Awesome Alberta: Carnarvon Lake is a gorgeous hidden treasure (PHOTOS)

Jul 24 2019, 10:41 pm

Rumour has it that the most beautiful lake in all of Alberta is hidden at the tail end of an unofficial trail in the Highwood area of Kananaskis Country.

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Sitting high on the alpine – right on the top of the Great Divide at the edge of the Alberta/BC border – the crystalline turquoise and Caribbean blue waters of Carnarvon Lake is so endlessly iridescent that you will never want to leave its shores.

Like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, the lake is the gift at the end of a somewhat arduous treck that involves some hiking, maybe a bit of biking, and finally an up-the-wall climb using chains.

For your own safety, please make sure you are prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe while on your hike is available from Albertaparks.ca and AdventureSmart. Always remember to leave no trace, pack out what you pack in, stick to designated trails, and refrain from feeding wildlife. Parks Canada visitor guidelines are available here — and please note that irresponsibly-taken selfies (even if they look great for the ’gram) can be fatal.

 

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Where is it?

Carnarvon Lake is at the end of a 20.4 km roundtrip trail located near Kananaskis Improvement, Alberta that features an exquisite waterfall. The trail is best visited between the months of April and October. Its high elevation ⁠— at 857 metres ⁠— means that snow sometimes lingers even in July.

 

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How do you get there?

Located one hour southwest of Calgary, the trail starts at the Cat Creek picnic area along the banks of the Highwood River.

From the parking lot of the Cat Creek picnic area, the lake is 8 km away, mainly uphill.

Once you get to the saddle of the lake, you can have a scenic lunch and contemplate on maybe stepping over into British Columbia. But BC’s real estate prices will leave you happy exactly where you are.

Carnarvon Lake is also stocked with Cutthroat Trout, but their growth rate is very slow due to the lack of food at higher elevations.

 

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What’s there?

Carnarvon Lake is undoubtedly the most beautiful of the three headwall lakes located here — Lake Of The Horns and Loomis Lake being other two.

If you’re a speed freak, we recommend you take your mountain bikes along, the path back from the lake is all downhill and very fast. You can walk this hike too.

 

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