Albertawow

Chester Lake Hike

  Ratings:    Ratings 4 Star
Level: Moderate Time/Dist: 4 to 5 hours / 9.5 return Elevation Gain: 325m

Trailhead: Park at the Chester Lake parking lot located on the east side of gravel highway #40 Smith Dorrien Spray Lakes road 46km's south of Canmore across from the Burstall Pass parking lot. Note, Gravel road access only. Kananaskis Country.

Description: Locate the trail head on the far left(ne) side of the Chester Lake parking lot. If you decide to do the Headwall Lakes, Chester Lake loop the trailhead to Headwall Lakes is located on the right(se) side of the parking lot. More details regarding the loop can be found below. The Chester Lake trail is a popular winter ski and snow shoe trail that is well maintained throughout the year. The trail starts on an old forest logging road, bikes are only allowed for the first two km's. After that the trail narrows and works it's way through beautiful alpine meadows that are located before Chester Lake. This is perfect Grizzly Bear habitat so keep an eye out. Chester Lake is popular with anglers and holds a healthy population of Cutthroat and Dolly Varden Trout. You can expect a lot of people here during the summer months. From Chester Lake strong hikers can complete the Chester Lake, Fortress Mountain and Headwall Lakes loop. You can complete the loop in either direction however the preferred route is Headwall Lakes to Chester lake. The ascent to the Fortress Mountain col from Chester Lake is a long grind up loose steep scree which is much easier to descend. If you just want to summit Fortress Mountain, Chester Lake is the shorter route. The pass towards Headwall Lakes is straight ahead. Follow the valley another 2km's or so and ascend the steep scree and talus slopes to the col located below Fortress Mountain. Once you arrive at the col (total gain of 939ms), you can hike another 472ms to the summit of Fortress Mountain (total gain of 1411ms) or descend to Headwall Lakes. Fortress Mountain is considered an easy scramble with one short cliff band below the summit. Expect 6-8 hours to do the 20km loop and Fortress Mountain. See Headwall Lakes for more information regarding the loop.

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Chester Lake Kananaskis Country
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Chester Lake Grizzly  
   
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Towards Chester Lake From Col Col Below Fortress Mountain
   
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