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Chester Lake Hike


  • Chester Lake



  • February 4, 2023



  • Ed, Rod, Bauer, Shonda, Kirk, Roger, Carolyn, Oak, Peter, Lisa, Mike, Brenda



  • a 60-minute drive (45 km) up the Smith Dorrien (Spray Lakes) road from Canmore
  • turn left (east) into the parking lot, which is direct across from the Burstall Pass parking lot
  • you can also access it from the Kananaskis Lakes Road
  • the trail is at the far end of the parking lot, and the snowshoe trail is on the right, where you make a left shortly thereafter
  • follow the snowshoe signs so that you avoid the wider trail that the backcountry skiers use



Degree of difficulty:

  • 10 km round trip Elephant Rocks and back
  • 450 meters
  • the hike took us three hours
  • it is a decent climb for close to an hour before you break out of the trees into the first meadow
  • at the lake, we took the first trail up to the Elephant Rocks and then did a loop between the two sets of Elephant Rocks before descending to the lake
  • from Chester Lake to the Elephant Rocks is a 10-15 minute jaunt



Interesting notes:

  • the initial part of the trail is quite forested, but once you break out of the trees, the 360 views are amazing on a clear day
  • the views include Mount Chester, Fortress Mountain, Mount Galatea, Mount Burstall, and Commonwealth Peak
  • most people are not aware of the Elephant Rocks, and it is one of the most unique and majestic sites in the Bow Valley
  • the Elephant Rocks are a special place for the Edventure group as we have spread the ashes of Binger, Ceili, Oggie, and Jasper