Three Isle Lake
A lightweight backpacking trip in the Kananaskis Lakes


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I did a lightweight work trip with a group of first-time backpackers.
Three Isle Lake is a 10km hike with only one steep elevation gain towards the end, and makes a good moderate beginner trip.
Laurier joined me for the trip as well, and while I remain a big fan of my tent, we otherwise kept our packs reasonably small.

The trail starts around the north shore of Upper Kananaskis Lake and beyond to pass the Forks campground at km7.

Lower Kananaskis Lake from the trailhead.

The upper trail around the lake.

Flowers along the Kananaskis River.

The river alongside Forks Campground, where we lunched.

After the Forks, the trail narrows and follows Three Isle Creek up to a waterfall.
This also makes a great break spot, as it is right before the toughest part of the trip.
Beyond the waterfall, there is a steep 300m headwall, which the trail scales with switchbacks and one set of stairs.
We talked to a group coming back down, and there was a bear with a cub hanging around the headwall, so we made extra noise.
Whether luck or intent, we didn't end up seeing the bear ourselves, though other grous did.
The headwall would include one scrambling section, but Parks has build a set of stairs over it.
While the stairs aren't the easiest for short people (they're huge!), they do the trick just fine
We made it up the headwall and to the lake to set up camp and eat dinner, then spent the evening along the lake
Towards late evening, some dark clouds rolled in, so we headed to bed early and stayed warm and dry through the storm.

The falls along the way.

Falls on Three Isle Creek.

The rocky part of the headwall.

The group hikes up the steep slope.

Hiking up the stairs.

The large upper stairs.

The trail into the campground.

Dark clouds gathering in the evening.

The rain all finished up overnight, and the next morning dawned in brilliant sun.
We returned the same way on another nice day.

The lake in the morning.

A last look at Three Isle Lake.

The group heads down the trail.

Pretty trail near the crest of the headwall.

Hiking down the steepest section.

The group returns down the stairs.

Lunch break at a creek.

Upper Kananaskis Lake from the NW corner.

Photos taken by Rachel

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