On the second day of our summer hiking trip, the weather looked a bit better than it had last night although the hailstorm had made all the flowers in the window boxes look a bit worse for wear. We planned a circle drive route to take in a lot of views from valley floor starting from and finishing at Canmore. Basically we took the Trans-Canada east to Route 40 then headed south along Highway 40 down the Kananaskis Valley to the Kananaskis Lakes. Then we took the Smith Dorrien gravel road back to Canmore. The gravel road is actually in great shape and is very driveable – even by 2wd cars.
The weather held up beautifully and so did my aunt and my parents. We walked tons and shook loose stiff muscles. Although we didn’t do any big hikes we did get some grand views and a nice sample of what was to come in the next 4 days when we started alpine hiking.
This was a long day but turned out to be a really nice way to get a taste of this part of the Rockies and is highly recommended!
Lower Barrier Lake
Chai, Kor Kor and Sue on the viewpoint above Barrier Lake
Mum, Chai and Sue – Barrier Lake viewpoint looking south down Kananaskis valley.
Descending back to Barrier Lake
All the grinning kids above Barrier Lake
Mum loving the flowers in the Nakiska ski-area base village
View looks south to Mt Kidd and the rest of the Kananaskis Range in the Nakiska ski area village pathways
View north to Mt Lorette just north of Nakiska ski hill
Viewpoint just outside and south of Nakiska ski area looks south down the Kananaskis valley
We stopped and had some tea at a nice (but windy) picnic spot on Upper Kananaskis Lake
Same picnic spot. Stop grinning Dad!
Sue and Mum take in the view at Lower Kananaskis Lake. Mt Sarrall and Mt Foch are in the background along with a good chunk of Elk Lakes Provincial Park
We saw a ton of wildlife on the Smith Dorrien – Spray Lakes road – route 742 to Canmore
Looking to Burstall Pass (one of the most beautiful hikes in the Rockies) from the Smith Dorrien road. The road was in great shape!
View from Mt Engadine Lodge further up the Smith-Dorrien Road looking south to Mt Birdwood and Mt Smuts
The wind picked up but luckily no rain fell as we got to the north end of the Spray Lakes
View south from the viewpoint at Lower Kananaskis Lake is dramatic!
Our circle drive route took in a lot of views from the valley floor and went clockwise – starting from and finishing at Canmore.