Thursday, July 25, 2013

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park

Trip Dates: July 2008 & July 2009

The tradition continues.  Once again Kyle and Mike made the trip out west for a weekend filled with camping and outdoor adventures.  This year we chose the Lower Lake Campground in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, which is part of the Kananaskis park system.

Swainson's Hawk
Rocky Mountain Sheep along Highway 40
Our campsite in the Lower Lakes Campground
Mt. Sarrail above Lower Kananaskis Lake
We chose to hike up to the Kananaskis Fire Lookout via the Whiskey Jack and Lookout Trails.  The entire hike was about 7km round trip with 200m in elevation gain.  It's not a difficult hike, but you get some amazing views of the Kananaskis Lakes and the surrounding peaks.

Kananaskis Fire Lookout
Panoramic view from the lookout station
Golden-Mantled Ground Squirrel
He stole a couple of our cookies so easily it's almost like he'd been doing it for years!
Kyle, Mike, Jaryd, and I near the lookout station
The next day we decided to check out Rawson Lake.  We definitely were not disappointed.  Rawson Lake is an 8km round-trip hike with an elevation gain of 320m.  It leads to a beautiful lake completely surrounded by massive peaks.  Jaryd, Mike, and I decided to expand the hike by climbing up one of the ridges that overlook the lake.  Spectacular views awaited us...

Sarrail Creek Falls
Rawson Lake panoramic shot
Rawson Lake
Lunch break
The day's final goal
Beginning the climb
Rawson Lake as viewed from the top of the ridge
Myself, Mike, and Jaryd enjoying the view of the Kananaskis Lakes
Made it back down safe and sound.  Upper Kananaskis Lake.
We enjoyed this trip so much that we came back to the exact same spot the year after, except we were without Kyle and Mike.  We were still with a great group of people so it didn't matter and we still had an adventure filled weekend.

Rocky Mountain Sheep and a lamb
This year's camp site
Red Squirrel swiping discarded sunflower seeds
Mt. Indefatigable standing guard over Lower Kananaskis Lake
Perfect reflection on the lake
Lower Kananaskis Lake
Kola proving that she's a true Rider fan!
The Rawson Lake hike was on this year's agenda too
Ryan and I decided to climb the opposite ridge that Mike, Jaryd, and I climbed the year before
Beginning the scramble
Apparently I really like that shirt considering I wore it for the same hike two years in a row!
Really big tracks.  Since this is prime Grizzle Bear habitat I'm going to assume that's what made them.
We made it to the ridge
Rawson Lake as viewed through the rocks
Ryan and I on the ridge
We all really enjoy Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and will definitely be back at some point in the near future.  It's a fairly short drive from Calgary, but you're completely immersed in the wilderness and surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery.  What's not to like about it?

You can read even more about my adventures in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park by visiting my post titled Elk Pass & Kan Lakes.

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