Chester Lake, located in Spray Valley Provincial Park Kananaskis, AB, welcomes all who love the outdoors. From hikers to cross-country and backcountry skiers and snowshoers, this dog-friendly trail is popular with adventurers of all levels and takes about 2-4 hours to complete.
A.V, Eric, Metsä, Emilie, Craig and I were ready to go at the trailhead by 8am which meant two things— we were able to beat the rush and got to see the sun rise above our beautiful rocky mountains! All the photos from this day were taken by Hike365 founder, A.V.
Even though it was a mild -4 C when we started off our hike, Emilie and I were glad we were testing out one of legendary Eddie Bauer’s newest jackets, the EverTherm Down Jacket with THINDOWN technology. You can see Emilie wearing the Dark Berry as a top layer, while I’ve got on the Viola colour under my red shell. Head to the bottom of this post for our full review!
We got our legs warmed up with about 310m of elevation gain right off the bat. The sky was grey and there was light snow falling, but we were optimistic that the sun would pop out again because you never know what you’ll get when you’re in the mountains!
The trail allows you to make the elevation gain as easy or as challenging as you like, with plenty of places of stop for a water break and take in your surroundings, and multiple weaving trails to explore as you make your way to the top.
You’ll know you’re getting close when the trail begins to level off and you reach a meadow. Follow the trail for a bit longer and you’ll find yourself at Chester Lake, surrounded by mountain peaks. In the summer the lake is a beautiful blue-green colour, but for us the edge of the snow-covered lake was the perfect spot build a snow couch (thanks, Eric!) and enjoy some trail snacks that Craig brought. To top it off, we saw the sun (and some blue sky!) begin to peak out from behind the clouds—a perfect time for A.V to get a few more shots!
Tip: Carrying a shovel designed for backcountry use is always a good idea when it comes to safety no matter the terrain you’re travelling in. Whether you’re using it to make an emergency shelter or digging your car out at the parking lot after a great day!
By the time we were done exploring the meadow we had plenty of company! The trail was full of hikers, snowshoers and even one trail runner. Metsä was pleased to see how many other dogs were on the trail, and decided to bring up the rear and say “hello” to the new friends we met on our way back down to the trailhead.
Our EB EverTherm Down Jacket review
Temperature rating: -20F/-28C
Weight: 12.64 oz/358g
Packability: packs smaller than their tried and true MicroTherm collection
The EverTherm Down jackets were different from other puffy jackets we’ve tried before. It was light as a feather and kept us both warm as an outer layer, and under a shell. The jackets are 29” in length which ensured the jackets didn’t ride up as we hiked the trail. Although this isn’t a rain jacket, Em was pleasantly surprised how well it held up when we were practically rolling around in the snow by the lake. While her socks may have been damp, her core stayed dry thanks to the StormRepel Super DWR, which is the moisture-shedding finish on the shell. My favourite part? The elastic binding on the hood and the easy-access pockets! We’ve added this jacket as an essential for all of our mountain activities going forward!
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