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Rawson Lake Hike


  • Rawson Lake



  • January 12, 2019



  • Ed, Jace, Ian, Eldon, An, Jack, Craig, Janet, Oak, Jane, Ceili, Luna, Al, Sue, Chris, Finn, Winnie, Michael, Noel, Sam, Katie




  • the trailhead is a bit tricky to find if you have never been as there are countless different parking lots in the area
  • take Highway 40 south from the Trans Canada Highway (casino turn off) and proceed south for about 50 km’s before turning right onto the Kananaskis Lakes road (Highway 40 is closed at this point during the winter months as the Highwood Pass is not open to vehicles)
  • after 2 km’s take a left turn (do not go on the Spray Lakes/Smith Dorrien road)
  • proceed 10 km’s until you come to the Upper Kananaskis Lakes road where you turn left and proceed to the T intersection where you turn left, and the parking lot is straight ahead
  • access to the trail is at the far end of the parking lot by the lake



Degree of difficulty:

  • 8 km round trip and 630 meters elevation
  • the trail is relatively flat for the first km along the lake, and then it cuts up (left) up the mountain
  • the trail then ascents in a moderate climb for 1.5 km’s before it flattens out as you approach the lake
  • it took us just under 3 hours round trip at a leisurely pace and with a 20 minute stop for lunch at the lake
  • at the lake, you can meander around the left-hand side towards the end of the lake or cut across, if it is frozen, and then meander along the right-hand side but be careful at the end of the lake as it is an avalanche slope



Interesting notes:

  • the trail was packed down with no fresh snow, so most of us just wore our winter boots, and a few folks had their grippers on
  • the views from Upper Kananaskis Lake portion of the trail are spectacular of all the mountain ranges in the area
  • Rawson Lake is in a cirque which provides for a beautiful natural amphitheater
  • in the summer the hike up to Sarrail Ridge offers spectacular views but is quite the grunt
  • we had a large entourage of 16 people and 5 dogs which made for a fun journey and no shortage of trail banter