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreLower Galatea Lake on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreThe path around Lower Galatea Lake on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreTrail of the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near CanmoreCrossing the bridge on the Lillian and Galatea Lakes Hike in Kananaskis, near Canmore

Lillian and Galatea Lakes hike

Distance: 10.4mi
Elevation: 2,428ft
Time: 5-7h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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The hike to Galatea Lakes is spectacular. The first bit to Lillian Lake is through forest, the route above Lillian Lake is outstanding, especially the circuit around Lower Galatea Lake. This hike takes in Lillian Lake, Lower Galatea Lake and Upper Galatea Lake.

Lillian and Galatea Lakes hike Map

Getting there

From the Stoney Nakoda Casino on the TransCanada, take Highway 40 south for roughly 20.3mi. Turn right into the signed Galatea Parking lot.

I’ve done this 31 people have done this
I want to do this 81 want to do this route

About

When to do

June to September

Backcountry Campsites

Lillian Lake

Toilets

Parking Lot, Lillian Lake

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Lollipop


Lillian and Galatea Lakes
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Lillian and Galatea Lakes

Set out from Galatea Parking Lot on the clear path that goes initially downhill before crossing a bridge over the Kananaskis River.

The trail then goes up the Galatea Valley, following Galatea Creek, over which you will cross and re-cross several times.

Along the way, you get some pretty river views, however most of this first section is through the forest.

1.8mi from the car, the path will split. Take the right-hand branch and go up and away from Galatea Creek.

You reach the tip of Lillian Lake after anywhere from 1.5-2 hours. The hike is roughly 3.9mi while gaining 1969ft. If you aren’t a regular hiker, expect this to take a bit longer.

Lillian Lake is a pretty lake, and many hikers stop here. There are some nice benches along Lillian Lake, as well as the Lillian Lake Backcountry Campground, which has 17 campsites, a group fire pit and toilets. This is a very good objective for your first backpacking trip (if you’re an intermediate hiker), and you can easily spend a weekend here with great day hikes over to Ribbon Lake or up to the Galatea Lakes.

From Lillian Lake, the path to Galatea Lakes is a bit tricky. Go towards the campground and follow the signs to the washroom. You will soon see the signs pointing the direction to Galatea Lakes or Guinn’s Pass.

The route to Lower Galatea Lake and Guinn’s Pass is the same, and you follow a narrow path through tall brush, which is at times steep. Once you come out of the trees you continue going up, now over rocks.

You soon come to a junction, where those wanting to explore Lower and Upper Galatea Lakes go to the left. Guinn’s Pass (1.9mi return, 787ft of elevation gain) goes up to the right.

Go left here and you very quickly come over a ridge and look down on Lower Galatea Lake. Follow the path here as it goes around the right-hand side of Lower Galatea Lake before going around the back of Lower Galatea Lake. The views along this part of the hike are spectacular.

Once at the far-end of Lower Galatea Lake you hike up a short section and go right to see Upper Galatea Lake. You can hike a short distance on the right-hand side of Upper Galatea Lake.

From Upper Galatea Lake, the easiest option is to return the way you came back to Lower Galatea Lake and then down to Lillian Lake.

There is also a path that continues around Lower Galatea Lake, which is shown on our map. To go around Lower Galatea Lake, take the clear path that goes around the right-hand side of the lake. When you reach the end of Lower Galatea Lake, look on your left for a path that goes through the trees. This path will take you to the junction that goes up to Guinn’s Pass. It’s very easy to miss this path, which we did, and is shown on our map.

If you miss the turn, then the route down is a very steep and loose trail. The route looks like it goes down all the way to Lillian Lake, however we went left partway down the descent and bushwhacked 656ft through the forest back to the main trail. We’d recommend against our route, though it is possible. If you make it all the back to Lillian Lake let us know!

Either way, once you’re back on the main path, follow the trail as it heads down to Lillian Lake and then back to your car.

Would you like to do a similar level hike? Check out the Pocaterra Ridge.

Insider Hints

  • The washrooms at Galatea Parking Lot are heavily used, and there aren’t enough for the crowds that come. Bring your own toilet paper, or maybe stop at another washroom before here if you need the washroom.

  • This is a classic backpacking trip for beginner backpackers. Hike into Lillian Lake, set up your tent and then explore the Galatea Lakes and Guinn’s Pass.

  • You could add on a trip to Guinn’s Pass as well. The roundtrip distance for this trip and Guinn’s Pass is 13.1mi with 3609ft of elevation gain.

Comments

ddelaloye 1 year ago

Great winter hike recommendation 10Adventures, thank you! Postcard scenery and ice climbers doing a trek on the North face approximately 3 km into the trail. Light snow to Lillian Lake but recommend micro-spikes and poles.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Coll A. 1 year ago

The hike to Galatea Lakes was fantastic. The trail to Lillian Lake is through the forest and it was so fun to do. This hike offers great views of Lillian Lake, Lower Galatea Lake, and Upper Galatea Lake.

10.0 Overall Rating
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JohnCan 1 year ago

Simply incredible! It is another crowd favorite, and I'm not wondering why.

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6h 00m Time Taken
Greenlife 1 year ago

I never thought this hike was so popular before I visited. It was still great.

9.0 Overall Rating
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6h 00m Time Taken
PeterHopkins 1 year ago

From rivers to lake views, I was impressed!

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6h 25m Time Taken
Soli Petravron 1 year ago

One of the crowd's favorite. The path was really easy to follow. Would definitely recommend trying it out.

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lindsaaay 1 year ago

Pretty long but not ever too steep or crazy. Lillian is a great break spot. Best part was around Lower Galatea in my opinion.

Uzma Hasaam 1 year ago

The circuit was impressive, specially the one around Lower Galatea Lake!

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LyleM 1 year ago

I would suggest going early and take your time to soak in as much of this great spot. Wonderful hike!

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SebClyde 1 year ago

Astounding hike with excellent views of the Canadian Rockies.

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20 Comments Show all

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