Burstall Lakes

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1.5-2.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
7.8 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
150 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of the Burstall Lakes snowshoeing trail in Kananaskis near Canmore

Snowshoe along the summer hiking trail for Burstall Pass and enjoy travelling through dense forest as you make your way to the incredible Burstall Lakes. Once at Burstall lakes enjoy grand views of Mount Robertson and its impressive glacier from the meadows.

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Route Description for Burstall Lakes

Burstall Pass is a wonderful winter ski tour, but a bit too long for a snowshoe. This snowshoe to the Burstall Lakes gets you into some stunning viewpoints without a lot of effort.

From the Burstall Day Use Area, begin snowshoeing past the trail kiosk and bathrooms to the signed dam over Mud Lake. Cross Mud Lake and follow the summer hiking signs towards Burstall Pass. The Pass is too difficult (and has Challenging avalanche terrain) for snowshoeing in the winter, however you will need to follow the same trail until reaching the meadows. If you have hiked to Burstall Pass in the summer, this snowshoe to Burstall Lakes will be very straight forward.

As you travel past the Hogarth Lakes, you will stay on the left trails. Continue on your trail and you will begin to see small trails forking off to the right as you ascend. These small trails lead to the three individual Burstall Lakes. You may choose to follow these to explore on your way to the meadows, or upon your return.

Follow the main trail until you exit the forest into the grand meadows below Burstall Pass. Enjoy views in all directions and be sure to admire the Robertson Glacier with incredible Mount Robertson towering above to the left. Enjoy all three lakes and some time in the meadow before turning back the way you came.

Consider taking a side trip to Hogarth Lakes and complete a small loop if you would like to lengthen your day.

Insider Hints for Burstall Lakes

  • Watch for backcountry skiers on the Robertson Glacier, and be aware of them as they ski-out from a day touring on Burstall Pass.
  • Set aside time for lunch in the meadows if the sun is out.
  • Always check the avalanche forecast for Kananaskis before heading out.
  • Snowshoeing in the Kananaskis is a remote activity. Make sure you are prepared for an emergency with warm clothes, extra food, matches and ideally a satellite transceiver, like a Garmin InReach. Cell phones do not work until you get to Canmore.

Getting to the Burstall Lakes Trailhead

The 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 41.0 km before reaching the Burstall Day Use Area lot on the right. If coming from Kananaskis Lakes in the south, the distance is approximately 20.0 km.

Route Information

  • When to do

    December - April

  • Mountain Huts

    None

  • Toilets

    Trailhead

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Avalanche Risk

    Simple

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Burstall Lakes Elevation Graph

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