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September 13, 2022
With the great Canadian Rockies bordering the west, Alberta has some spectacular snowshoeing mountains with endless trails and stunning majestic views. Our family has had the privilege of making the trip to Kananaskis from the Westcoast in the summer and winter months as it is a mecca for outdoor activities all year round. You can depart Calgary and be in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in just a few hours which makes it easily accessible for a weekend trip from the city. Before you head out on your next backcountry snowshoe adventure make sure you order our sought-after Powder Paws men's and women's snowshoes. As well, to make our packages even more enticing, we are currently offering a Canada wide 30% off snowshoe sale. We are super excited about these user-friendly snowshoes that are both conveniently lightweight and provide excellent traction. Perfect for those steep ascents the Rocky mountains are well known for. Hurry before these sell out for winter 2022/2023! Read on and get-to-know some must-see snowshoe trails Alberta has to offer!
Distance: 7.3 km
Elevation Gain: 300m
This is about a two hour drive from Calgary along Hwy 40. This is an excellent must-do snowshoe trip that the whole family can enjoy as it’s a moderate to difficulty level. Park in the Upper Kananaskis Lake day use area prior to taking the main trail that winds its way along Upper Kananaskis Lake. Follow along Upper Kananaskis Lake and watch for signs that veer up to Rawson Lake which is at the base of Mt Sarrail. You will love the views along the lake as the trail meanders along Kananaskis Lake for a large part of the hike. Once the trail branches away from the lake it starts the ascent through the trees and over some board walks before breaking out into the jaw dropping Rawson Lake. Once you get to Rawson Lake be careful as you don’t want to take any risks of walking onto the ice before knowing the thickness. There is a trail that loops to the left at Rawson that can head into avalanche territory.
Distance: 4.2 km
Elevation gain: 45m
This is a perfect snowshoe trip for families with kids or beginners looking to break in their new Powder Paws. This trail wraps around Hogarth Lakes and has amazing views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. To enjoy the best views this trail has to offer, hike it in a clockwise direction. To get there from Calgary take Hwy 1 West to Kananaskis Country turnoff and continue to Hwy 40 for 50 kms. Turn right onto Kananaskis Lakes trail and after 2.2 kms turn right again onto Smith Dorrien Rd (Hwy 742). After 20 kms down this road the Burstall Pass Trailhead will be on your left. Follow the orange snowshoe markers around the loop past the Hogarth Lakes!
Distance: 5.15 Km
Elevation gain: 295m
This is an extremely popular hiking trail in the summer time and can often be very crowded. However, if done in the winter it is much quieter and offers some spectacular mountain views. The parking lot is located beside the Fairmont Chateau Hotel. Start at the Lakeshore Trail and branch to the right onto the Lake Agnes Trail (by the small bronze statue). This trail will climb through old growth forest until you arrive at Mirror Lake. Continue onto the final climb to the teahouse on the shores of Agnes Lake. Spectacular way to spend a day outdoors!
Distance 13.8 km
Elevation Gain 625m
The Barrier Lake Fire Lookout is an active lookout so its maintained and used throughout the summer. This is a moderately challenging hike that makes for a breathtaking 360 degree views of Kananaskis and Banff National Park. It’s easy to see why they picked this location for a lookout as its strategically located to see a vast portion of the park. If you do not feel like going all the way to the fire tower you can stop 800m earlier at the Barrier Lake Lookout that overlooks the lake. I highly recommend going all the way to the fire lookout. Barrier Lake is one of the most popular lakes in Kananaskis as it is within a one-hour reach of Calgary located at the Kananaskis entrance. To get here drive west on Hwy 1 until you hit Hwy 40 and then head south to Kananaskis. The parking lot for the hike is located on the north end of Barrier Lake.
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