Monday, September 04, 2006

Hiking: Rawson Lake

South of Upper Lake Kananaskis and accessible from the Upper Lake Day Use Area, Rawson Lake is described in the Gem Trek trail map and guide for "Kananaskis Lakes." A great family event - classed as a moderate day hike - good if your family has lots of energy and stamina. Pack snacks and carry plenty water. There is an outhouse at the top but you need to bring your own t.p.

We hiked with two other families, all neighbors who were camping in Kananaskis the last weekend of August. Incidentally, we met two other families in K-country from our neighborhood, all whom have boys who like to play together - so our initial link was our kids and the mountains, but we enjoyed getting to know each other better as friends too.

So, 13 of us, from age 3 to 53 or so, made the 7.8 km round trip with 300 metre elevation gain. Most of that was after 1 km in, an easy roller coaster trail around the southeast side of the upper lake. Just past Sarrail Creek Falls, we head west in a quick change of pace, the forested trail begins a steady but well graded climb for 2.7 km. It opens onta a striking amphiteatre holding lovely Rawson Lake. It was a hot day, so we did appreciate the shaded ascent/descent through the forest.

Some climbed the rocks above the lake, and were rewarded with a view north to Opal and Kananaskis mountain ranges, but the most stunning was the sheer rock wall rising high above from the lake straight up to 2200 metres. Some tried their hand at fishing and at least one beautiful trout was caught and released.

The littlest one ran out of steam on the way down and her dad carried her. This is my favorite picture of the day.


  1. I totally agree that the Rawson Lake hike is one that everyone in the family can do Joyce. Once you see that lake it's quite rewarding. I find it interesting hearing other people's experiences of hikes that I have done. I've got some pictures of our hike to Rawson Lake on my blog at

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