Snowshoeing for Beginners and Families: Hogarth Lakes

Category: Canmore, Kananaskis

What Is It Like?  3.9 km. loop, 30 m. (98 ft. ) Elevation Gain

Hogarth Lakes snowshoeing in Kananaskis Country is a fun, easy, family-friendly outdoor adventure. As a matter of fact, this popular, well-travelled trail gets so hard-packed, that you really don’t need snowshoes. Take them with you though so that you can play in all the deep snow off-trail … and who doesn’t want to do that?

Three Mountain Family Hikes, Take A Hike With Your Children
Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe Trail

This flat trail follows a series of three frozen lakes with some spectacular 360-degree mountain views along the way. This snowshoe adventure is one of the easiest beautiful outings in Kananaskis Country.

three mountain family hikes, take a hike with your children, kananaskis, Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe
A scenic view looking across the Hogarth Lakes
Trail Map, Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe. Source: Alberta Parks
take a hike with your children, three mountain family hikes, kananaskis, Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe
Following the shoreline

This trail is ideal for “never-evers” – those that have never put on a pair of snowshoes and “little feet” young children.

The series of pictures in this post were taken some years ago. Three years ago to be precise. Where does time go?.  My oldest son, husband and I went for a New Years Day snowshoe: it was a great way to start 2016.  In addition, doing outdoor activities is one way that makes it “okay”  for my teenage son to be “hanging out with mom” (even if he won’t fully admit it).  I have always found that being in nature and on the trails with my boys, provides them with a relaxed opportunity to walk and talk about anything that might be on their mind.  

Take a Hike With Your Children, Three Mountain Family Hikes, Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe
His best…”I’m not going to say I”m having fun with mom” face, but I really am.
Take A Hike With Your Children, Three Mountain Family Hikes, Kananaskis, Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe
A sunny spot for lunch

We stopped for lunch in the warmth of the sun.

Right off the bat, we were quickly greeted by Canada’s National Bird, the  Whiskey Jack or Gray Jay.  This particular Gray Jay had obviously learned that us, funny looking animals with big man-made feet, generally share lunch with him. Fortunately for this Whiskey Jack, our family doesn’t share lunch with any wild animal. We never do, and neither should you, regardless of how cute or persistent they are.

Take a Hike With Your Children, Three Mountain Family Hikes, Kananaskis, Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe
A Whiskey Jack, looking for a handout

Our food isn’t healthy or natural for any wild animal. Also, feeding them habituates them:  they associate us with food handouts. This can create aggressive and dangerous behaviours towards humans which can ultimately result in the animal’s death. In the case of a Whiskey Jack, feeding them is more likely to upset their stomachs. I have yet to encounter a dangerous Whiskey Jack on the trail.

During this family adventure, we came across a quinzee that had been built at the trailhead. My teenage son quickly lost all of his “teenage coolness” and he thoroughly enjoyed climbing up, over and into this quinzee.

We had a blast, an active adventure outdoors and some quality time together away from electronics and distractions.

Time outdoors is precious and necessary even in winter. Snowshoeing is a great alternative to skiing and cross-country skiing.

Take a Hike With Your Children, Three Mountain Family Hikes, Kananaskis, Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe
King of the Quinzee


Anyone. Really. All snowshoe abilities.

If you have my book, you know that I have rated hikes based on a child’s walking ability, not on an adult’s walking ability.


Daylight hours.  As with all winter sports, it is always advisable to do them during the day. Start early. We have limited daylight hours available during any given winter day.

Do you need to know what to bring in your pack? Check out my free downloadable resources.


From Canmore, take the Smith Dorien Road (742) to the Burstall Pass Parking lot.

From Calgary, take Highway 1 West, exit at 118, and continue on Highway 40 to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. You will connect to the Smith Dorrien road and to the Burstall Pass Parking lot.

Hogarth Lakes Snowshoe
Road Map, source: Travel Alberta

Happy Snowshoeing and Happy Hiking!

2 thoughts on “Snowshoeing for Beginners and Families: Hogarth Lakes”

  1. Hello I am sure that you both had a great day in the mountains. To the young man – you will never regret
    having taken this trip with your mother. MOM is teaching you some of the better things in life that you can pass on to your children when that time comes. Do not let anyone tell you anything different.
    you should be proud that you did this and I am sure you will feel like doing it again some day while you are still young. I have done this kind of thing for 55 years from time to time, and wish that had the chance to it with my mother or father. I still get away every year to a new place. I may be 76 years old but it is still lots of fun, yes it can be hard work but at the end of the day better that being at home doing nothing. Keep it up.

    • Hello Brian,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Even though my son “pretends” to not want to be with mom and dad, I know that he is having a great time. The teenage years are difficult ones: trying to be independent and act cool, even though they still need/want mom and dad. As my children get older, I find that they need nature even more, as it helps to “detox” all the teenage angst and the raging hormones that they are experiencing. Talking, as we explore the trails, has been a great way to discuss issues and figure things out. You are an inspiration, and my goal is to be hiking and snowshoeing when I am 76…keep on getting out on those trails.
      Happy Hiking!


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