Friday, August 12, 2016

Upper Kananaskis Lake, Kananaskis

Upper Kananaskis Lake is a man-made reservoir located off Highway 40 in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. It is one of two paddlable lakes in the park (the other being the Lower Kananaskis Lake). The upper lake is the nicer lake of the two. Apologies for the panoramic distortion in the picture below.

The parking area has a boat launch, toilets and picnic sites. If you don't use the launch, the carry to the water is maybe 40 feet and launching off the beach is just fine. This area is located in the small bay in the bottom right of the map below.

This aerial shot (which includes part of Lower Kananaskis Lake on the right) also gives you a sense of scale (the bay we paddled in is at the bottom of the picture). The lake itself is big and, thus, is prone to some serious waves plus rapid weather changes!

The bay offers some interesting sights, including a rocky island (visible in the shot below on the left) and a waterfall (in behind the island on the far shore). There are other islands further down the lake.

The picture below is a shot back towards the beach area from the other side of the island. The scenery is truly amazing (when the weather is good). Bad weather makes the lake much less pleasant (as it is bracingly cold).

The kayak in the picture below gives you a sense of the scale of the lake and is a good lesson in foreshortening.

This was one of the nicest paddles we've had in the mountains: +25C, no wind and lots of sun.  The interpretative centre at the entrance to the park is also a nice stop, with washrooms and some educational-type displays in a mountain lodge setting.

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