Rawson Lake: A Pristine Winter Wonderland

Rawson Lake in Kananaskis Country is a popular crampon hiking and snowshoeing trail with beautiful views of snow clad mountains and a frozen lake. The hike is quick and easy, only 8 kms (5 miles) long with 300 meters (985 feet) elevation gain. We took our time at the lake, testing out the limits of my new cell phone camera and capturing some fun pictures in the process.

I’ve hiked to Rawson Lake many times due to its close proximity and short hiking distance. By leaving Calgary early in the morning we were the first hikers to reach the lake. The stillness was so peaceful and the fog lent deep mystery to Mount Sarrail at the end of the frozen lake.

Always fun to try for another good jumping photo. What we learned from this attempt is that this pose is far more effective on a ridge with the appearance of air beneath the jumper’s feet. That seems to give a feeling of danger and risk to the picture which isn’t quite achieved on level ground, no matter how gorgeous the backdrop or game the subject.

Even though there wasn’t much water, it still reflected Mount Sarrail. The icy blue light made for photos that were naturally almost black and white.

This beautiful Steller’s Jay spent lots of time hanging around the lake shore giving us plenty of opportunities to capture its gorgeous plumage. Thanks again to the staff member at the Kananaskis Information Line for helping me to identify it.

We were quite surprised to run across unfrozen water this high and late in the season. It probably won’t last for much longer as it was finally starting to freeze at the edges.

My new Google Pixel 3A handled the bokeh (blurred background) effect quite well on this picture of Jordan and Hayley. It tends to work best when the background and subject have high contrast.

One of the best hiking foods I stumbled across this year is dried mango. Lightweight and sweet, but far less cloying than chocolate or candy. Unfortunately for it, it now comes on all my hikes.

Rawson Lake on a sunny day from when Hayley and I went in October 2018. Mount Sarrail is an imposing sight when not shrouded by fog. In summer, Rawson Lake is stunning in an entirely different way which you can see on our hike Rawson Lake and Sarrail Ridge: Spectacular Views.

For additional information about this hike, contact the Peter Lougheed Park Discovery & Information Centre.

Photo Credit: Hayley Mead, Jordan Morabito and Jolene Rempel

This post is part of the Kananaskis Country (South) series.

About Jolene

I’m an avid gardener whose mission is to bring more beauty into the world. I believe that with the right information anyone can create their own beautiful, small garden paradise. 

When I’m not gardening you can find me exploring the Canadian Rockies. Learn more…


Rawson Lake and Sarrail Ridge: Spectacular Views

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