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Local Lead: Snowshoe Trails Near Canmore

Local Lead: Snowshoe Trails Near Canmore

Meet one of our Alberta Locals, Jacob Campbell! He shares his top three snowshoeing spots with us.

Jacob’s passion for the outdoors isn’t quelled by winter or snow. Snowshoeing is one of his favourite winter activities. So much so, he decided to complete a 10-day expedition up the Panther River, on snowshoes, in 2018. But, home is the Rockies – a stunning range that rarely disappoint. In winter, the peaks and valleys come alive in a new way. The trees and lakes become coated with shimmery snow and a new kind of serenity makes itself known. Jacob’s desire to share his experience, knowledge, and passion is what sparked his decision to share these beautiful trails with us! 

Whatever trail or adventure you are pursuing, planning is important! You can do this easily through the Adventure Smart Trip App. This app helps you answer your who, what, where, when, and why, and makes it easy for you to send to your family and friends.

Chester Lake

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 4-5 hours

Round-Trip: 9.7km

Elevation Gain: ~300m

Dog-Friendly: On leash

The low-down:

This trip is a real favourite among locals: nestled far enough up the Spray Valley road to avoid the crowds, but just as stunning as anything found on the major thoroughfares. You will start with a steady climb through the trees. Eventually you will reach a stunning alpine valley which meanders peacefully to Chester Lake proper. This snowshoe is a real treat, and one that shouldn’t be missed.

Rawson Lake

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 4 hours

Round-Trip: 8km

Elevation Gain: ~300m

Dog-Friendly: On leash

The low-down:

This trip is a slightly easier and more accessible option, but just as beautiful as Chester Lake! Popular in the summer, this hike dies down in the winter- making for a peaceful and secluded experience. You begin by walking around Upper Kananaskis Lake until it turns southwest and climbs through the trees. You will emerge at Rawson lake, a beautiful body of water surrounded by peaks on all sides. I’m confident saying this hike is a true hidden winter gem of the Rockies.

Rummel Lake

Difficulty: Moderate

Time: 4 hours

Round-Trip: 9km

Elevation Gain: ~420m

Dog-Friendly: On leash

The low-down:

This trip is situated in the same valley as Chester Lake- just a little further down the road. This area is one of the few places open for winter camping in the Mountain Parks- take advantage of this! The formula for this trip is similar to the others- climb up through the trees and emerge into a beautiful lake valley. This trip is also popular with backcountry skiers. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll be able to catch them carving their way down the far side of the lake! Definitely put Rummel Lake on your list of snowshoe trips this winter.


Yervana Insight:

Here’s what we recommend for you to bring along:

  • Warm (and waterproof) clothing
    • Toque, gloves, neck warmer, socks.
    • Layers of clothing.
    • Waterproof or water-resistant clothing is a good idea if you plan on slipping and sliding your way around!
  • Food
    • We strongly recommend a hot chocolate or cider to treat yourself with at the top.
  • Back-up
    • Clothes, flashlight, food, and first-aid. Prepare yourself for the worst, just in case!

Remember to check conditions before you head in, pack everything in and out, and stick to the trails.


Snowshoeing is a great way to take advantage of some beautiful terrain in the winter months. You can gear up and find rentals at MEC. And keep in mind, planning your trip before you go is crucial! The Adventure Smart Trip Plan is a useful tool to help keep yourself safe.

See you on the trails!


Jacob Campbell was born and raised in the Rockies. Graduated from the Outdoor Leadership and Ecotourism Degree at Mount Royal University, Jacob has been guiding in the Bow Valley for three years and volunteering with the Cochrane Search and Rescue.

Get outside with Jacob today!

Book an adventure with us:

CANMORE

Chester Lake Snowshoe

Explore one of the most beautiful winter vistas that Canada has to offer while being led by an experienced local guide with a passion for the Outdoors. This is an awesome opportunity to see the Rockies in all their winter wonder!

CANMORE

Heart Creek Micro Spike Hike

Come along for a beautiful winter hike up Heart Creek while being led by an experienced local guide with a passion for the Outdoors. This Adventure is perfect for those just getting used to traversing the Rockies in the winter!

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