Chester Lake is not spectacular, just nice. But if you’re looking for a hike that works for dogs, friends carrying two-year olds and husbands with sore backs this might just be it.
The trail is wide enough that you and a friend can walk side by side, providing an excellent opportunity to catch up on a summer that went by all too fast.
The elevation gain is such that you know you’re going up, but not painfully so. And then it levels off, and there is a lake for dogs who think that it is always warm enough to need a swim.
The trail was busy even on a cold, cloudy day so I was happy that we got an early start. It’s not a super long outing – we spent about 3.5 hours on trail including lunch at the lake – and were back at the cars around 1 pm. Except me, because I thought I’d lost my sunglasses on the trail and spent an extra half hour hiking back up the trail before remembering that they were tucked safe and sound in the camera case. It would have been nice to linger a little longer at the lake, or ramble on one of the many trails but it was freezing.
On the way home we drove further into Kananaskis (because the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail was in horrible shape near Canmore) and found out that it was really only the Chester Lake area that was cold and cloudy. Still, the chilly weather and fresh snow on the mountains in Chester Lake made it pretty clear that summer is out and fall is in. Not too many weekends left for hiking adventures in the mountains.