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Rockies :: Kananaskis :: Picklejar Lakes

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Third Picklejar Lake. Trail continues on left side past several fire pits and camp spots

Trip Summary

October 2, 2015

"The fishing is so good it's like catching fish in a picklejar" - hence this rather exotic name for set of 4 lakes in nice alpine environment and popular hiking/backpacking/fishing/hunting destination. Hike 209 in K-country trail guide 3rd Edition, Vol 2 (would be somewhere in Vol 5 in new edition).  It is a short, but very nice hike up left (north) side of Lantern creek. Sign at trailhead warns of grizzly accident in 2014, so caution is needed. Takes about an hour of brisk pace to the col / low point of Lineham ridge.  Scrambling trail continues up the ridge, while hiking trail descends over much washout to the shores of 4th lake. From there lakes 3, 2 and 1 are reached in short succession. Camping is allowed, but there are no facilities.  Usual spot is at far (east) end of 4th lake, but there are several good sites on small forested rise between 4th and 3rd lake. Much room for exploration around the lakes and several fire sites are testimony of popularity.  Beyond 1st lake faint trail continues towards optional scramble descent from Lineham ridge (Andrew Nugara).

Gallery

View back along Lantern Creek ~30 min from start
 
Descending 4th lake in bowl under Lineham Ridge
 

4th Picklejar Lake. Trail continues on right side

 
Usual camping spot at far end of 4th lake
 
Second Picklejar Lake is the deepest and very blue
 
Snow Ptarmigan hoping the outlet of first lake
 
First lake looking back. Faint trail continues to upper bowl

Abstract

Overall Difficulty D3 Trail hiking.  Steep and eroded bit leading to low end of Lineham ridge followed by descent over much washout
Snow Factor S3 Steep hillside traverse on north side of Lantern creek, but low objective avalanche danger
Scenery Very nice set of pater-noster lakes in short succession.  In autumn foliage of fallen leafs makes hike up Lantern creek very nice
Trail/Marking Very good Wide and well-defined trail. Beyond fire pit at shores of 3rd lake it becomes less distinct but way is obvious
Suggested Time 3-4hr Return time for leisurely visit to all 4 lakes
Elevation Start: 1740m     Max: 2200m     Total: ~600m  Round Trip: 11km
Gear Day hikers are enough. Poles will be helpful for steeper bit below the col and for stability on descent to 4th lake
Water Lantern creek, then outlets of Picklejar lakes. No need to carry more of 1L
Dog Friendly Yes Keep control of your dog; several grizzly bear encounters happened in the past