This past weekend, my friend Julie and I headed out into Kananaskis and enjoyed some lovely lake time. Not only was I excited to ogle three gorgeous alpine lakes, but the Galatea Creek trail was virtually destroyed in the flooding in 2013, so I was curious to see how it had changed since the last time I was up there (about 9 years ago!). The early morning weather was variable, and the clouds had opened up by the time we reached the parking lot, where we spent 30 minutes or so in the 4-Runner waiting out the rain. Le soleil finally peeked through though, and by 9:30 we made a break for the trailhead.
Mother Nature's devastation remains evident along the creek bed, however the incredible trail rebuilding efforts meant that the hiking was marvelous through the lush forest. The spa-like background sounds of Galatea Creek were mesmerizing, but of course the real eye candy began at Lillian Lake, which is as clear and deep jewel green as it ever was!
The west shore of this gem is where we stopped for lunch, and we quizzed out a fly-fisherman who was casting nearby. After nearly an hour of learning about belly boats and cutthroat trout while we ate and basked in the patchy sunshine, we continued on up to Lower and Upper Galatea Lakes.
|This sign is slightly incorrect.... distance is more|
like 2 km to the lower lake!
|Lower Galatea Lake|
|Upper Galatea Lake|
The day was absolutely fantastic - perfect temps, great company, stellar landscape.... The only caution I have for any of you who would like to check these lakes out is, for some unknown reason the distances shown on the trail signs (and in some guidebooks) are rather skewed. We had a GPS with us, and we cross-referenced with another party with whom we chatted upon our return to the parking lot.... the round trip ended up being almost 24km, including just over 8 km to get to Lillian Lake itself. So make sure you are prepared, that's all. The signage and various printed material leads you to believe it's only around 5.5 km to Lillian Lake - an understatement which really took its toll on some of the people we met along the way.