Lower Kananaskis Falls

 
March 29, 2013
 
This was a wonderful hike, despite the slight cold I really enjoyed every moment of the way.  In the video above you can tell, though I'm exhausted, I'm high spirited the entire way.

 
 
 
For almost the entire hike your afforded the luxury of a slightly downward view of the Upper Kananaskis Lake.  So while I was hiking this all I could think of, aside from adjectives like stunning and beautiful, was - what would this look like in the summer. Now granted the summer hike would be more difficult, as in the winter you're able to cut corners.  For example, when I was really close to the waterfall and approaching the camp site area, I was able to walk on the frozen lake.  If I'm truly honest, on the way back I cut across the entire lake and shaved well over an hour out of my hike (most likely 2 hours).

 
This hike is not as popular as it is during the summer months, however it is still frequented by cross country skiers and snowshoers. In the summer you are looking at over 4kms to get to the falls from the parking lot, however as mentioned above, the winter can be a shorter hike, especially on skis or snowshoes.

My chubby co-star in the video
 I should also point out that this is somewhat popular for Ice Fishermen.  I noticed a couple people out on the ice when I was packing up at noon after my hike.  In the summer this lake is a popular boating area.  This gives me the idea that someday I might return on a canoe to soak up the sun.
Although summer aside, I once said that Kananaskis is not a winter destination, and for good reason.  Most (in some cases all) of the winter everything is closed, which includes outhouses and information huts.  However that was before discovering this gem.  Now I definitely feel like I have to go back on my earlier statement.

I do caution people attempting K-Country during the winter, the majority of activities are not available.  Like I had mentioned huts and outhouses are closed and so are campsites and some roads.  South of the Kananaskis Lakes turn off (on Highway 40) is closed during the winter and re-opens June 14.  Also the dirt road North to Canmore (Highway 742) is a greater gamble in winter months, as less attention is afforded on this road for snow removal etc.

This makes me feel like this waterfall is almost a hidden gem, which is only available to those who take the time a cautiously plan out the winter in this region.