Headwall Lakes Trail

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Distance:
15 km
Difficulty:
Moderate
Elev. gain:
445 meters
Time required:
4 - 5 hours
Bikes permitted:
No
Dogs permitted:
Yes

Directions to trail head

Drive west of Calgary on Highway #1 approximately 60 kilometres. Turn south on highway #40 and drive 50 kilometres. At the intersection of highway #40 and Kananaskis Lakes Trail turn right (west) onto Kananaskis Lakes Trail and drive approximately 2.3 kilometres and turn right again onto highway #742 (the Smith-Dorrien/Spray Trail). Drive 18 kilometres to the Chester Lake Parking Lot. The other option is to leave from Canmore and drive south on Highway #742 approximately 45 kilometres to the Chester Lake Parking Lot.

Hazards on trail

High risk of Avalanches. Not recommended during the winter.

Hike Description

This hike starts on the cross-country ski trails in the area. Take a map and remember this combination: blue, blue/yellow, yellow, single track.


At the Chester Lake Parking Area the trailhead is near the washrooms. The hike starts on the blue loop on the bank above the lot heading towards the parking lot entrance. After 1.4 kilometers you will meet a T-intersection with a logging road (yellow trail). Turn left on the blue/yellow trail. The trail sign is about 20 meters down the trail obstructed by the brush.


The second intersection is 900 meters further down the trail. Keep right on the Yellow trail, to the left is the blue trail.


At the next intersection with the orange trail 500 meters further down the trail you will continue straight ahead. Do not turn left on the orange trail.


Before reaching the final intersection you will cross a bridge over the river and climb a steep hill. Near the top of the hill you will see a cairn on the left side of the trail and a "caution downhill" sign on the right. At this point you turn on a single track and head into the woods. The trail continues through the valley at points near Headwall Creek before reaching the lakes.


The lower lake is the more scenic of the two but the view back through the valley makes climbing to the upper lake worth the additional elevation. The trail follows the shoreline of the lower lake and climbs near the waterfall to the upper lake. The photo below was taken during the climb to the upper lake.


View above Lower Headwall Lake Alberta



Hike Photos

Elevation Profile Image

AttachmentSize
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