Galatea Creek and Lillian Lake

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
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.
3.5-5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
13.0 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.
485 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama from Lillian Lake snowshoeing trail in Kananaskis near Canmore

The snowshoe to Lillian Lake gets you into some very pretty country. Be aware to not go beyond Lillian Lake, as that is serious avalanche terrain.

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Route Description for Galatea Creek and Lillian Lake

Snowshoeing to Lillian Lake is an increasingly popular trail in Kananaskis. This route only goes to Lillian Lake, which is rated as Simple-Class 1 avalanche terrain. We do not recommend going past Lillian Lake, unless you are well-trained for avalanche terrain, as the terrain changes to significant avalanche terrain.

Depending on how long it’s been since a big dump of snow, you may be able to hike this trail if you have micro-spikes.

To get to Lillian Lake, 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 fine river views, however most of this first section is through the forest.

Continue going forward on the summer path – if you are in avalanche terrain you have gotten off the main path.

Eventually you reach the tip of Lillian Lake after 1.45-2 hours of snowshoeing, taking roughly 6.3 km while gaining 485 m. If you aren’t a regular snowshoer, expect this to take a bit longer.

Lillian Lake is a pretty lake, and a great place for lunch. We like bringing a nice lunch, a warm thermos of hot chocolate and something insulated to sit on and take a good break here. Throw your insulated mat on one of the nice benches along Lillian Lake and enjoy the view. There are also some toilets back from Lillian Lake.

Insider Hints for Galatea Creek and Lillian Lake

  • Bring your microspikes, as the trail may be compacted enough that you don’t need snowshoes.
  • Don’t go beyond Lillian Lake to Guinn’s Pass or Galatea Lakes unless you have avalanche training and gear, there is some very dangerous avalanche terrain above Lillian Lake.
  • 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.
  • Always check the avalanche forecast for Kananaskis before heading out.

Getting to the Galatea Creek and Lillian Lake Trailhead

From the Trans-Canada highway, go south on Highway #40 for 32.6 km, passing Nakiska. Take the signed turn for ‘Galatea’ on your right, just as you come over a rise.

Route Information

  • When to do

    December - April

  • Mountain Huts

    None

  • Toilets

    Trailhead and Lillian Lake

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Avalanche Risk

    Simple

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    None

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Galatea Creek and Lillian Lake Elevation Graph

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Galatea Creek and Lillian Lake Reviews

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