Chester Lake is very popular among winter sports enthusiasts in no small part because its location deep in Kananaskis Country provides some of the best and deepest early snow, as well as snow far into spring. The area gets enough snow to rival some snow resorts!
It's also extremely popular for families in the summer, and while Nat and I have hiked the area, we'd never completed the Chester Lake hike. We were going to change that today.
Upon our early moving arrival, we saw were far from alone in the big parking lot. Someone else had already moved through:
(That is one long stride between moose prints!)
View from the parking lot, deep in the mountains...
At the time, this was more snow than on any other trail that winter. It wouldn't stay that way for long.
View from the trail.
Once we got about 1 km into the trail, there was plenty of snow to be found.
The trail is a steady, but not strenuous uphill for some time, then flattens out into a meadow. At this meadow, you get only a glimpse of what is to come:
The trail makes a slight turn and you can look all the way down to the mountain at the end. I love how for a short while, the trail aligns directly with the mountain's ridges.
The trail leads through another set of trees and then bursts into another meadow surrounded by magnificent rocky mountains. Despite the view of the mountains on the way up, nothing really prepares you for the magnitude of the view:
Sun climbing over the mountain:
Chester Lake (somewhere under all this snow):
Looking back from where we came:
The trail was strangely absent of critters, but we did run into this little fella:
He'd run away from us down the trail, which was somewhat counter-intuitive, since we'd just scare him again a minute later. Eventually the trail took a turn, and we said good to Chester Lake and headed back to the parking lot...