FATMAP by Strava

Chester Lake Ski Tour

This is a classic beginner ski tour in the Canmore/Kananaskis area. Great views and minimal avalanche terrain to the lake make this a popular choice for a great day out.

Ski Touring Easy

8.6 km
400 m
400 m
3-4 hrs
Low Point
1.9 km
High Point
2.2 km
Chester Lake Ski Tour Map

The Chester Lake Ski tour is a lovely double track trail that winds through the forest before opening up to an expansive valley with towering peaks on either side of a beautiful lake. This ski tour is a go-to classic for people of all ages in the Canmore/Kananaskis area. If you don't go beyond the lake you are not in avalanche terrain, which makes this a great outing with minimal risk.


The trail is easy to follow and makes for a fun, fast and flowy descent. You will want to holler on your way down to warn ascent parties that you are coming as this trail is very busy especially on a weekend. There is no cell reception in this area so while the trail is straightforward and simple you are still in a remote spot and should take proper precautions. If you want to find some low angle powder stashes continue west from the lake for some playful tree skiing. If you continue past the lake please be sure to have proper avalanche equipment as you will be entering avalanche terrain.

Bring a friend, a great lunch and have an enjoyable day!

To access this trail you can get on the Smith Dorrien road via Highway 40 from Calgary or just past the Nordic center from Canmore. You will park at the Chester Lake trailhead which is directly across from Burstall pass it is a popular trailhead with outhouses and a map of the area. There are two trails going to the lake in the winter one is for snow shoes and one for cross country skiing. The cross country ski trail is preferable for ascent and descent as it is wider, smoother and flatter.



Wide gentle slopes at around 20 degrees or less.

Low Exposure (E1)

1 out of 4

Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between December and April


  • Tree Skiing
  • Single Descent

Equipment required

  • Skins

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area