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Hogarth Lakes

With temperatures stubbornly sitting in the minus mid-twenties it has been difficult for me to get in the training I’d planned on these past two months for an upcoming trip to Nepal to tackle the Annapurna Circuit, so it was really great to be able to get out onto the snow on Monday.  The sun was shining and the temperature hovered at around -4C as we headed for the mountains. The picturesque  journey to the trailhead took us through Canmore and onto the Smith-Dorien Trail, past Spray Lakes to the Burstall Pass parking lot from where we set out to snowshoe the Hogarth Lakes Loop.

The start of our trail

This is an easy, fairly flat trail of about 4.5km at an altitude of  6,368 feet.  The first part of the trail was well sheltered from the wind and took us through forests of snow-covered trees which allowed frequent glimpses of the mountains surrounding us.  A picture perfect setting requiring many stops for photographs.  Finally the pathway opened up at the lakes which, covered with ice and snow, had no definitive beginning or end.


A cold wind harried us as we snow-shoed past the lakes and back into the shelter of the trees. Since we were in no hurry to complete the trail, we found a spot in the sun where we could sit and enjoy a snack.  Someone had been there before us and dug a large hole in the snow into which we dangled our snow-shoed feet.  Other than the risk of frostbite on our nether ends it proved to be a pleasant place to stop, eat and talk.  Getting out again, however, did test our physical prowess!   Another 20 minutes took us back to the beginning of the loop, shortly before which our path intersected with a cross country skiing pathway.

Trees and snow, a magical combination!

Despite many stops for photographs the trail only took us an hour and a half to complete, not counting our snack stop.   Altogether a very enjoyable afternoon in the mountains.

One of the snow covered lakes



February 25, 2011 - Posted by | Hiking, Living in Canada | , ,

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