Chester Lake - Hike

The most popular hike you will probably ever do in the Rocky Mountains and for good reason. It's moderate for effort level, it's a decent length, it's a nice day trip from the big city, and it all ends with a rewarding mountain lake destination!

Round trip: 9 km
Hiking Time: 3 - 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 330 m
FitBit: approx 13,000 steps and 120 flights of stairs
LocationPeter Lougheed Provincial Park
Kid Friendlyyes
Dog Friendlyyes*

Marked: Yes
Facilities: Yes
How to get there: From Calgary drive west on Hwy 1. Turn off at Kananaskis Trail/Hwy 40 and drive approximately 50km. At Kananaskis Lakes Trail turn right (west) into Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Drive approx 2.2 km and turn right (north) onto the Smith Dorrien Trail. From here to your destination you will be on a gravel road versus a paved highway. Continue 20.2km more and turn right (north east) into the Chester Lake day use area.
Click for directions in Google Maps.
Trail Map

Your trail head is marked in the north east corner of the large parking lot. The start of the route has changed slightly since the flood of 2013, but it is well trodden and easily identifiable.

Hike on a wide rocky path through the forest gradually gaining elevation at a steady pace. You will see a couple of one-way signs along the way, follow them using the alternate route on your return to avoid heavy traffic later in the day. Otherwise, your trail is quite self explanatory.

Enjoy your trek through the woods and a few meadows on this hike. The hardest part is the elevation gain in the first two thirds of the way. After that the views open up, the terrain levels and only beauty awaits at the lake :)

*I do say this hike is dog friendly, however being such a busy location use your best discretion. And note dogs must always be on leash in the mountains as tickets will be issued if caught off leash.
-This is an extremely popular trail, indicated by the size of the parking lot when you arrive. If you want to avoid the rush you'll need to go early in the morning or on a non holiday week day.
-There is an option to continue hiking past Chester Lake to Three Lakes Valley, but those details are not listed here. 

Happy Hiking!